Aiming to shed light on food and culture, Central Student Government hosted illUMiNATIONS: A World Showcase Friday, which consisted of a fair and a performance showcasing multiple cultural performance groups. illUMiNATIONS, a part of the Bicentennial celebration, welcomed all students and provided admission and food at no cost to welcome all.
The event focused on student performances in the Mendelssohn Theater. CSG organized for various groups to perform, including Ballroom Dance, who performed a Latin routine, Revolution, who did a Chinese Yoyo performance, Alpha Phi Alpha, who performed a step routine, Leim, who did an Irish Dance and more.
LSA senior Julianna Davidek said her International Studies background drew her to this event and discussed her interest with the diverse range of groups and performances.
“Food is one part of culture, but performance is another part, bringing them together as a bigger picture on culture as a subject.” Davidek said.
CSG chose to host the event to cultivate unity, diversity and inclusion by showcasing the nations and cultures represented by the students at the University of Michigan.
“We also noticed that there is a lot of tension on campus and that climate has been an issue happening so we really wanted to hold an event that focuses on diversity but we also wanted to make it kind of fun,” Isabelle Blanchard, CSG chief programming officer and an LSA sophomore, said. “We wanted to make sure all of the cultural groups felt a sense of community and worked together to put on this event.”
Blanchard coordinated the event and organized the multicultural organizations’ attendance. She discussed how she and CSG as a whole hoped to create an event that would be both unifying and entertaining.
CSG also invited many multicultural student organizations to share their food and cultures in a buffet tent. Organizations served the food of their culture so that students could be expose their nation and its culture; for example, the German Club served sauerkraut, spaetzle and red cabbage, the Indian American Student Association served samosas and tikka masala and the Malaysian Student Association served mixed vegetable and bean curd.
LSA sophomore Jeanie Tan discussed how important this event was for the Malaysian Student Association to both share their culture and promote their Malaysian Cultural Night next semester.
“(Food) also shows the unity in Malaysian culture amongst the Malays, Indians and Chinese,” Tan said. “We hope that everyone here who gets to try our food, gets to meet with us and comes to our events.”