Our heritage: Celebrating the 30th anniversary of Ethnos

The International Students Association hosted its 30th annual production of “Ethnos” for the first time at the Boone Family Theatre.

ISA originally started with this show in 1992 as “Culture Show”, but was later renamed in 2002 to Ethnos.

This year the show hosted 17 acts with influences from 13 different countries ranging from. Acts presented a range of performances from K-Pop to Hip-Hop. Although traditionally held on campus, in 2021 the show was held at the Abilene Civic Center due to the construction of the Cullen Auditorium.

“When COVID-19 hit it was a pre-recorded show and the year after that we did it at the Abilene Convention Center,” said Daniel Mejia, ISA vice president and junior graphic design student from Tegucigalpa, Honduras.“It’s nice to finally be back on campus and I hope people found it even more special to be back here where it’s been so long.”

Ethnos celebrates students from different countries around the world initially being all student-run acts to now honor guest performances from the Abilene community.

For Annie Escobar, Marketing Director of ISA, Ethnos is a way of sharing who they are with students.

“As an international student, it is important to have representation on campus,” Escobar, second-year biology student from Tegucigalpa, Honduras, said. “It’s cool to share my culture with other people, but it’s also cool to respect and learn from others. Ethnos brings out the beautiful and wonderful things that many cultures can have.

The order of the show included:

  • Melody at First Sight: Multilingual Song
  • Choum K-Pop
  • Lady Raga
  • Fingerstyle guitar performed by Ziyo Gao
  • J Pop
  • USPFO Dance Group
  • Hoa Rahi dance group
  • Return to homeland
  • Somos Cultrura Folklore Ballet Of The Great Country: Alma De Nuestra Raices
  • Roman Bachata
  • Sabor Latino
  • Asi Se Siente Mexico
  • ACU Swing Cats
  • Baton Twirler performed by Mariah Williams
  • Sanctify
  • Worldwide worship

The significance of the show extends to the students performing. For Maki Lioka, a freshman communication student from Hitachinaka, Japan, who starred in the J-Pop act, Ethnos is the stage to showcase her culture.

“Especially because I come from Japan, it is important for me because I can know different cultures”, Lioka said.

This year, Ethnos also included two performances with former hosts Takuma Tsueki and Felix Mbikogbia.

For students like Lioka and Escobar, ISA is not just a club and Ethnos is not just a show. ISA and Ethnos create a sense of “home” for them in Abilene.

“Our tagline for ISA is home away from home,” Escobar said. “You can’t really have it at home while ignoring the other part. Ethnos brings back to the United States.

About Dawn Valle

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