Pan African Night Celebrates African Culture at NDSU

For the celebration of African culture, NDSU hosted Pan African Night at 6 p.m. on April 17. Pan Africa is an African movement that encourages unity and bonds between all indigenous peoples from Africa.

During the event, the performers wore traditional colorful clothes. The clothes had unique designs that brought vibrant artistry elements. For the opening celebration during the event, the African dancers started with a vibrant dancing to the song “Waka Waka” by Shakira to showcase unity amongst the diverse traditions and practices in different nations of Africa. Films were shown to see the beautiful Accra City in Ghana and its rich history and contribution to its economy and culture. Spices and herbs are most commonly used for foods like jollof rice and fufu.

A guest speaker, Dr. Terry Hogan, Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, took the stage to talk about unity between all ethnicities and cultures. He emphasized the importance of understanding everyone’s cultures and backgrounds for unity. Adowa dance and music originating from Ghana were shown during the event. It was an elegant, fast-paced dance tradition highlighted by its unique traditional dancing style and a performance by Benard, a pianist, and Analisa, a saxophone player. Unfortunately, there was a technical issue that happened with the audio in the middle of the performance. After a while, they resumed performing. The music that was playing was elegant and beautiful. The harmonious rhythm and beat accompanied by the saxophone demonstrated the beauty of art and music from Africa.

Next, they showed a play that focused on a relationship between a father and his daughter. It was a story about the father’s hesitation to let his daughter marry a man from another culture outside of Nigeria. The father needed to learn to adapt and accept the changes within his own culture and to let go of the old traditions. His wife teaches him that no matter where the daughter’s fiance is from, “We are all one,” as she says. The father learns that no matter what culture a person comes from, everyone is fundamentally the same and should be understood between different cultures. The story is all about coming together and accepting one another from different cultures.

Throughout the night there was a lot to learn about Africa and its importance to the world. The music style was fast-paced and exciting. The dance moves shown were also as fast-paced as the music they played matched the rhythm and tone. There were many outstanding performances that celebrated the unity in West Africa. Attendees learned the importance of understanding different cultures and the relevant ways they have in shaping the world.

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