Updated: Mar 28
The RAQs club celebrated its own unique take on Cultural Night last February 8, 2023 (Wednesday) at GU-Q's atrium where students from all over Education City had the opportunity to perform their cultural dances and engage in different cuisines from around the globe.
The evening was filled with performances by different cultural groups, the tables were filled with food from a variety of exotic cuisines, and students proudly representing their traditions through fashion. The opening performance of the night was a fusion of traditional-modern Baluchi, Nepali, and Indian dances, followed by choreography inspired by traditional Indian dances, then proceeding with a Tajik dance, giving the students the opportunity to bring a piece of their heritage to campus. All students performing were dressed in their nation’s attire, however, not all students were from the region they were representing. This sums up the goal of Cultural Night – intertwining cultures.
Up next, the popular Afrobeats took the stage with a breathtaking performance that left the entire community speechless. By that point, the atrium was filled to the brim with people from all over Education City. Shortly after, a solo singing performance, which was the only one of the night, brought about a different feel to the night. Before the night ended, the RAQs group performed their long-awaited dance for the night. It was a beautiful mixture of Indian cultural dance and hip-hop, integrating traditional values with a modern twist. Jaelene Lyman (Class of ‘26), a member of the RAQs club, said that they practiced for three hours a day for two weeks straight. She did not expect so many people to show up, even mentioning that the group had “asked IT to turn up music because so many people were being too loud.”
Lastly, the final performance of the night went out with a bang as all of Georgetown gathered around as the Afghan boys set up for their performance. It was a breathtaking dance that was performed by a group composed both of Georgetown and non-Georgetown students, truly one of the highlights of the night. Once the performances were done, students (some with their families) showed up and enjoyed the vast cuisines, the photobooth, with a number of guests even performing freestyles onstage.
RAQs club took inspiration from Georgetown’s annual Model United Nations’ (MUN) cultural night, and walking around and asking the attendees, I was greeted with nothing but positive reviews as students from all-around the campuses in Education City applauded the club for pulling off such a great event that left everyone reminiscing about their days in MUN. A few exchange students from around Education City informed me that the event was a well-organized one that ended up better than anything they had anticipated. They elaborated that when comparing it with their Study Abroad experience in the U.S., GU-Q envelopes more inclusivity and places greater emphasis on valuing cultural diversity and embracing one’s heritage and traditions.
Before ending the night, Class of 2024 exchange student Sanchi Rohria from Washington, DC claimed that she truly enjoyed how the GU-Q campus is more diverse than it is compared to back at her home and that cultural night is important for Georgetown to showcase its true diversity. Sanjay stated, “It was wonderful to find people to perform with from my own culture but as well as watching their people’s different and unique performances.” Sanchi performed in a Nepali dance with her friends despite not being Nepali, and she said that she quite enjoyed exposing herself to a new culture as well as finding a good way to spend time and bond with her friends.
Overall, the event was a raging success. So much so that many students are hoping that this will become an annual event. As Safoura, President of RAQs club, announced during the night, many students applied to GU-Q due to the cultural night they experienced during their highschool MUN days. It is one of those things that the community associates with Georgetown. Thus, keeping that tradition alive is nostalgic for all students, and perhaps a new favorite among those that did not get to experience cultural night during their MUN days.