Four cultural nights taking place in March

By Anush Hakobyan | March 21, 2019 6:48pm

Students dance and perform at Guam Night in 2017.

Media Credit: Julia Cramer / The Beacon

Do you love learning about other cultures, watching traditional dances or tasting food from all over the world? Well, you're in luck, because the end of March in UP is jam-packed with fun cultural events hosted by various clubs and organizations on campus, which are a great way to escape the every-day stress of classes. Here are four events to attend in the next two weeks:

International Night

Canva graphic created by Anush Hakobyan.

To kick off the cultural events, UP will celebrate its annual International Night on Friday, March 22 in the Quiet Side of the Commons. It’s a night for the UP and greater Portland community to get together and celebrate all of the contributions made by international cultures and to continue Diversity Dialogues on campus.

The event will feature henna body art, international cuisine, a photo booth, kids activities and more. There will also be booths where people will showcase their different nations and cultures including the Middle East, China, Cambodia, Mexico, Italy, England, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia,  Native American, UP Moreau Center for Service and Social Justice International Immersion experiences, UP Mixed Race Student Union and so much more.

Performances will start around 6 p.m. and feature professional musicians, the Kalabharathi School of Dance, Trio Tsuica and Mariachi Viva Mexico. Attendees will also get the chance to see performances from student artists including sophomores Kavya Mandla, Pallavi Saharia, Pema Dema and Tashi Shalung.

International Night is free and open to the public. Further information on the event can be found here.

UP Hawaii Club’s 43rd Annual Lu‘au

Canva graphic created by Anush Hakobyan.

Hawaii Club’s 43rd Annual Lu’au, which will take place on Saturday, March 23, is UP’s longest running and largest student-organized event on campus. The theme for this year is “E alu like no ka pono o ke Ao,” which means “coming together for the betterment of our world.”

The Lu'au is also an opportunity for students to learn about the culture and spirit of Hawaii through songs, traditional dances, food and more. 

Tickets can be purchased online at, in person at the Chiles Center Box Office or at the door on the day of the event. Students, faculty, staff and alumni can use the promo code “UPLUAU” when purchasing the tickets online to access ticket options specific for them.

Dinner will be served at 5:30 p.m. and the entertainment will start at 7:00 p.m. Seating is on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Vietnamese Culture Show

Canva graphic created by Anush Hakobyan.

UP’s Vietnamese Student Association will host their cultural show “Hello Viet Nam: A Cinderella Story,” on Sunday, March 24 in the Quiet Side of the Commons.

The show centers on the main character Tấm and her stepsister Cam and follows a similar storyline to Cinderella. Tấm’s evil stepmother forces her to do all the housework while Cam enjoys a life of leisure. Later in the story, Tam also gets to meet her prince. The ending, however, is very different from the Cinderella that we all know and love.

Nancy Le, VSA president and senior biology major, said that the show has been a nostalgic journey that has taken many of the club members back in time to when they were still kids listening to their version of the famous tale.

“We have been told this story since we were very little and this is like our way of bringing it back and letting everyone else in the community know our version because it’s obviously different,” Le said. “(The) Vietnamese version is a little more darker.”

The RSVP forms for guaranteed seats are already closed. The rest of the seats are on a first-come, first-serve basis. The guests can also purchase a ticket for dinner at their check-in table before the show.

Guam Night

Canva graphic created by Anush Hakobyan.

On Saturday March 29, Guam Club will host their annual Guam Night to celebrate their culture and share the traditions of the Chamorro people and other Pacific Islands with the rest of the UP community. 

“Growing up on an island for eighteen years and then coming here it means a lot to me that I am far away from home, but still able to get back to my cultural roots,“ Guam Club President and senior finance major Tyler Jerome Bautista, said. “To be able to promote it and spread it among the campus is something I’d love to do.”

During the event, there will be delicious Guamanian food prepared by Bon Appetit. People can enjoy their food while watching a performance prepared by the club members which includes different songs, dances and activities that represent their culture. The event is free and open to the public; however, the seats are limited to first-come, first-serve basis.

“We just try to make it a fun night for everyone,” Bautista said. “I welcome everybody to come.”