Cultural nights give students a chance to taste another culture, literally and figuratively.
On Sept. 12 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., the I-House collaborated with Manthan, an Indian student organization, to sponsor Indian Cultural Night. For a $3 fee, native Indian music and delicious smells of food greeted visitors at the door.
Neha Sarode, a graduate student in genome science and technology and a native of Bombay, India, opened the floor with an overview of the night’s events and a pop quiz. A three question quiz gave the audience an opportunity to win a free t-shirt.
Afterwards, Sirisha Duvuru, a graduate student in speech pathology, sang a prayer song. Dressed in a purple sari, Duvuru’s voice hummed with a soulful quality that pierced the room.
A slideshow presentation followed the prayer song, revealing a glimpse of the Indian culture. Artifacts and pictures depicting traditional dancing ceremonies were viewed by a diverse crowd.
A dance performance from Pranita Sarangi, a graduate student in comparative medicine, came after the slide show. Her anklets jingled with the quick, slapping movements of her feet.
“I usually try to come out to the Indian Cultural Night every year,” Adnea Lane, a junior in English, said. “I like the music and the Henna tattoos.”
After the main performances were over and the gathering broke to taste the different Indian foods, a line wrapped around one corner of the room to get their hand-drawn Henna tattoos. Though this is an obvious crowd pleaser, the food received mix reactions. Choices included vegetarian or chicken curry, a Pulav rice dish, a sweet Gulab Jamun dish, fried milk solids, and Raita. Some students found the Gulab Jamun a dessert that they would not get seconds of; however, the chicken curry was a winner.
“A lot more of UT students are exposed to other cultures today than in my time, because of the media; however, they also have formed many misconceptions,” said Lee Rhea, head of the International House.
Rhea hopes that students will come to cultural nights to give them a truer picture of other cultures.
“We want to get UT students ready for the world, and part of that is getting them interested in other cultures,” Rhea said.
For more information on the I-House and their culture nights, visit their official Web site at http://web.utk.edu/~ihouse. The next night, Korean Culture Night, will occur Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. in the I-House Great Room.
Students experience Indian culture
Published: Fri Sep 14, 2007