Contest celebrates diversity

Students sing a Russian song during Global BU Vision, an international singing competition, Thursday in Bennett Auditorium.
Makenzie Mason | Lariat Photographer

By Sara Tirrito
Staff writer

Members of seven foreign language groups competed in a lighthearted singing contest, Global BU Vision, Thursday night, showcasing their talent in international music of both the contemporary and folk varieties. Some even dressed in regional costume, acting out the storylines of their songs.

The contest, held in Bennett Auditorium, was the first of its type at Baylor.

The student groups and their instructors sang in Chinese, French, Japanese, German, Russian, Portuguese and Spanish.

Although students of the various languages have gotten together to sing in the past, this is the first year it has been turned into a competition.

In the folk category, the Chinese singers took the top spot with their “Kang Ding Love Song.” The French singers claimed the runner-up title with a rendition of “Sur le pont d’Avignon.”

The French singers also won the contemporary competition, singing “Champs-Elysés.” The runners-up in that category were the Portuguese singers, who sang “Garota de Ipanema.”

To some, however, the celebration of cultural diversity was of greater importance than the competition itself.

“I’m just excited about the students getting together and celebrating different cultures,” Dr. Rosalie Barrera, faculty director of the Global Community Living-Learning Center, said. “The competitive part of it to me is completely secondary, almost not important.”

Dr. Adrienne Harris, assistant professor of Russian, said she couldn’t have asked for more from the event. Bringing the students together for the contest helped them not only learn the language they study specifically, but also to experience a taste of several other cultures, Harris said.

“It shows it to the public. It’s not just sitting at home and working, they’re actually learning their language,” Harris said, “and I think the students were exposed to languages and cultures they wouldn’t normally be exposed to.”

Garland senior Lela Atwood, president of the Russian Club Interest Group, agreed that the event was a success.

“I think it went pretty well. I felt like there was lots of excitement,” Atwood said. “I think it’s great that they can have the opportunity to have fun with a foreign language — it’s not just doing schoolwork all the time.”

The contest was sponsored by the Campus Diversity Committee, the Russian Club Interest Group, the modern foreign languages department and the Global Community Living-Learning Center.

Donations were also collected at the event for the Japanese Red Cross, to help with relief efforts for the recent disasters in that country.