Last Wednesday, performers shared and connected with their cultures from around the world through music, dance and fashion.
“It honestly think that the performances gave me life,” said A’cynee Edmundson, Foreign Language & Culture Club vice president, who co-hosted the second annual Cultural Pride Night.
Edmundson believes the performances made up for all of the difficulties prior to the event.
“It may have not been put together perfectly, but it was perfect to me in my opinion,“ said Edmundson.
Before the show progressed, Sophia Jamil, biology student, was unsure about the event’s outcome. Music didn’t turn on for over a minute due to technical difficulties at the start of the performance, and the crowd was smaller than Jamil expected.
“When you’re doing culture club like this, you have all this food and all these amazing performances, and all of these people like me staying after until like 9:30 to practice all of these dances. I feel like it’s unfair that there isn’t much advertising about it,” Jamil said.
Despite low attendance, Professor Jonathan Ashton, who played violin at the event, felt spiritually connected with generations of people he has never met.
“Just the energy that comes from connecting my heritage through my Irish and Scottish roots is definitely something that has been attractive to me,” he said.
While Ashton connected with his roots overseas, Student Senate president Everett McNair spent time performing an piano ode to his local roots.
“I thought ‘I’m from New York and I’m a New Yorker’ so I thought that be something that we all have in common that I could share with everyone,” he said.
Traveling across the world prior to attending Hudson Valley, Manik Elahi, co-host, felt close-to-home onstage during the event. He discussed current events such as a recent Taliban bombing in Pakistan where Elahi lived for several years. Elahi mentioned a lack of media coverage for the attacks.
“Why is there a double standard? That’s the question I ask,” said Elahi.
After the performances, a buffet was provided with international foods including chicken tikka masala and latkes. Last year’s buffet took 20 hours and three people to put together. According to John Poole, director of food services, because they knew some of the recipes from last year, this year’s buffet took less time despite serving more food.
“It’s [about] selecting the right recipes so you’re not insulting the dish,” said Poole.
The event made its debut last spring through the initiative of senior senator Bintou Cisse and Student Senate treasurer Fanny Motey.
At last year’s event, Motey said, “We wanted to make sure that this event would be so successful to the point that it will become a tradition at Hudson Valley.”
Shreshta Kota, president of the Foreign Language & Culture Club, was inspired to continue the event after participating last year. With the Foreign Language & Culture Club’s election later this month, she hopes next year’s officers will coordinate the event for a third time on campus.
“It was good [last year], but I want it to keep getting better every single year,” said Kota.