East Tennessee State University student shared their cultures Sunday night in Fusion: Multicultural Showcase on the school’s campus.
Fusion: Multicultural Showcase is an annual event organized by the ETSU Office of Multicultural Affairs, and is a show with traditional fashions and cultural talents from different countries and ethnicities demonstrated by students.
According to Laura Terry, Office of Multicultural Affairs director, ETSU has students from over 50 different countries represented on campus and this event is meant to bring students together too see all those countries.
“It’s just a way for us to unite together and to bond,” said Terry.
Fifteen of the countries represented on campus were showcased at Fusion. Performances included dances, fashions shows and demonstrations of martial arts.
Traditional clothing from Japan, China, Ghana, Kenya, Jamaica and several other countries were modeled by students.
One student from China performed a Chinese sword dance and a group performed an Indian dance. Audience members were also treated to a performance by the ETSU Latin Dance Team organized by dancer BJ Goliday.
Darack Nanto, a graduate student from Togo, demonstrated Brazilian Capoeira. Capoeira is a martial art that comes from traditions carried to Brazil by enslaved Africans in the early 16th century. It’s also a sort of acrobatic dance, which, Nanto said, was developed by slaves to keep from looking suspicious to their guards.
Nanto said he first became interested in Capoeira at age 9, when he saw a documentary about slavery and was fascinated by the martial art and began teaching himself. He said he still does it because, even though it originated in Brazil, it has strong roots in Africa.
“I felt like that was part of my heritage,” Nanto said.
“I really like all of the stories around it. There is a lot of wisdom in stories around it. Even the songs we sing ... That is what drew me to it.”
One of the final events of the semester for the Office of Multicultural Affairs will be the The Survivors: The Ultimate Fashion Experience on Sunday at 7 p.m. in the D.P. Culp Center ballroom. The event will feature music and fashion designed by ETSU students.