Rangeela Fest offers students chance to explore culture

photo by Chantelle Yazzie
photo by Chantelle Yazzie

Rangeela Fest offered an exciting night for the Calvin community to taste flavors from around the world, learn new dances and play popular international games. The event, a follow-up to Saturday’s Rangeela performance, was put on by Nite Life in partnership with the International Student Association Committee (ISAC).

“The purpose of Rangeela Fest was to build off of an already phenomenal event — the performance — by continuing the international exploration through world arts and foods,” said Nite Life intern Erik Newhouse.

“Rangeela is already a highly energetic event, and we wanted to continue the vibe by engaging the audience by giving them the chance to try foods, art and dance that wouldn’t normally be had in West Michigan.”

Nite Life set up stations including a henna booth, various board games and even pinatas. Another section of the Fieldhouse was devoted to tables serving food.

Students were able to sample dishes from around the world with the purchase of tickets. Jerk chicken, Turkish biscuits, coconut cookies and Indian curry were among the featured foods.

“Food connects us all; it’s universal, yet specialized to each culture,” noted sophomore Annaka Scheeres.

Anna Lindner was clear about her favourite dish of the night: “Naan bread!”

Dasol Yang from ISAC called Rangeela Fest a “celebration of the Rangeela celebration.”

“The purpose of Rangeela is to represent the beauty of the different cultures here at Calvin College,” said Justin Xu, an ISAC member. “It shows how diverse the Calvin community is and develops cultural awareness.”

Scheeres appreciated the opportunity to first learn about different cultures at Rangeela and then the “chance to engage personally” with them at Rangeela Fest.

Downstairs, the gym was full with students learning new dances from friends and enjoying an international selection of music.

“They played African, K-pop and Indian songs; I appreciated the wide variety of songs while including the best popular American songs” said Lindner.

ISAC worked with Nite Life, providing input for the food and craft selection as well as finding music for the dance. They also worked in promoting and advertising the event.

“Since it was a free event, it was difficult to get an exact number, but we had well over 400 students come out! There was a high level of energy from such a large crowd — the food was devoured and the dance was hoppin’!” added Newhouse.

This was the third year Nite Life put on Rangeela Fest, and it is expected to take place again next year.

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