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K-Pop and J-Pop perform a dance during the international talent show in Baker Theater on April 13, 2015. The talent show helped kick off the many events happening throughout International Week. 

International Week starts with fashion, singing

IWEEK begins as the first event shows off fashion and international talent

Students started off International Week on the right foot, literally, by walking all over campus dressed in different fashion styles and decorating College Green and Baker Center with flags from around the world.

The International Fashion and Talent Show on Monday was the first event of IWEEK, which runs from April 12 to April 19 and highlights the 1,860 international students from 118 countries at Ohio University, said Omar Kurdi, vice president of International Student Union and emcee of the event.

“I wore my dress the whole day, and when people saw me they asked me questions about it,” said Sanusi Shehu, a second-year graduate student studying mechanical engineering. “I go to class and people asked me what I was wearing and it’s a way to tell people about my culture and a little bit about my country.”

Shehu wore a traditional housedress from northern Nigeria. He participated in the fashion show last year and enjoyed it enough to do it again this year.

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“I try to wear it every occasion I can — to formal meetings just to show people that I’m from a different place,” he said.

There were 10 performances, including the fashion show, which started at 6:30 p.m. on Monday. The 19 outfits that were walked featured garbs from each part of the world. Some countries included Cambodia, China, Mexico and Tanzania.

International students also performed songs and poems. Some songs were in their native language, while others were morphed through American culture.

“I learned there’s a lot of diversity here at OU,” said Melanie Potraz, a freshman studying anthropology. “I didn’t know we had this many international students. I wish people wore those clothes more just because America doesn’t have any kind of specific culture. American fashion is that great.”

This was the first international event Potraz has attended and she said she looks forward to more throughout the week, along with the cultural fashions and talents from the night.

“It’s nice to see those kinds of outfits and they are proud of their culture,” Potraz said.

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Other talents were featured from American and international students. Japanese students from Chubu University performed dances associated with Japan, Japanese Pop and Korean Pop.

Nino Abolola, a junior studying pre-med, performed a Latino dance called the merengue.

“I lived in Florida before coming here, and that’s what we would do for fun. We would go out, eat good food and go to the clubs and dance,” he said.

Some of the talents and wardrobes will also be featured at the International Street Fair on Saturday. 


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