Mosaic NightBy Caroline Helmke Published: Apr 25, 2012
"A Festival of Cultures Coming Together"
On Thursday, April 19, Rediger Chapel was decorated in colorful lanterns strung about the room, and packed full in anticipation of the main show due to begin. Earlier that evening, students had an opportunity to attend a global market and fashion show as part of Taylor's annual event to celebrate worldwide ethnicities and cultures. Due to the passion of those involved in Taylor's Multi-Ethnic Student Association (MESA), this year's Mosaic Night was a success as over one hundred students performed in the celebration. Please check out our Mosaic Night photo album on our Facebook page.
“Our hope is that everyone recognizes that they have an ethnicity and that everyone recognizes their own culture,” said Kate Camera, President of MESA. “Mosaic Night is a wonderful event because it highlights the impressive diversity present on our campus. We want everyone to come to terms with their culture and love it.”
“I come from a culture not many here in the U.S. know much about,” says Nick Cartwright, a senior from the Bahamas. “In Mosaic Night we get to show a piece of our culture here so that the rest of campus can learn more about it. I wouldn’t call Mosaic Night a show, but more of a festival of cultures coming together.”
The festival began with a musical number called “Nanta” and a Tae-kwon-do demonstration by numerous members of the Taylor community. Syng Hun Park, a freshman from South Korea, explained he wanted to be part of Mosaic night -- not just to have memories with the Korean students, but more importantly as a way to introduce his country’s culture to his friends and fellow students.
“I think this event makes international students feel more connected to the community. I wanted to bring more awareness,” Park relates. “God has given us different cultures, but Mosaic Night is a great time to show off our culture as well as introduce part of how God is working in us.”
And that was the common desire linking the students involved with the night -- both onstage and behind the scenes. “My desire was for this night to be a night where students could feel that they can share their passions to the campus and community, and for the campus to see the beautiful diversity we have in students, faculty and staff. And for them all to embrace it.” said Cecelia Macias, director of American Ethnic Student Programs.
The show continued with dance numbers, music performed in various languages, poetry, skits, a prayer reading in several Middle Eastern languages and videos concentrating on the theme of “hope” through personal narratives of students and faculty on campus. This expression of diversity was not just seen in the acts performed, but in who was performing them.
Cartwright says, “There is one thing exciting about this year’s Mosaic night. It’s not the fact that all these cultures are being presented, but that they are not solely being presented by the group of people they represent.” He goes on to explain, “There is no hindrance to me being involved in other acts and there are a lot of mixed groups this year. For example, I’m in the ‘Step Group’ headed up by the African-American students, but Latinos and Asians are performing it as well. Every culture being a part of every culture; it’s showing a reflection of the kingdom of God.”
Sophomore Hanna Espiritu has the same aspiration, “It is expressing yourself and in a big way- not just as an individual club, but all together as a community to show that we are so diverse but also together. It is a starting point for all people to connect on.”
The performance concluded with a group dance number including all the students who participated in Mosaic Night. The night officially concluded with the lighting of flying lanterns that symbolizes "hope" in some cultures.
The 2013 Mosaic Night event will be held on Saturday, April 13, 2013.