Eve of Nations

This past Friday, April 3rd, I zipped up my pencil skirt, slipped on some heels, added some extra lip gloss, and headed to the 39th Annual Eve of Nations.  Presented by IAC, International Advisory Committee, I knew the international dinner, fashion show, and cultural performances would be just what the theme promised–Footprints: A Walk Around the World.

As myself and a friend waited for the event to begin, beautifully costumed performers wandered through the crowd while speaking to friends and family.  I couldn’t wait to see the dances and eat the food, which by the way was yummy Pasta Primavera with Alfredo Sauce from Italy, Tsukune (chicken balls) from Japan, Challah Bread from Israel, and Strawberry Shortcake from the U.S.A.  I attended the event last year because my roommate Sarah Shutts, from Indonesia, was involved, so I knew that the program would bring new perspectives and break stereotypes all while creating the desire to ‘walk around the world’.

This year my past roommate was involved once again, but this time as IAC President.  In her words, Eve of Nations is the product of twenty-seven international student organizations that are a part of IAC, and one of the event’s main objectives is to reflect the cooperation of international students and American students of the University of Oklahoma.  After being an audience member for two years, I can wholeheartedly agree with that statement.  Eve of Nations does bring many different perspectives and ideas together through the collaboration of diverse individuals.

Once the program began, I saw a swirl of colors and cultures in the fashion show that was presented by OU Students in International Attire.  Then there were the cultural performances.  Some of my favorites included: Hathoreet’s Dream a dance that told the story of Hathoreet and her friends who lie down in the shade of God Amon’s temple after a long day.  The Arab Student Association did a wonderful job of telling a traditional story and adding a fun modern twist with the song “Single Ladies” by Beyonce.

I also enjoyed the African Student Association’s performance, Zangalewa, a compilation of two songs from the Ivory Coast (West Africa) and Cameroon, and the Saudi Student Association’s celebratory wedding march in the Zaffa Wedding Dance.

And of course, Jai Ho, Academy Award winning Hindi song, couldn’t be left out of the program by the India Student Association.  The title meaning “Victory” was just that a triumph of a performance.  At the end of the show, I found myself with a renewed wanderlust.  Eve of Nations definitely left an impression or ‘footprint’ upon my mind and heart, and I look forward to next year’s show.

I encourage every OU student to explore the opportunities they have around them and dive into the rich cultures laid out in front of them.  Hopefully you’ll gain new understanding and friendships.

If you missed Eve of Nations this year, don’t worry.  There’s always next year and until then you can still experience a taste of OU international campus life with upcoming cultural nights.  Check out the IAC calendar. XOXO

*If you’d like to check out more photos from the event then go here and see recent photos taken by the OU Daily.

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