PHOTO GALLERY: International Festival provides a glimpse into diverse cultures

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N.C. Central University held its 9th Annual International Festival on Oct. 25 in the Farrison-Newton Communication Building.

The festival celebrates food, music, and dance from around the world while introducing students to the variety of cultural groups right here on the verdant green.

The event was hosted by Department of Language and Literature Professor Sy Ibrahima and communications and Spanish junior Zarieal Taborn.

Ginna and the Eagle Jazz Quintent kicked off the evening, playing reggae and fast samba beats for the audience of around 50. Afterwards, Bethanie Mickels,  the self-proclaimed “dancing attorney” who received her law degree from NCCU in 2005 performed the first dance of the night.

She is of Polynesian decent, and showed the audience a traditional hula dance and a Tahitian dance. She even got the audience involved, showing traditional moves to a few participants. It’s safe to say she was a crowd favorite, with her moves, crowd participation, and traditional Polynesian dancing attire drawing attention.

Up next, the NCCU French club preformed “Alouette,” a popular French folk song. The song is often used to teach body parts, similar to the American “Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes” song. The crowd sang and clapped as the club played.

Human sciences sophomore Keshon Wright said that the song was her favorite song of the night.

“I love that they picked something catchy for us,” she said.

Following the sing along, the audience was treated to more dance performances from Puerto Rican, Argentinean, and Afro-Peruvian cultures. And afterwards, the audience received some exciting news.

UNC-Chapel Hill Lambda Pi Chi members gave a step show performance and provided info about the sorority. Lambda Pi Chi is a Latina sorority, but members told the audience that it is open to anyone who wants to join.

Event organizers said that NCCU could soon add its own Lambda Pi Chi chapter but that the process is still “in the works.”

Student organizations, including the Spanish club “Voces Unidas,” the Latino students organization “Raices,” and the Afro-Latino student organization “Aguilas,” offered students an opportunity to follow up on what they learned at the event.

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