Anyone walking by the Titan Student Union Pavilion on Monday night would’ve seen women in colorful wigs, a man wearing a cowboy hat and dancers with long, metal fingernails practicing routines and munching on snacks.
It was the eighth annual Culture Couture event held by the Association for InterCultural Awareness, a branch of ASI Programming dedicated to increasing cultural awareness on campus. The event is a multicultural festival that highlights the diverse history and traditions of Cal State Fullerton’s cultural clubs and organizations in one night.
“We have a wide variety of (cultural clubs), and they all came together to put this show together through their fashion, their art and their performances,” said Esther Feng, Association for InterCultural Awareness events coordinator.
With dozens of cultural clubs on campus, it might be difficult to experience what each one has to offer.
“(Different clubs) all have their own culture nights, but it’s all individual. What we do here is bring them all together and share it all,” Feng said.
The Pilipino-American Student Association had its members dance the traditional Filipino Pangalay dance wearing colorful skirts and long, gold fingernail extensions.
Three students from the Japanese Anime Club performed in maids costumes and neon wigs, which are iconic to the anime culture.
The CSUF Salsa Club brought Hispanic heat to the dance floor, incorporating some modern moves.
Andrea Bran, one of the salsa performers, grew up listening to the music, but never learned how to sway her hips and move to it until she joined the club. Surprised by how culturally diverse the club is, she said she’s also learned to be more open-minded.
“You’ll meet a lot of different people because it’s not just Hispanics who join. There are so many different types of ethnicities that join because they just want to learn the dance. I wasn’t expecting that at all,” Bran said.
Apart from performances, there were booths that offered guests another way to learn about other cultures.
Students could get their names translated into Farsi, the official language of Iran, by the Iranian Student Association or get a henna tattoo.
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Fashion pieces from different countries were also on display. With their intricate details and precise stitching, the lehangas from Indian culture and qipao from Chinese culture doubled as works of art as well as key cultural clothing pieces.
A small area at the pavilion was sectioned off to display art from the different artists and cultures present.
One art piece displayed colorful beaded bracelets from the Inter-Tribal Student Council. Inspired by indigenous cultures, the bracelets are created to remind people of the Earth’s beauty according to the Inter-Tribal Student Council.
A collaborative mural by students and artists from the Santa Ana community, which was created for the Chicana and Chicano Resource Center in 2016, was also on display.
The painting has a variety of characters – a man in a wheelchair, an individual wearing CSUF gear, a paletero man – all creating the idea of diversity even within one culture.
One painting titled “Take Up Arms” showed dozens of arms of all skin colors holding on to each other and promoting the idea of community and inclusion.
Many students might have wandered into the pavilions wondering what all the cheers and costumes were for, but some left impacted by the cultural diversity in the room.
Brooke Chapa, human services major, stopped by with a friend to earn extra credit for a class and was surprised by how much she learned. Chapa said her favorite part was the break dancing performances, and said the multicultural festival opened her eyes to different cultures.
“It was a culture shock,” Chapa said. “It was a lot of information at once but it was exciting. There was a lot of colors and a lot of different people in the community here.”