International students share cultures at Global Culture Night


Ashanti Thomas

Swathi Nayani, Hemanth Naga Payyavula, and Supriya Toodi, all computer technology graduate students from India, share the runway for the fashion show part of Global Culture Night in the Grand Ballroom of Martin Luther King Jr. University Union.

Adriana Hernandez-Santana, Features Junior Editor

The Global Cultural Night welcomed all the students to watch cultural performances by international students in the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union. 

The event, located in the Grand Ballroom, was adorned with flags representing all the students who were from that country. 

Coming to Eastern for her masters program in computer technology, Sajani Reddy Singapuram made her Hindu culture proud by wearing an elegant blue sari and singing a love song. 

According to Singapuram, she was very enthusiastic to see so many people at the event.

“I actually didn’t expect this many people to come, there’s so many cultural people here, so I was really excited to see all the cultures,” Sangapuram said.

Yoonjin “Robin” Kim, a senior marketing major, sang a song as well. 

Yoonjin Kim, a senior marketing major, sings a song in Korean for the Global Culture Night event in the Grand Ballroom of Martin Luther King Jr. University Union. (Ashanti Thomas)

He sang a Korean version of “This is Our Moment,” in honor of his American sister’s birthday today.

After a crowd pleasing performance, Kim said how he’s not only honored to be able to represent his culture at school, but able to help break down stereotypes about who he truly is. 

“I’m honored to be an elected representative for my country… People can easily put a stereotype on me, because the first thing they ask me is ‘Are you from China?’ So that’s why I do my best to represent all the other people from Korea,” Kim said. 

As for Kim’s outfit, he was heavily inspired by k-pop stars and emulated the look flawlessly. 

Representing her Indian culture, Harika Tanneru, a cybersecurity major, wore a flowy gold and black patterned dress called a chudidar to dance the night away. 

After her mashup playlist of love and dance songs, Tanneru reminisced about her family back home, and how she misses them dearly. 

“I really miss India, it’s been like two months,” Tanneru said. “I’m currently missing India, my parents and all, and dance also, because this is the first event I’ve performed in. So I’m missing the dance, but now I am glad I got the opportunity to perform in it.”

Harina Tanneru, a computer technology graduate student from India, performs a “medley dance Indian style” as the fourth performance of Global Culture Night in the Grand Ballroom of Martin Luther King Jr. University Union. (Ashanti Thomas)

As for the event itself, Tanneru was very happy to see so many other cultures being present.

“I really like the global culture event because everyone here got to perform from their own culture, so I really liked it,” Tanneru said. “Because I only know Indian culture and U.S. culture, not the other ones, so I really loved it.”

From left, Noor Khamisani, a graduate student from Pakistan, and Nidhi Patel, a junior finance major from India, perform a Bollywood dance for the Global Culture Night in the Grand Ballroom of Martin Luther King Jr. University Union. (Ashanti Thomas)

And although she didn’t perform, Annie Nguyen, a graduate student studying computer technology, was proud to be able to wear her red áo dài from Vietnam. According to Nguyen, the áo dài is meant to show off the figure of the woman wearing it, but covers the body at the same time. This is a way of showing femininity and beauty while being modest. 

“I wasn’t part of it, because I was so nervous, but at the same time, I’m so proud to be a Vietnamese and show everyone my cultural things, and my very cultural clothes,” Nguyen said.


Adriana Hernandez-Santana can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].