cross cultural center hosts CUlture night showcase
By: Deryn Harris
The Cross Cultural Center (CCC) held a “Culture Night Showcase” March 4 with performances by four different cultural clubs at UCI to give the student body a preview of what to expect from each group during their culture night performances, scheduled to take place in the 2019 spring quarter.
The showcase, which doubled as a competition that offered winners a $300 cash prize, featured traditional Japanese drumming ensemble Jodaiko, the Hmong Student Association, Kababayan, a Philipinx-American club and the Indian Subcontinental Club.
Jodaiko, whose name means “passionate drumming,” kicked off the event. They performed “Kumi-daiko,” the traditional practice of group drumming. For the showcase they performed two pieces called “Jomatsuri” and “Seijaku Dotou” which roughly translates to “the calm before the storm.” The first piece is traditionally performed in festivals and the second piece is meant to sound more angry and threatening.
On April 14, Jodaiko will be hosting its 27th annual Spring Concert in the UCI Student Center, Pacific Ballroom CD.
The Hmong Student Association followed with a performance by Mary Xiong, who sang a traditional Hmong song called “Txoj Phuam Txoom Suab.” The sentimental and bittersweet rendition recalls a mother’s caring words to her daughter before her wedding.
The song title refers to a folded piece of fabric that is used as a turban worn by traditional Hmong brides on their wedding day, Xiong explained. It is the last outfit that a mother dresses her daughter in, symbolizing their parting from one another.
The Hmong Student Association will be hosting its 7th Annual Culture Show called “Women in the Hmong Community” on May 4. Admission to the event will be free and there will be food for sale.
Also competing were Kababayan at UCI, a Philipinx-American cultural club “that aims to promote awareness of current and transgenerational Philipinx-American issues as well as to celebrate diversity, resilience, and [the] beauty of Philipinx-American culture.”
Kababayan performed the national anthem of the Philippines, “Lupang Hinirang,” followed by their performance of a harvest dance “that celebrates the bountiful harvest of gaway, a plant of the taro family.”
Their 40th annual culture night “Nagmamahal” will be held on May 11 at the Bren Events Center. GA tickets will be on sale for $12 and $16 for reserved seating.
The Indian Subcontinental Club (ISC) also performed three different dances. The ISC aims to “unite the students of UC Irvine whose cultural roots come from that of the Indian Subcontinent: Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka,” as noted in their performance statement.
“Since this subcontinent is comprised of many different religions and regions, there is tremendous diversity in the expression of dance and music. Our performance will consist of three different songs through which we attempt to reflect the cultural changes this subcontinent has experienced over the years,” the group stated.
The first of the three songs was a “raging energetic Bhangra style dance” sung in Punjabi. The second song consisted of a blend between Hindi and English “to showcase the beginning of India’s bond with the world,” and the third song was in Spanish and Hindi to show the multiple cultures that now exist in the Indian subcontinent.
The ISC’s 33rd Annual Culture Show, “Jalwa,” will take place on May 25 in the Irvine Barclay Theatre. Ticket prices are likely to be $10 for students and $15 for non-students.
By the end of the event the Indian Subcontinental Club was determined the winner by popular vote.
Nicole Guerrero, a community programs intern for the Cross Cultural Center who co-hosted the event with Joshua Erazo, said the purpose of the “Culture Night Showcase” was for affiliates of the CCC to “promote their culture nights as well as work collaboratively with each other. This was a culmination of what they wanted.” Although this was only the first “Culture Night Showcase” at UCI, Guerrero hopes that it will continue in the years to come.
After the performances, Guerrero and Erazo gave out raffle prizes including UCI lanyards, CCC t-shirts, and three hydro flasks.