The University of Utah’s annual International Night last November was the U’s largest celebration of international culture in recent history – over 400 guests filled the Union Ballroom for this fun and festive event. Hosted by the International Student Council (with sponsorship by the International Student and Scholar Services office and ASUU’s Diversity Board), this year’s International Night theme was “Diversity Lights Up the U” and included performances by many talented and diverse student and community groups. The event capped off the U’s contribution to International Education Week, a national campaign spearheaded by the US Department of State which provides an opportunity for American universities to celebrate the benefits of international education and exchange.
A celebration of culture
“International Night celebrates the many cultures represented at the U and showcases our global community and diversity,” said Sabine Klahr, Associate Chief Global Officer. “It is an event that brings the campus and local community together and promotes unity and intercultural understanding.”
The event included performances and fashion from nearly every continent, and included representation from over 30 countries. The evening’s talent included dance groups ranging from K-Pop to Bollywood, musical performances that included the Peruvian zampoña (pan flute) and the traditional Chinese zheng, a Japanese kendo demonstration, and much more. The evening would not be complete without the International Fashion Show, which gives students and staff an opportunity to showcase traditional fashion from their culture.
Open to all
Even during his high school days in Salt Lake City, Puneet Singh, Director of the ASUU Diversity Board, heard tales of the magic of the U’s International Night.
“My favorite parts are the performances, because it allows the U community to see different cultures up close and personal rather than seeing different cultures from a book or on screen,” said Singh, who is a volunteer organizer for the event and participated in the cultural fashion show. “The event is never boring and programming is always engaging. It’s an awesome way to support local community members as well.”
The annual International Night is open to all – students, staff, faculty, alumni, and community members are all encouraged to attend the event in mid-November and join in on the festivities. Proceeds for this event go toward funding future international student activities and programming through the International Student Council (ISC). Each semester, ISC plans several events which provide opportunities for the U’s international student community to explore Utah, make new friends, and raise awareness of international issues and cultures on campus.
This year event will be on Friday, November 15th 2019 from 6:000 – 8:30pm