Cecilia Maina ’15
Getting caught up in the hustle and bustle of Smith academic life is inevitable – most of the time, our immersion in our daily routines blinds us from taking a step back and marveling at the rich cultural diversity that we posses and that is inherent in our surroundings. Smith students do not have to study abroad in China to sample Chinese music, just as they do not have to go to Africa to feel the rhythm in its beautifully choreographed dances, the history of which dates back to a time few of us can even begin to conceptualize.
Rhythm Nations is a program of dance, music and demonstrations from different nations across the globe organized by the Smith College International Students Organization (ISO) as a means of doing just what its name suggests – bringing the wonderful cultural and diverse elements of campus to the forefront of student life.
The event aims to give the Smith College community an opportunity to learn about and appreciate the eclectic cultural blend found at Smith. The program is a celebration of the many different cultures represented by the more than 300 students from over 70 countries who consider Smith a home away from home as they make their way through classes, house bonding activities and the other rituals we all know and love. It is a night when these students can proudly don their traditional clothing and share their favorite cultural pieces in celebration of their rich ethnic backgrounds and histories with their classmates and peers. The theme for this year’s event is aptly named “The world is celebrating, won’t you join in?”, a nod to the ongoing worldwide occurrences that are happening all around us, sometimes without any acknowledgement.
“My first year attending Rhythm Nations, I was awed by the beauty in other people’s cultures, so much that I came out of it with a very different cultural understanding,” said Rumbidzai Vushe ’14.
With that in mind, all students are invited to attend the event and to come with enthusiasm and an open mind, prepared to raise their cultural awareness as they enjoy performances from India, China, Japan, Nepal, Korea, Tunisia, Paraguay and more. It’s not just about music, dance or cultural entertainment from disparate corners of the globe. It is about coming together and appreciating one another’s cultures, breaking the stereotypes many of us find ourselves wrapped up in and appreciating the beauty of living in a multicultural society.
Rhythm Nations will be held on March 2 at 7 p.m. in John M. Greene Hall. Admission is free and open to the public.