Bellevue College is well-known for its great curriculum, placing it as the third-largest institution of higher education overall in Washington State. But BC is also known for its social, cultural life and its promotion of diversity as well as overall inclusion.
While focusing on offering local and international students a higher education in preparation to university or a career pathway, Bellevue College along with the Office of International Education, also known as OIE, creates recreational programs where students can add a touch of their culture into the campus. Among the numerous events often organized by different student clubs, the International Night is one of the BC’s longest traditions and biggest cultural event for the whole academic year.
The OIE has planned the event this year six months prior to the date and has been looking for talents among enrolled students. The International Night poster highlighted that “this event is put together entirely by our international and local students to showcase their cultural heritage.” E-mail notifications had also been sent as reminders to ensure a great presence of the public for the success of the night.
On Saturday April 28, the cafeteria of Bellevue College has been transformed into a dreamy restaurant buffet animated with live performances. Right at the beginning, the guests were invited to join the line for the catering service.
Staying consistent with the international theme, the food was favored with a combination of diverse cuisine. There were foods such as hummus from the Mediterranean, tofu from Asia and the famous American cookies that we all enjoyed being served as dessert. While dining in the atmosphere that evening, the scheduled performances from various cultures began.
A Chinese couple opened the show performing an acoustic guitar. Following this, were two students showing their best dance moves through the beat of K-pop music.
A couple of Japanese students shared a song that is considered as a graduation anthem in Japan. This beautiful euphony performed in Japanese language had a slow melody which would make anyone feel melancholy.
Then came the most anticipated part of the event, the fashion show. Students from different countries including China, Bulgaria, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia and India were walking on the stage in their traditional and modern attires.
As they were showcasing their outfits, the master of ceremony was explaning the different occasions in which the costumes are wore and their assimilation to social status. The runway was rich with colors and styles, and the audience was very receptive and amazed by the unique aspect of each performances.
In addition to the fashion show were several styles of dance, including Taiko, a Persian love song, and a Japanese choral. Besides the performances were two photo booths available for everyone who wanted to make this moment memorable through selfies.
The International Night performances were described as modern and traditional, popular and rare, soft and beautiful and loud and powerful. Indeed, attending International Night was a live opportunity to learn from several cultures by having fun. It is in fact a way to improve cultural knowledge, social interaction and being aware that there is absolutely unity in diversity.
More pictures of the International Night event are available at https://www.facebook.com/BCOIE/