By Emily Eiermann
Various countries and cultures found a home at Rider on Wednesday.
The day began with the French Cabaret Night in the Fireside Lounge. Derry Light opened with a book titled “Big Book of Places to Go,” which depicted a different country on each page. Richard Swain, associate professor of Fine Arts, and Tim Brown took turns singing and playing on piano a portion of a native song of each country as the book was sifted through. Light finally stopped turning the pages once she landed on France.
Scenes were acted out through song for the remainder of the event, transporting the audience to the bustling city of Paris. One involved Jamie Micallef teaching Brown’s character how to speak French, resulting in the removal of his stereotypical tourist Hawaiian shirt to reveal a more sophisticated French outfit, topped with a beret.
The singers, led by Swain, comprise a group called the Poquelin Players and were accompanied by Ann Marie Poklembo on violin.
The performance ended after a short introduction of the group’s members with Swain’s rendition of “One More Song About Paris,” a parody about the extended amount of time spent singing about the city.
The audience determined it a success.
“It was a very interesting experience,” said senior Hank Chang. “I’d never gotten a chance to know about the French culture. This made me want to learn more about it.”
The night continued with a Talent and Fashion show, hosted by the Rider International Student Association (RISA).
It began with an introduction of the hosts, freshman Lily Lin and senior Alban Pellegrin, who gave a general welcome to the international community. They performed little skits throughout the night, keeping the audience engaged during set-up and transition periods.
The fashion portion was first, with various students from different cultures showcasing traditional dress. There were representations of outfits from China, Korea and Cameroon, among others.
Shortly after was the talent show. This featured two singers: Senior Yijia Cao sang a song in English and Lily Lin performed one in Chinese. Sophomore William You demonstrated his karate skills, breaking wooden boards with the side of his hand, foot and fist. There was also a stepping group, comprised of senior Yanli Zhang, junior Jess Nagle, senior Nerrissa Carty, senior Devoncia Martin and junior Yangzom Kinlay.
To end the night, two people were randomly selected through a lottery system from each of the three portions of the event: the fashion show, the talent show and the audience. The winners were given a CD.
Both events were a part of Rider’s annual International Week, which also included a lecture by Frank Rusciano, professor of Political Science and Global and Multinational Studies, a film titled Motorcycle Diaries, keynote speaker Christopher Heaney and various musical performances in Daly’s and the Pub.