Culture show displays diversity of international student body

By Gus Bode

It was an array of color, lights and sounds as international students gathered Friday night to perform dances, songs and drum solos at the annual Culture Show in the Student Center ballrooms.

The culture show, which was part of SIUC’s weeklong International Festival, lasted about four hours and brought out a large audience with songs about the struggles of indigenous people in Latin America and ballywood performances by the Indian Student Association.

Romulo Sanchez, a graduate student from Guatemala studying archaeological sciences, views performing as a chance to educate the audience.

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“I sing about the sadness of the struggles of the Indians, but I make it happier by adding traditional instruments,” said Sanchez, who has been playing indigenous music more than 15 years, in Spanish.

An award was also presented to Carla Coppi, associate director of International Programs and Services, for her service since 1983.

“I never expected this award,” Coppi said. “I’m really moved by this because it’s really special to me. I’ve been involved with this festival since 1983, and it’s something that I look forward to every year.”

The most solemn performance of the evening was a solo drum performance from Asha, an organization that promotes education of India’s impoverished people.

Anil Mehta, a doctoral student from India studying engineering, performed the solo to represent hope of a better tomorrow in India.

Andrew Jurgens, a junior from Arthur studying plant and soil sciences, said it was an opportunity to further explore his interest in other cultures.

“It’s really nice,” Jurgens said. “I’m curious about other cultures.

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“I’m studying Chinese with students from China, and we help each other out. It’s an even exchange.”

Reporter Sunniya Marquez can be reached at

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