Culture night teaches Pakistan tradition

Austin Lewis
Students with the Center for International Programs cheer after performing a dance routine during the Pakistani cultural night at Ruston Hall Wednesday night. The Pakistani night was one of several cultural nights that will take place throughout the semester.

Curious eyes scanned around all sides of the Ruston Hall multipurpose room. All walks of life met in one place to experience the wonders of Pakistan Tuesday evening.

Danish Kumar and Kiran Naeem, both exchange students from Pakistan, guided the masses through the presentation. Not only was this the first cultural experience for a lot of the students attending the event, but this semester is Kumar and Naeem’s first time experiencing America.

“People are so loving and caring here. I haven’t met anybody that has behaved toward me in a negative manner yet,” said Naeem.

The presentation covered everything from regional customs, marriage traditions, famous people and many more engaging bits of Pakistani trivia.

Naeem burst out into song several times during the presentation, giving us an auditory sample of the traditional songs of her home country. “Pakistanis don’t really like all that rock ‘n roll like here in America,” Naeem joked before one of her musical numbers.

The finale of the presentation was a true spectacle. As if the audience wasn’t already engaged enough, both of the speakers and several other volunteers came together to perform a few dances native to Pakistan. Everything was on point from the traditional garb to the dance choreography. As the final pose was struck the room erupted into a thunderous applause.

A line immediately formed behind a set of folding tables which were covered in dishes of traditional Pakistani food. The students served Buyani rice and chicken along with a side of Pakistani batter-fried potatoes to the audience.

“The food was really spicy, but I liked it a lot. It had a good kick to it,” said Catelynn Doffin, freshman political science and public relations major.  

The event was made possible to start by Nicole Vernon, program coordinator for the Center for International Programs. She said once she gets everything set up, it’s all on the students to make the rest happen. The students create the presentation, decide what events will take place during it and choose the dishes that will be served.

“I encourage any student to come out because you get to experience the culture of a country without even going there. You really get to learn so much,” Vernon said.

The Center for International Programs attempts to hold a cultural night every other Tuesday, depending on holidays and campus scheduling per semester. The next cultural night will be England and Wales. All are encouraged to attend.