Celebration of Diversity Show Promotes Various Cultures at the Park

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Celebration of Diversity Show Promotes Various Cultures at the Park

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P-CEP’s Diversity Council held their annual Celebration of Diversity show on Jan. 20 in the Gloria Logan Auditorium. The show’s theme, “Once upon a time,” was incorporated in over 15 cultural dances and performances throughout the evening. The Diversity show also offered attendees the opportunity to sample foods from around the world.

Co-president of the Diversity Council Caleigh Lin, Canton senior, emphasized the club’s view on how valuable it is to embrace different cultures. “In these times of changing leadership in our country, it’s important to step back and appreciate the diversity in our community,” announced Lin at the start of the evening’s festivities.

The show worked to accomplish this by showcasing a large variety of cultures. The show started off with a fashion show to display different cultural attires, which was followed by performances from the P-CEP Step team, B-boy club, Middle Eastern Student Association and others, including a lesser known Polynesian dance.

The Polynesian culture was expressed through a dance called, “The Me’e Tu’u Paki,” which is traditionally performed in the nation of Tonga and in many other South Pacific islands. It has a rich history and story behind it involving a warrior princess going against gender roles.

Hershy Jalluri, Canton senior, was inspired by the dance saying, “We need more dances like the Polynesian [dance]–unique and formerly underrepresented.”

Members of the Indian American Student Association expressed the Indian culture through Bhangra and Raas, two popular Indian dances from different regions of the country. The lively and colorful dances showcased the talent and dedication of students at the Park.

Salem senior, Haley Allgeyer was a part of the Bhangra dance and said that they had been practicing since early November. “It was harder to get everything together this year, like the formation and pulling the whole dance together,” she said. “The dance is also eight minutes long, so it’s really tiring.”

Allgeyer initially got involved in the Bhangra dance her sophomore year because of her friends, but she stuck with it for two more because of the culture. “Other cultures are so interesting to me because I’m white, and I don’t have a culture,” said Allgeyer.

The Asian Pacific American Club also was very involved in the show, too, contributing three performances to add to the cultural variety. They had a modern choreographed dance, a chinese yoyo performance and a traditional fan dance.

The Asian culture was also represented through a choreographed dance by the K-pop club, a club that specifically focuses on the genre of Korean pop music.

“If I asked people to name K-pop songs, the one and only song that they would say is ‘Gangnam Style,’ which doesn’t even match the typical K-pop theme,” said Jalluri, who performed in one of the dances. “[I wanted] to expose people to a genre they don’t understand.”

The Diversity Council made an effort to expose people to other cultures and clubs, as well, by including performances from clubs like the Gender and Sexuality Alliance and the Muslim Student Association. Both organizations used poetry and spoken word to voice their beliefs and feelings about their own culture in modern society.

The evening ended with a final dance battle that had all of the different clubs and performers occupying the stage and “showing off their moves.”

Mustafa Tambawalla, Plymouth junior and secretary of Diversity Council, said that they had been planning the show since September, and overall he was very pleased with all of the performances and how smoothly the evening went. “Personally, the COD show is something I really enjoy,” he said, “so it’s a good way for me to put aside school work and do something I have fun doing.”

Tambawalla believes the Diversity show will continue to be a popular event because “it attracts the extremely diverse community we have present in the Plymouth-Canton area.”

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