Diverse cultures collide in charitable competition


If cultures collide in the William Pitt Union, do they make a noise?

For the students that… If cultures collide in the William Pitt Union, do they make a noise?

For the students that attended Cultural Collision 2006, the answer yes, since students cheered, laughed and joked during the various performances Saturday night.

Sponsored by the Indian Subcontinent Association, students donated $2 to see a variety of acts from the various cultural organizations at Pitt and in the city.

The Brazil Nuts Dancers performed the samba, and two students from the Chinese American Student Association breakdanced. The Pittsburgh Dance Ensemble performed an Indian-inspired dance and the Japanese Speaking Society sang a song from that country’s popular culture.

The Steel City Bhangra performed a lively and colorful series of traditional Northern Indian dances while the Vietnamese Student Association also shared their culture through dance.

A panel of four judges held the task of evaluating the various performances. The panel was made up of SGB President-elect Shady Henien, two members chosen randomly from the audience, and The Pitt News opinions editor Sarah Bingler. The winning group would receive the money donated by those in attendance for the charity of their choice.

The Steel city Bhrangra won, and the money will go to the Smile Foundation, a group devoted to universal child education. Randeep Malhi, the business manager for the group, was happy with both the event and its charitable cause.

“It feels good to perform here because it’s all for charity,” Malhi said.

Also, Henien was impressed by the scope of the event and the enthusiasm of its participants.

“I could just imagine all of the hard work they must have put into this,” Henien said. He added that all of the groups did so well that it was hard to choose a winner.

Co-host Diviya Kaul said that she was amazed by the event, and even though she helped with it two years ago, it was still gave her a good feeling.

“It feels great to be part of a city that has such a multicultural society, especially here at Pitt,” she said.

After the performances, students were encouraged to sample a variety of foods from the cultures they had just seen. Students could choose from different types of sushi or Indian samosa.

And just as the different cultures shared a stage, the different foods shared a plate — and eventually — the stomachs of those in attendance.