On March 11, I was able to attend Latino Flavor! I got to experience Hispanic culture through food and entertainment. The food was AMAZING!!!!!!!!!! I thought I had great Hispanic food, but this was the best! It was great to learn about the different food and cultures of Brazil, Venezuela, Peru, Bolivia, Mexico and Columbia! The music we heard was so fun and authentic, I loved it! They also had cotton candy, which helped add attention haha! Overall it was a great event and I hope they have it again next year!
I was able to go to the Black Girls Rock awards show this semester. Since I am Miss Black OU, I received the honor in handing out the awards to each recipient. It was so amazing to see such intelligent, hard-working beautiful black women receive these awards. The show was produced my Sigma Phi Beta Fraternity Incorporated. There were awards for volunteering and leadership and so much more. There were also acts in between giving out awards and these men and women were so gifted. There musicians and poets and dancers! It was truly amazing and I am glad I was able to witness the greatness that comes from our campus.
On April 5, 2017 I got to listen to some adventures of studying abroad. It is so exciting to hear those stories, it just gets me excited for my journey to come. I plan to travel to Spain and live with a host family. I am a little nervous since there won’t be any English being spoken, but I am also thrilled for this amazing opportunity. One of the speakers told me she was nervous too, but it was easily one of the best summers of her life. I hope to gain a similar experience. I think it is really beneficial to have these talks with students so we stay interested in studying abroad and don’t get too scared.
I attended the Unity in Arts program April 18, 2017 in the Sam Noble Museum. I found this event very interesting because a lot of different cultures, races, and ethnicities were represented. First, I’d love to talk about the Native American Inter-tribal Dancers. I personally had never seen anything like it and it was amazing! The dances reminded me a little of African Tribal dances. They were very expressive of their feelings and I felt something in my body when they started to dance. They weren’t dancing just to dance, but it seemed like they were dancing for a reason and they had a purpose. The dances play a vital role in religious rituals and other special ceremonies. The dances are normally held around a large fire in an open field. This was one of my favorite parts of the event.
Next, is the outstanding violin performance by Dominique Hammons. I have been fortunate enough to hear Dominique play at the Miss Black OU pageant I was in; he never disappoints. The way he incorporated the smooth Jazz and beautiful culture into his music is breathtaking. You don’t normally see African American men playing the violin, and playing it that well. He is opening the minds of so many young black men and women to believe that they can also play an instrument so beautifully. As minorities, we need to see someone like us doing and achieving these great things!
The Lion dancing was, to me, the most interesting of the performances. Lion dancing is a traditional Chinese dance, which normally is performed at the Chinese New Year and other religious holidays or special occasions. They wear masks, costumes, and very lively attire that looks like a lion. It was definitely not the same as the Native American Intertribal dance, but like them, the dance was very expressive. There was meaning behind their dance which made it that much better. This is a tradition within China and it is beautiful!
The traditional Latin American dance was one of my favorites as well. I felt like I was watching an episode of Dancing with the Stars! Most people recognize the samba and the salsa from the Latin American culture. These dances seems so fun, lively and sexy, but they are also very romantic. Some people believe these dances only come from Mexico or Spain, but they come from all over! For example the Salsa was originated in the Caribbean. The Bachata is from the Dominican Republic and the Cha Cha is from Cuba. Like the other dances, these are tradition for these countries.
The Persian Calligraphy was very interesting. This is not just a type of writing, but a form of art. They use both contemporary and classical techniques. After the 7th century, Persians adapted the Arabic alphabet to Persian and developed the contemporary Persian alphabet. Lastly is the Poetry and Quran Recitation. The Quran is very sacred in the Muslin religion. It is the like the Bible to the Christian faith. I loved that all these cultures were represented at this event. I felt like we were all coming together to learn about each culture instead of it just being about one. I think it’s great that the different traditions and cultures could come together to create this wonderful event. It was put together very nicely and I can’t wait to come to it again, hopefully if this happened sometime again next year.
On April 27th, 2017 I went to a Sigma Lambda Gamma probate. For those of you that don’t know what a probate is, it is like a showing of the new members. It was very fun and exciting. Sigma Lambda Gamma is a Greek organization under the multicultural Greek council at OU. It is a sorority that focuses on community service and sisterhood and providing empowerment to women. Their vision was to create a network academically and socially for Latina women. Being apart of a Greek organization myself, i love seeing women come together to make this world a better place through their sisterhood. At the probate the women said some information about their sorority and their current members at OU. They also did a “stroll.” A stroll is a dance that everyone does normally in a line. It was fun to watch and I am sure they had fun doing it. I enjoyed myself while I was there!
The day after the presidential election, the minorities of OU came together and we marched on campus to show we are and will remain unified. We do know that Oklahoma is a red state, but we want everyone on campus to know that we will stand together as the minorities to help each other. It didn’t matter if we were black, Mexican, Asian or gay, we wanted to show that we are strong and we will not let our campus fall apart. We don’t want to segregate the campus, but it is nice to know we have each other to lean on during hard times. In those moments of being together, we learned so much about our different cultures and beliefs. It’s amazing what you can learn by just listening to someone for five minutes and being interested in their story. It’s really something to think about.
I went back to the Asian American food event because I loved it so much the first time. A new food I tried was the deep fried pork spring rolls. They had a peculiar taste, but it was still delicious to me. I went to this event last year and thought it would be the same but fortunately I was able to try so much more! I brought more of my friends along to learn about the Asian American food and try the amazing food. This is definitely an event I plan on coming to every year!
We’ve all drank Lipton Green Tea right? I thought this tea would be the same. I WAS WRONG!!! The taste was not my favorite. It tasted mostly like leaves and water so I’ll stick to my Lipton. There are many different customs that come with drinking Chinese tea including: a sign of respect, family gatherings, to apologize and to show gratitude. It seemed to be a formal setting as well. There was also a light finger tapping to show respect to the tea server. I probably won’t go back to this event, as it was not my favorite.
Has everyone heard of the salsa, cha cha, mambo, and rumba? I got to experience these dances with the Latin dance club on September 13, 2016. I learned about the culture and meaning behind each dance. I thought it might be easy because we see these dances on television all the time, but it was a real challenge! My favorite dance was definitely the salsa! I went to the meeting with some of my friends from parts of Latin America, and they told me learning these dances was rooted in their culture. I felt honored to put a little spice in my life! I would recommend going to one of the Latin America events, it was a big highlight of my semester!
On September 7th, 2016 I was able to attend the study abroad fair we have at OU! As a GEF, I am required and pleased to study abroad for a summer and a semester, so going to the fair was very beneficial for me! I learned a lot about Spanish 3 in Spain and Organic Chemistry in Arezzo! I have decided to go to Spain this upcoming summer! I am extremely excited about this amazing opportunity to travel abroad! I am so thankful OU has this fair to help us students learn more about the great journeys we can explore while here at OU!