From traditional dances to stand-up comedy, the Memorial Union Ballroom was bursting with talent and culture during the annual Ettihad Cultural Center Talent Show held on Friday, Feb. 17. About 300 attendees from the OSU and Corvallis community gathered to see students from diverse backgrounds perform.
The Ettihad Cultural Center, one of the eight cultural centers on campus, organizes a talent show every year that aims to showcase unique, individual talents among students with a focus on raising cultural awareness. This signature winter term event is a platform to bring different communities together in celebration and appreciation of the skills of the students.
This year’s lineup consisted of traditional and ballet dancers, guitar and piano performances, a stand-up comedy routine, and singing. After each individual act, a panel of judges presented their scores.
Anmolpreet Kaur, a junior in Biohealth sciences, performed Bhangra, a traditional Punjabi dance.
“I decided to participate in the event because not many people people know what Bhangra is and I felt that it was important to portray the Punjabi culture as part of Ettihad,” she said. “Also, it’s fun being a part of something people enjoy especially at an event that is so diverse and beautiful.”
Her performance received loud cheers from the audience and she received a perfect score of 30 of 30 from the judges.
In addition to the competitors’ performances, there was an opening act by OSU’s female a cappella group, Divine. Light refreshments featuring cultural cuisine were also served.
The ECC spent a lot of time and effort in preparing for the event. The team of student workers who organized the event had to reserve the space, call for acts, hold auditions, arrange a panel of judges and order an inclusive menu.
Amarah Khan, the associate director of Global Diversity Initiatives and the supervisor for the center, was very proud with how the event turned out.
“This year, the event happened under a challenging and somber political environment. Despite all the challenges, the community always steps up to participate,” she said.
Khan’s role was to ensure that the event was in alignment with Diversity and Cultural Engagement’s mission of inclusivity and respect, and that the event portrayed a positive cultural representation that was educational as well.
Kyaw Wai Yan Htet, a member of the Omega Delta Phi fraternity, expressed his enjoyment towards the event.
“It was amazing. I was so surprised to see such fantastic performances… and fantastic food too. I wish it was longer,” he said. “I will definitely attend such events in the future again, as I always try my best to go to cultural events like these.”