By Kelsey Power
The Dalhousie International Students Association (DISA) turned Dalhousie’s McInnis room into a multicultural soirée Saturday evening.
The 450 guests at the sold-out event were seated in intimate tables of nine, with an atmosphere that transformed the normally bare McInnes room.
As the crowd settled in, a broad mix of music was played, featuring styles ranging from oriental to jazz. Many came dressed to the black tie affair in their cultural costumes, including some women in intricately designed saris. Entertainment for the evening was a cabaret style show featuring songs, skits and dances in styles from around the world. During the show, the audience’s taste buds went global, enjoying various exotic dishes.
The night’s entertainment, says dancer Deepak Karthik, “is like different kinds of delicious food items in a single plate.”
“International Night is really a good idea,” says Karthik. “Students and performers from different countries can reveal their cultural features in the way of dance, songs, and playing instruments.”
The 24-year-old from southern India, studying for a Masters in computer science at Dal, says International Night is his favorite event put on by the DISA.
“Dancing has been one of my passions since childhood and I love to entertain people,” he says.
Meelashini Auaduer, the president of the DISA, also performed in the evening’s events. She describes the night as a melody of all the different cultural nights at Dal. She’s a 21-year-old commerce student from Malaysia who first got involved with DISA by performing for International Night in 2010.
“It’s like an amalgamation of everything,” she says. “It’s one of the biggest international events at Dalhousie put on by students, and it’s just a night where people get to come together and witness other cultures’ performances, see how other people are, you know, get dressed up in your cultural costumes and just make friends.”
International students are automatically members of DISA as they all pay a $5 levy for the association. Although International Night costs $15, the other events held by the association are free. The ticket to this event covers costs and anything left over goes towards the next semester.
|MeelaMeelashini Auadeur discusses DISA and its International Night.|
DISA is the official international students organization of Dalhousie University and the University of King’s College. Its mandate is to help foster relationships between international students as well as help them integrate into the culture in Canada. Auaduer says, “sometimes when you come to a new country it’s really difficult to approach someone and make friends so we try to provide a platform where people can do that.”
DISA also works with the International Centre about concerns international students might have.
George Kingston, a 20-year-old Dal student, came to the event to watch his sister perform along with his mother who flew in from Ontario for the event. Kingston says he would go again regardless of whether his sister was performing.
“I like the idea of a lot of cultures all combining into one,” he says, “because Canada is in fact a melting pot and it’s always nice to sort of share all the different types of cultures that are there.”
International Night was the last DISA event of the year. Elections for next year’s council will be held in a couple of weeks.
Compilation of the various performances had during International Night.