Hosted by the Bellevue College International Student Association, the 33rd Annual International Night had a variety of events from many different nations. “This is an honor for ISA to host this cultural event every year,” said Thao Pham. “This year, we are searching for unique cultural performances to elevate our celebration. We are also seeking for talents in our Bellevue College Community and this year we are introducing the idea of ‘Stronger Bonds, Broader Hearts.’”
The event started with a mob of students running up on stage and doing choreographed dance moves. The audience at the Champions Centre was loud and brimming with celebration. “This is one of my favorite events,” said Student Programs vice president Ata Karim. “This is one of the fantastic opportunities for us to get to know our international student population at Bellevue College. One of the wonderful things that takes place for us when we have a large international student population is that, while they are here getting their degrees, […] they actually bring the world to us.”
There were intricate dances derived from a variety of nationalities, and many performers wore colorful clothing. There was a small fashion show that featured outfits made by students themselves. “I enjoyed it,” said Link Liu, a student at Bellevue College. “I saw many performances from different countries. That makes me feel like my life is more international. All the people from different countries have different dances and from the dances and their performances, we can see their cultures.” People of all ages showed up, from toddlers to elders, and there was a raffle that had interesting prizes like a large basket of cookies, a free tennis lesson or other gifts generously given by local companies.
Hosted by a couple of Latina emcees, the event inspired a lot of college spirit at the center. “In today’s interconnected … world, our international students bring us this amazing gift of intercultural interactions and global understanding without those of us who reside here having to leave our borders,” added Karim. “I thank all of our international faculty, students and staff who can enrich the Bellevue College community with their presence, their perspective differences and diversity of their thought.” Overall, the event allowed people of diverse backgrounds to meet and expose each other to new cultures and ideals when they otherwise could not have. For more information on the Bellevue College International Student Association and other events in the future, visit Student Programs in C212.