Cultural weeks brings a show

By Eva Ross
On February 3, 2014

Arkansas State University has one of the largest international student populations of any southeast university, according to US News. With students coming from all over the United States and from over 58 countries, the Jonesboro campus is a place where diverse cultures meet and mingle.

This week different cultures will come to life during the 10th annual Cultural Week sponsored by the Student Activities Board. Many chances are available for students to participate in Cultural Week’s fun and educational events.

Cultural Week kicks off today officially, but the week’s biggest event will be tomorrow’s performance of Step Afrika! Based in Washington, D.C., Step Afrika! is the world’s first professional company dedicated to the tradition of stepping. The group uses stepping as an educational and motivational tool for young people by promoting the values of teamwork, commitment and discipline.

Each year Step Afrika! reaches thousands of people worldwide through performance tours across the U.S. and even serves as an ambassador to international audiences. The charity organization uses the arts as a way to build tolerance and acceptance in young people all around the world.

Brittnie Short, junior interdisciplinary studies major of Vilonia, plans to attend the performance.

“I’m expecting Step Afrika! to be a great show and I hope that students and other community members will come out to see it,” Short said.

The performance will be held at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Fowler Center. There is no admission fee and doors will open at 6 p.m. South African Gumboot, Zulu dance and step-style dances will be performed at the event.

On Wednesday, students have the chance to engage in A-State’s diversity with the Cultural Showcase at 11 a.m. on the first floor of the Reng Student Union. The showcase is an opportunity to see the different traditions and customs, such as dancing, from the cultures represented at ASU, including African, American, Arabic, Chinese and Hispanic.

“It’s going to be interesting to see ASU’s international community and learn more about different countries,” said Edwin Smith, sophomore athletic training major of Sherwood.

Immediately following the Cultural Showcase will be the Culture Shock Fashion Show at noon in the same location. Clothing and customs from around the world will be displayed.

Robert Johnson, senior communications studies major of Little Rock, planned this year’s Cultural Week as the global issues and awareness director for the Student Activities Board. He said he is looking forward to the whole week being informational as well as entertaining.

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