Infectious smiles filled the Trojan Center Ballrooms during the ISCO Festival on Thursday night.
The event featured a variety of performances showcasing just a few of the cultures represented at TROY. Songs,dance routines and a salsa demonstration highlighted the night and showed why Troy University is considered Alabama’s international university.
“Let me tell you why we thought it was important to become an international university,” said Dr. Jack Hawkins Jr., Chancellor, before the festival. “I really believe that in life, the most important thing that any of us share is relationships.
“The way you form relationships with people unlike yourself is by understanding the world around you.”
The ISCO festival used food and cultural experiences to educate attendees on different customs and traditions.
“It was very interesting to see the ideas of various cultures coming together under one roof, and it’s something that I think a lot of people take for granted,” said Rukevwe Esegine, a sophomore biomedical science major from Lagos,Nigeria. “The performances opened my mind to a whole different genre and type of music.
“My favorite part of the night was the song ‘Oceans’ played on the piano by Skye Mewbourne.”
Along with the piano performance, other performances included “Tai Yang” by Jing Yang, “East to the West” by Jay & the Valentones and “There Are So Many People in This World” by Jialin Wang. There were also plenty of other dances and songs performed, plus a dinner featuring international foods.
“I wanted to perform to represent different cultures,” said Burnard Thomas, a junior criminal justice major fromDetroit, Michigan. “I spent some time in Nicaragua, and through that I was able to pick up a different culture and different language.
Thomas, along with Giulianna Rivero, performed “UN x100to,” a song created by artists Grupo Frontera and Bad Bunny.
“Bad Bunny is from Puerto Rico and Grupo Frontera is from Mexico, so [the song] literally combines the culture ofPuerto Rico and Mexico,” said Thomas. “I really wanted to perform and show people what the culture of thosecountries and of Central America is all about.”
Thomas says the festival is a great example of TROY’s international culture.
“The festival shows our international relations on a wider scale,” said Thomas. “You see it throughout the school with the terracotta warriors, and this shines a light on our international students and their cultures.”