International culture show to unite, celebrate groups

Students in Delta Kappa Delta, an Indian subcontinental sorority, practice a traditional Indian dance for the  first-ever International Culture Show today.Carlye Thornton | Lariat Photo Editor
Students in Delta Kappa Delta, an Indian subcontinental sorority, practice a traditional Indian dance for the first-ever International Culture Show today.
Carlye Thornton | Lariat Photo Editor
By Sergio Legorreta

In an effort to unite different cultures at Baylor, the first International Culture Show will showcase 11 cultural performances with more than 100 students competing for a grand prize of $500.

The free show, presented by Omega Delta Phi, will begin at 7 p.m. today at Minglewood Bowl.

Buda senior Miguel Lopez, president of Omega Delta Phi, said the event is an effort to encourage members of different cultural groups to interact.

“They’re all separated into their own factions,” Lopez said. “There’s a whole big world out there that needs to be seen. You realize that we’re not all that different. Some dance that you see is maybe similar to your own culture.”

El Paso senior Adrian Galvez, social chair of Omega Delta Phi, said he hopes the event will get people more involved in the future.

“From what I’ve been told and seen, cultural organizations and people that attend the events are always limited to that group of people, even though they’re always open to the public,” Galvez said.

This event is not just about attendees stepping outside their comfort zone, however. Members of Omega Delta Phi have also ventured into new territory in organizing it on their own.
Galvez said this is the largest event the fraternity has ever organized, and the idea to make it happen came when they hit a low point.

“We tried to host fundraisers, blood drives, service day events, but something just always ended up falling through,” Galvez said. “We were very discouraged.”

The turning point came late one night, Oct. 1, when Lopez came up with the idea for the International Culture Show.

Galvez said the show was fitting for the multicultural fraternity.

“That night we thought of every single detail, and the next morning, we were at multicultural affairs and student activities and said ‘This is what we want to do,’” Galvez said.

Lopez said the event has been daunting to organize in such a short period of time because Omega Delta Phi is a small organization.

Galvez said the organization managed to keep the event as scheduled after receiving support to fund the competition, which he believes is a good way for cultures to show their talent.

Groups performing at the event include Latin Dance Society, African Student Association, Delta Kappa Delta, Alpha Kappa Delta Phi, Swing Dance Society, Brazilian Student Association, Korean Student Association, Heavenly Voices, Zeta Phi Beta and Baylor Taal.

Free food and drink from local businesses, including Pizza Hut, Raising Cane’s, Aramark and Tres Mexican Restaurant, will be provided at the event.

Door prizes, including T-shirts, gift cards and Baylor merchandise, will also be given. In addition to the general grand prize, which will be announced at 9 p.m., there will be two $100 subcategory prizes for best dance performance and best song performance.

Organization members will sell black long-sleeve T-shirts displaying the flags of the countries represented for $10.

Proceeds will go to the fraternity’s philanthropy, Court Appointed Special Advocates, or CASA. CASA is a national organization that supports court-appointed advocates for abused and neglected children.