Arts & Culture

International Education Week Celebrates Cultures

Kristy Moua, Features Editor 

  The week of Nov. 18 was International Education Week, an annual celebration of International Education all across the globe. On Nov. 22, Augsburg’s International Student Organization (ISO) held its last event of the semester, closing the week with a celebration-show filled with a variety of talents. The emcees, ISO board members Nelago Tulela Nashandi and Reggie Oblitey, began the night greeting the audience and welcoming everyone to the show. Sam Pashayev, also an ISO board member, shared that the background music that played was all original pieces he personally created for the event. 

The performances began with Grace Koch Muchahary. She gracefully sung two North Eastern Hindi songs while strumming her guitar. Both of Muchahary’s songs had the meaning of ‘I will find you always’. The next student to perform, Mallory Harris, shared his honest and original musical piece, ‘The Ruler’. Performed in an acapella style, Harris engaged with the audience. He gave the audience a line to repeat to become part of the experience. Some ideas that Harris rapped about were the concepts of being college students and cross-generational dilemmas between millennials, Generation Z and the baby boomers. Following Harris was PK, a student singer from the University of Minnesota (UMN). PK shared an original piece she had written in dedication to love and her personal experience connected to the ideology of romance.  Vanessa, another UMN performer, shared her voice. An exchange student from Hong Kong, Vanessa sang covers of the songs ‘Can’t Help Falling in Love’ by Elvis Presley and ‘Perfect’ by Ed Sheeran. Taiwana Shambley shared a piece that had their bittersweet reality woven all through it. The poem was called ‘How to Love an Alcoholic in 2 Parts, Ending with a Drunk Stumbling Down Maryland Avenue’. Student performances concluded with Miracle Adebanjo rapping a few bars about people leaning into their strengths, and then he did some dance moves.

After the concert was the fashion show. Cultures from all over the world were shared and celebrated. Student models showcased attire from Hmong culture, Indian culture, Karen culture and more as they strode up and down the catwalk, the audience cheering at the beauty stitched in clothing. To end the night was one more surprise that ISO had planned for Jim Trelstad-Porter, director of International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS). Trelstad-Porter is retiring this semester, and ISO made a farewell and good luck video in honor of him. The sweet video captured all of the support and kindness Porter had brought to students and co-workers alike. The ISO board then gave Porter a ‘graduation gift,’ handing him a sash in gratitude for his work. Porter closed the night wholesomely, singing a song on his journey here at Augsburg and all of the growth he had experienced. ISO’s Celebration Night was an event to remember and was filled with many new beginnings for everyone.