No matter a person’s native language or what part of the world they are from, music is a constant that bridges cultural gaps. Every song has a rhythm and melody that people of all cultures can appreciate even if the language is different.
This year the International Student Organization (ISO) held its 4th annual talent show in the ballroom of the student center on Thursday, Feb. 4. After hanging out and enjoying the free food, the audience sat down to hear the 12 contestants perform.
“It’s open to all Auburn students, and we have free food. We want all people to see other cultures’ music, dance or their fashion,” Cihan Uzunpinar said. Uzunpinar, the vice president of ISO, helped coordinate event and even performed a Turkish song for the show.
“It’s a chance for (international students) to show their culture to other students in Auburn,” Uzunpinar said. “Most of them are musicians and they are playing different instruments and we have some different instruments from other countries that we don’t have in the US. So it’s another good way to hear different songs.”
The performances included singing, dancing and playing the guitar, piano and a unique instrument called the saz. The performers themselves were from Turkey, Kwajalein, Tanzania, China, India, Nepal and the United States.
This was the second year that the talent show has included prizes, and this year the cash prizes were $200 for first place, $150 for second place and $100 for third place.
Tim King, an advisor for Impact and student organizations, Nourah Said, former president of ISO and Nicholas Moussalli, the multicultural affairs liaison for SGA, were invited to judge the event.
“I’m ready and excited to be here,” Moussalli said.
Along with the 12 contestants, AU Rhythm made an appearance to entertain and allow the judges time to tally the scores before revealing the winners.
Jing Gao, from China, played the piano and she was awarded first place. Jonathan Lye, from the United States, and Chrissy Pursell, also from the United States, won second and third place.
The talent show is not the only event ISO puts on for students. This spring ISO is also planning a world’s fair, sports tournaments and international movies. The movies selected for this year’s viewing are from China and South Africa.
“We are also planning a soccer tournament to raise money for Haiti,” Uzunpinar said. The soccer tournament dates have not been released yet.
More information about ISO, upcoming events, and joining the organization is available on the ISO web site at www.auburn.edu/iso