Talent night unites different cultures

By Hongchul Yun

It was a talent show with a twist.

The Office of International Affairs and the International Student Council held International Talent Night in Memorial Hall on Friday.

The event included 19 performances onstage that ranged from cultural dances to music and singing, including a Tajiki Dance, Tae kwon do showcase and Chinese costume show.

Many students and their families from other countries such as India, Turkey, Italy, Korea and China performed in front of an audience of about 200. T-shirts and UK sports bags were given out at the event.

“We are really fortunate to have such a large and varied international community at campus,” Rutooj Deshpande, marketing head for the International Student Council, said. “Take advantage of that to intermingle with students from other parts of world, make friends and understand different cultures.”

Admission was either $2 or a contribution of canned goods that will be donated to the Kentucky Refugee Ministries and Food Bank, respectively, to be used for international refugee rehabilitation in Lexington.

The talent night was part of the Cultural Diversity Festival that has been an annual event at UK since 2004.

“The purpose of the event is to make the link between organizations and students, sharing their traditional music and dances,” Jimin Lee, president of the ISC, said. “I am glad that many students participated in this event and enjoyed the night with it. ISC want to make the event much more professional and plentiful for next year.”

“It was very interesting, and I liked the kids Tae kwon do the best because the kids were very cute and full of energy,” said Elizabeth Hamilton, a linguistic student in attendance. “But I wished that more UK students were there to showcase their talents.”

Currently, ISC is recruiting new members. Those interested can visit the Office of International Affairs in Bradley Hall,  email [email protected], or call 859-257-4067.

“ISC makes my job so easy because they are already motivated and enthusiastic about organizing programs that promote the understanding among the various cultures within the university and community,” Elif Bengu, a student group adviser, said.