Activities & Organizations News

Cultural Explosion showcases diversity at UH

Cultural Explosion

Wushu Kung Fu club shared some martial arts skills at Cultural Explosion, which took place in Student Center South’s Houston Room. | Don William/The Cougar

Allowing students to showcase their culture and share it with the entire UH community, Cultural Explosion has organizations performances ranging from dance performances to displays of practices in entertaining ways.

Cultural Explosion is an annual event hosted by the Council for Cultural Activities. This year, seven total student organizations participated and countless students, as well as parents, came to show support.

The first act of the night was Hallyu Club. After taking the stage performing to new and old K-Pop songs, Hallyu aimed to achieve the goal of highlighting Korean culture through different sources of media. 

While starting with a small group, the Hallyu Club brought more members out as their performance continued, tricking the audience into thinking they were done when they were only just beginning.

Following them, the Vietnamese Students Association showcased various parts of their culture. This included nón lá, a traditional Vietnamese hat made from bamboo and dried palm leaves, and áo dài, a symbol of beauty and elegance. The VSA took their inspiration from “Paris by Night,” later bringing in a more street-type dance to the performance. 

The different styles blended together made for a beautiful and colorful display of the Vietnamese culture, and VSA took home the second-place award.

The Chinese American Language and Culture Organization included an assortment of traditional dances, including the fan dance and the scarf dance. Beginning with a more light and feminine dance, the CALCO ended its display with more alternative-style music and floor dancing.

Voted Rising Star 2021, Roarin’ Raas displayed Indian culture throughout their high-energy performance. There was switching between music styles to keep the audience on their toes. This performance closed out the first act, leaving only three acts left until the winner was announced.

The Filipino Student Association, the first-place winner of this year’s Cultural Explosion, performed a Filipino tribal war dance. Taking different tones throughout their performance, the FSA ended with the song “When I Grow Up,” leaving the audience breathless from just watching them perform.

“We started practicing right at the beginning of the semester and we’ve been practicing hard, twice a week, every single week for god knows how long,” said FSA secretary Mark Escudero. “Even so, this season went by in a flash, especially for me — I basically spent my whole first semester just stressing about this team nonstop, and winning first place – it really feels like it’s come to fruition.”

Houston Jannat, a Bollywood-fusion dance team, immediately threw themselves into their dance, staying consistent with their high energy levels throughout the entire performance. They ended their night by winning third place this year.

The last performance of the night, Wushu Kung Fu Club, had some technical difficulties in the beginning, but once the music finally worked, they showed the crowd their martial arts skills.  

“All of the performances in my opinion were really amazing, and it’s not truly about the winning, it’s just about the sharing,” said assistant director of CCA Laura Karyme Delgado-Guzman. “Because that’s what CCA’s about; sharing culture, helping others learn about where you’re from and stuff like that.”

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