40th annual International Week wraps up with a night of show-stopping performances, fashion show

The 40th annual International Week concluded with a spectacular showcase of cultural singing and dancing, as well as a fashion show of traditional dress at the International Show on Friday night.

A welcoming message by Southern Oregon University President Mary Cullinan started off the night, followed by all of the international students involved in the show rocking out to “Sorry For Party Rockin’” by LMFAO.

The first act featured colorful costumes and a dance with pineapples adorned with ribbons. The dance, “Flor De Piña,” represents the joy of women when there’s a good harvest of pineapple.

For the next performance, Tiazza Rose successfully stole the attention of everyone in the room as she belly danced her way onstage.

Rose gyrated her hips, rippled her abs, and danced across the stage all while balancing an ornate, golden sword on her head. The sword was swapped for an orange scarf that flowed and danced with her across the stage. Toward the end of the routine the music and dancing picked up momentum, and she left the stage with the loudest round of applause that night.

“I liked the belly dancer a lot, she was hot!” said SOU senior, Mallory Crocker, laughing.

The Korean and Japanese students followed up Rose’s performance singing “Let’s Get Together Now,” the official song of the 2002 FIFA World Cup, as the video played in the background.

The Japanese students appeared onstage two more times during the performances to do the traditional Japanese dance of “Soran Bushi,” one of Japan’s most famous traditional songs, and sing the closing song of “Shimauta,” a song written in response to the battle in Okinawa during WWII.

SOU’s Ho’opa’a Hawaii Club also performed at the show, as well as the Indian students who performed the Indian Stick Dance as well as the Arabian Gulf Dance in brightly colored costumes, worn during holidays and times of celebration.

Alejandro Zaragoza and Rosie Mountain had perhaps the most festive and brightly colored costumes as they tapped and stomped their way through the story of young man wooing and finally winning the girl in “Ballet Folklorico Ritmo Alegre,” adorned in the vibrant reds, blacks, and golds of Mexican culture.

The performances were immediately followed by a fashion show that displayed traditional cultural dress, both everyday and festive clothing, and gave information about each. The entire night ran about two hours with a brief intermission, and ended with many smiling faces and entertained individuals.

Payne Smith, a freshman, said he would absolutely attend again.

“It was amazing,” he said. “All the dancers were wonderful and I love the diversity of the show.”

The International Week events kicked off on Monday with a parade starting at Cascade to Stevenson Union which was immediately followed by a Food Fair in the SU Courtyard featuring interesting and traditional foods from all around the world.

Tuesday featured German desserts and Arabic make-up for all students who wanted to experience traditional sweets and cultural cosmetic techniques; as well as a  movie night highlighting the love between an Indian Air Force Squad Leader and a Pakistani daughter from a rich, political family in the film Veer-Zaara.

Wednesday showcased Indian Henna and a Russian Language informational session at the SU, and Thursday information on Palauan Culture as well as Arabic and Japanese Writing.

Students, faculty, and community members all participated in the week’s events and enjoyed them free of charge. All the events were planned and run by SOU’s International Student Association.

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