The Michigan Theater was a home to many cultural student organizations Saturday evening, as they hosted a “Celebration of Cultures” event. The event, organized by Engineering junior Maria Fields in partnership with the Engineering Global Leadership Program, showcased performances from groups such as Michigan Gaan, Alpha Phi Alpha, RxN and Michigan Taal.
The event, much like the cross-cultural evening organized by Fields in October 2022, featured 14 organizations and had more than 1,000 attendees. A variety of cultural musical, dance and rhythmic performances took place throughout the evening as performers shared their cultures through art. In an interview with The Michigan Daily, Fields said she hoped the event would provide both a fun and educational opportunity for performers and attendees of all different cultures and identities.
“There’s so much you can learn through just having fun,” Fields said. “Friendships form when you’re doing something everybody likes.”
During the event, LSA senior Kareem El-Tawil performed on the keyboard for Michigan Gaan, a group that performs Indian music. El-Tawil said he felt it was important for cultural organizations to be able to share their art.
“It’s not just sharing ideas,” El-Tawil said. “It’s also kind of sharing who we are.”
The performances were followed by a complimentary dinner in the lobby of the theater, where cultural organizations planned conversational games, trivia and other informational activities to educate participants about their respective cultures.
Engineering sophomore Sravya Ganti said she felt the event facilitated cross-cultural learning.
“I was exposed to new cultural arts,” Ganti said. “I think it’s very important for us all to be educated about the different cultures on campus because you don’t see that on a day-to-day (basis).”
Ganti also said she felt the event helped create a sense of community across the different cultural groups in attendance.
“You could hear everyone cheering for the people they knew on stage,” Ganti said. “I feel like that just shows how many different communities we have … It was like one big party tonight.”
Daily News Reporter Josh Sinha can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.