What Makes Us Different: Celebrating diversity at International Night

By ALEXANDRA SMITH

Staff Writer

 Piedmont College hosted the first annual International Night in Jenkins auditorium this past Friday night. The auditorium was filled with laughter and smiles as the night went on. There was stand-up comedy, Cherokee poems, Japanese music, Bluegrass, and so much more.   

The night started with “The Star Spangled Banner,” and it ended with a Haitian native dance. The diversity of acts was as numerated as the amount of countries represented. Around ten countries were given recognition through song, dance, and the written word. The night captured just a snapshot of the cultural diversity that is faced everyday and more specifically that is represented here at Piedmont College. 

“I think that it showed students how many different cultural backgrounds we have here at Piedmont, and they learned a little about each one,” said sophomore Carsey Pilcher. 

Cultural diversity, or multiculturalism, is based on the idea that cultural identities should not be discarded or ignored, but rather maintained and valued. The foundation of this belief is that every culture and race has made a substantial contribution to American history.

However, many people remain opposed to the idea of multiculturalism, or cultural diversity awareness, while others often support it and yet have no clear idea of how it should be taught.

The diversity of the United States is truly astounding, as many different ethnic and racial groups have contributed to the social, economic and cultural values of our society. This has certainly been true throughout our history, even though many of our school books have not always taught that fact. In fact, the very idea that cultural diversity should be taught has only been promoted in the last few years.

The bottom line is that when we fully recognize that America is great because of the contributions of the many, then we as a people will be even more united in our common goals, and even more proud to be American citizens.

International Night embodied this celebration of cultural diversity that should be celebrated every day in the way that we interact with one another. The performances by students that represented where they come from doesn’t change their identity as a Piedmont College student. 

 

Freshman Frazier Smith said, “It gave people an idea of the cultures and music of different nations, and I felt that I learned some things about different nations that were represented.”

The event was put on by Resident Life staff and other students, like Lydie Koffi and Nic Johnson. There were so many people involved from the actual acts to the preparation and sound and lighting. 

The event not only attracted Piedmont students but also students from other colleges and adults from our surrounding community. It was nice to see that this event could potentially be a community event here in Demorest. 

At the end of the night, everyone that had come filled out a form with information about improving the event and how educational it is. The Resident Life staff and other students hope to make International Night an annual occurrence.