Asst. News Editor
Maria de Sousa and Pierre Baston of Tango South and North danced to sensual music in front of a crowd of spectators from the Millersville University community. It was part of Millersville’s Multicultural Showcase, “A Mosaic of Rich Cultures: LATINOAMERICA”. The tango dancing duo invited onlookers to join them in a Tangology 101 lesson. Members from the crowd paired off and received instructions from the professional dancers.
The event, which was hosted by the Office of Multicultural Affairs, took place in Marauder Courts on Thursday Nov. 14 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. In addition to Tango dancing, the showcase played traditional music and served traditional food from Latin America.
“I love the food! I’m eating Pastel de Tres Leches,” said David Flores, a senior who is majoring in International Business. “It’s pretty good. I had some tacos, burritos, and beans and rice. Everything was great! I was enjoying the Tango dance too!”
The showcase also featured student presentations which focused on the culture of South American countries. Seven student organizations were asked to represent seven South American countries: The MU Sigma Upsilon Sorority represented Colombia, the University Activities Board represented Costa Rica, the Social Work Organization represented Cuba, Chi Upsilon Sigma National Latin Sorority, Inc., represented México, the African Student Association represented Puerto Rico, the Society on Latino Affairs represented the Dominican Republic and the Middle Eastern Studies Organization represented Venezuela.
Students that represented México gave visitors an opportunity to try Méxican lollipops mixed with hot sauce after the visitors correctly answered a question that was based on the students’ presentation. Students who represented the Dominican Republic asked visitors to match a photo of a Dominican dish with a card that had a written description of the dish. Visitors who matched photos with the correct description were then given a piece of chocolate as a prize.
“We are encouraging students to put a lot of effort into their presentations and make it their own,” said Mariela Horna, a Graduate Assistant for the Center for Student Involvement and Leadership, who hosted the event. “It’s their responsibility to teach our guests, so it’s not just them learning, but they are also teaching the Millersville community.”
The purpose of the showcase was to bring the campus together by exposing students, faculty, staff members, and the Millersville community to different cultures of Latin America.
“All of these organizations pulled together to represent different countries and embrace different countries that they are not even a part of,” said Jessenia Garcia, a senior who is majoring in Business Management and represented the country of Columbia during the event. “They embraced cultures that they didn’t know anything about, and that’s the great aspect of researching.”
In past events students were asked to choose any country to research and present, but for this showcase the Office of Multicultural Affairs chose to focus on Latin America. For the next showcase the organization plans to choose another continent for students to research and expose the Millersville community to.
“It’s important to have this event because it builds the sense of community and that we have things in common, but there are also differences that we need to celebrate,” said Horna.