Written by Danielle Herrera
Various cultural-based student organizations perform and showcase their talents in front of a large student section at the Ikenberry.
On a quiet Thursday night, the Multicultural Advocates of Ikenberry South held its regular Multicultural Night in the IKE multipurpose room. The event was filled with performances from different cultural organizations, along with free shirts, food, and information about different cultures. Performances ranged from dancing K-pop to singing national anthems to reciting poetry; through it all, the unique aspects of each culture being represented definitely shone through each display of talent. In addition, the large crowd was noticeably diverse; people of all different backgrounds and colors came out to support their fellow classmates in representing their heritage and what their culture means to them.
I attended the multicultural night as a performer from PSA, or the Philippine Student Association organization here at UIUC. We danced the Cariñosa, which is a traditional Philippine folk dance that was derived from Hispanic roots. Cariñosa means loving or affectionate when translated in English, which is exactly the impression that this dance gives off; the movements of the Cariñosa are flirty and romantic, and with the addition of long flowy skirts and fans the such gestures are emphasized. Our dance in total was around 5 minutes long, beginning with the introductory bows to our partners and ending with the men and women holding up a handkerchief and facing the audience in a cheerful demeanor. The performance was quite simple and short, however it was still a very enjoyable experience.
Overall, I loved attending the Multicultural night; being able to watch students perform their culture’s traditional dances, songs, etc. reminded me how diverse UIUC is, and made me feel more welcomed on campus. In addition, I’ve only performed one other traditional Filipino dance so it was a nice experience to learn a different type of folk dance and be able to show it to others who embrace their culture as well. I’m glad the MA’s were able to hold an event like this, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone interested in learning more about other cultures here at UIUC.
For more information on the multicultural advocates who held this event, visit https://housing.illinois.edu/living-options/why-housing/inclusive-communities/multicultural-advocates.