The evening of November 11 witnessed a splendid night of joy as well as a unique cultural integration, as the Graduate Student Union held its signature annual event “Might” International Night at the Chenxing Theatre. Featuring exotic performances of students with different backgrounds and games that break the ice and get people closer, the event showcased the diversity and uniqueness of various cultures in the campus and promoted understandings between different cultures. Besides performance, cultural exhibits and diverse foods were offered at the booths where people can experience the charm of Chinese calligraphy or stop for some snacks.
A multi-languages medley kicked off the night with students performing songs in different languages. Bangladeshi student Adib started with a bangla song “Amay Bhashaili re”, followed by Yahya from Morocco who sang an Algerian song called “Zina”. A deafening cheer went up from the crowd as Pakistani student Waqar showed off his beautiful voice by singing “All of Me”. Then, warm applause broke out when Chinese student Hu Liyang performed “Wukong”, a novel Chinese song combined modern pop music with traditional Chinese opera. Last, Usama Riaz from Pakistan and Julia Mosseri from France sang an Indian song “Tum hi ho” together.
Music is borderless, and it enables an outpouring of emotions without words. Although people with different mother tongues may be separated from each other by “the tower of babel”, music bridges the gap and connects us mentally. “The Indian song ‘Tum hi ho' I just sang means ‘You are mine’ in English, it is a beautiful love song.” Usama said in an interview, “It’s really nice and enjoyable to have people sing with us. ”
The atmosphere was lightened as African students performed a choreographed African dance. The audience caught a glimpse of what South Africa was like through their buoyant energy and exuberant rhythms. Then, the crowd started to quiet down as Chinese student Fu Xingji played a Beijing opera. They were immersed in the exquisite and sophisticated art and were deeply infected by the profound Chinese culture.
Another highlight of the night was the kungfu performance by a group of students from Beihang’s Martial Arts Association. They shed light on the traditional Chinese martial arts that reflect discipline, harmony and unyielding power. Their skillful use of weapons like straight swords, spears, cudgels and fans amazed the audiences and received applause here and there, which finally erupted into prolonged applause as they concluded with the imposing ending pose.
Besides colorful performances, the audience were invited to join in various games in which participants were divided into different groups to compete with each other. It is an ice-breaking time as students were encouraged to build team spirits and work side by side. The event reached its climax with a fashion show, in which models wore traditional costumes such as hanfu, Shalwar Kameez, Egyptian slave and Pharaoh costumes.
Students spoke highly of the event and commended organizers for their efforts, “It’s a very good chance to meet people from other countries and present our own cultures tonight, I appreciate it.” Julia said. Although occupied with work and study most of time, Waqar from Pakistan said that he tried his best to participate in cross-cultural activities in Beihang as well as other places in Beijing. He appreciated Beihang’s effort in gathering different people together. “It’s good to get to experience all the cultures at the same time and the same place,” he said.
The event is planned, catered and run by organizers from the Graduate Student Union and the International School of Beihang University, who invest a considerable amount of time and effort into presenting such a memorable night. “The Might International Night is intended to promote the cultural exchanges between Chinese students and foreign students at Beihang University, enabling them to access to the diversified cultures and customs,” said Guo Yifei, International Minister of the Graduate Student Union, “In order to present a wonderful night, we have been working for it for nearly three months. But now I feel rewarded to see that all people involved enjoy it.”
Beihang is home to students from 120 countries. “Might” International Night is initially designed to facilitate understanding and appreciation of the cultural diversity in Beihang. The evening not only pays tribute to the diverse cultures in the campus, but also allows Beihangers, whether they are domestic or foreign students, to gain new insight and understanding into the vibrant and dynamic community with different backgrounds. It is a great feast for the eyes and a meaningful carnival which reminds people of love and inclusiveness.
Planned and interviewed by Xiong Ting
Written by Xiong Ting
Designed by Yang Yanzhuo
Photographed by Zhang Yukexin, Ram, Hamza, Tang Minghao and Tang Hui
Special thanks to the Graduate Student Union and the International School