“The beauty of the world lies in the diversity of its people.” – Anonymous

Monash University Malaysia is home to students from all over the world, representing over 70 nationalities. Monash Malaysia’s rich diversity lies at the heart of student life, creating a vibrant network of students who respect each other’s traditions and cultures. Monash Cultural Night is a celebration of this copious diversity; a widely anticipated annual occurrence at Monash University Malaysia. Monash Cultural Night is a night dedicated to highlighting the beauty of our cultural differences, to view them as not factors that divide us, but rather, as an integral aspect of our uniqueness. This year’s Cultural Night saw performances from our host country of Malaysia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Africa, Pakistan, South Korea and Bangladesh, and boy did they not disappoint!

The theme for this year’s Monash Cultural Night was Avenoir; the desire to go back in time. Each country (or in Africa’s case, continent) assembled a performance that took the audience on a journey through time; an insight on how their respective traditions, cultures and societies have progressed through the ages, utilizing the raw magic of art as a time travelling machine.

MALAYSIA kick-started the show with dance routines that showcased their multicultural society, incorporating traditional Indian, Malay and Chinese influences. The applause was overwhelming, and the energy of the performers was contagious, leaving the crowd hyped for the rest of the show.

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PAKISTAN started their performance slightly differently than the other countries, choosing to share their national anthem with the audience in an emotive opening. Pakistan took its viewers on a literal journey through time; their dances reflected a variety of Pakistan’s timelines, expressing their history. Their performance culminated with an impassioned, final solo dance to one of Pakistan’s most famous poems.

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Sensational would probably be the best word to describe INDONESIA’S set. Each dance routine was perfectly synchronized and I don’t know about the rest of the audience, but I know I was highly impressed. Their outfits were dazzling, and their makeup was perfection. This, combined with their perfectly choreographed routines, drew the attention of everyone in the hall that night.

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SRI LANKA did it all. They sang, played instruments and electrified the audience with their high energy dance performances. They captured the essence of the theme effectively by creating dance routines with musical influences that were most prominent during certain periods of time.

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INDIA gave an explosive performance, dancing with enthusiasm like you’ve never seen before. The songs they chose imbued the crowd with a strong sense of nostalgia as they were classic Hindi tunes that almost everyone in the hall could sing along to.

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AFRICA did what they do best; energizing the crowd with their beats that you just can’t help but move to. Opening with a fashion show, they displayed an array of outfits sporting striking African prints. With slick dance moves that were seemingly effortless, they had the crowd on their feet in to time, and were met with deafening cheers by the time they were done.

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BANGLADESH were astounding performers, dancing with contagious smiles on their faces that one couldn’t help but mirror. They embraced their traditions wholeheartedly and allowed us a glimpse into what Bangladesh is truly all about.

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If I didn’t know any better, I’d say the SOUTH KOREAN performers were professional dancers as opposed to university students. They looked absolutely flawless, maintaining a cool facade while they danced. Each step looked no less than perfect, and the audience were so into it (including me). Not to mention, they sang like angels!

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And finally, after all eight countries/continent had shared their culture with the crowd, the show was brought to an end with one final spectacular fashion show, where a representative from each country/continent strutted their stuff, wearing their traditional ensembles with pride! Monash Cultural Night 2019 was hands down a total success. It was amazing to see everyone proudly dressed in their traditional outfits, and enjoying the experience of learning about so many cultures through dance, music and fashion. The multitude of cultures represented were all so incredibly unique and individual, yet there was an overwhelming sense of togetherness and inclusiveness that made the night one to remember.

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