On Mar. 3, Wilson College students organized the Annual Muhibbah Dinner and Performance to represent cultures of various countries and celebrate the diversity of our world. The event is a gathering effort of international students in Muhibbah to display their cultural dress and dances. Students, faculty, and the Chambersburg community gathered together to enjoy the multicultural food, dinner and performance.
Muhibbah is a Malaysian word meaning unity among nations. Hence, the club represents an international and intercultural group that is by no means confined to international students. Each year, Wilson students from different backgrounds and nationalities organize the event to share their home cultures with American citizens and, more important, their international friends.
As Crystal Lantz, Director of International Scholar Services, shares: “Muhibbah Night is my favorite event of the year. I feel so proud of what the club members are able to accomplish, and I am thankful that we have enough students willing to be a part of this event to make it possible. It takes a lot of hard work during a busy time in the semester, but the students always make it work. What I love most about the Muhibbah Dinner is that it is a night dedicated to celebrating our international students and the rich diversity they bring to our campus. It provides our students with the perfect opportunity to wear beautiful traditional clothes from their countries and share with our community something from their culture. It’s rewarding to be a part of this meaningful time of celebration for our students each year, and I continue to be so impressed by what this club can accomplish!”
This year, the night’s theme was “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” Muhibbah Club kicked off the event with a special dinner at 5:15 pm in Jensen Dining Hall. Along with a plethora of diverse cuisines, the dinner served featured dishes from different countries from different continents. For example, appetizers included Vietnamese Spring Rolls, Chinese Pot Stickers, African Scotch Egg; main dishes were Indian Butter Chicken, Greek Moussaka, and Pakistani Samosas; desserts was Australian Lamingtons and Spanish Churros. During the dinner, there were welcoming remarks by Cystal Lantz, Brooke McLachlan, President of Muhibbah, and Dean Mary Beth Williams who expressed thanks to Muhibbah club members, staff, and community members for all their support.
At 7:30 pm, the guests moved to Laird Hall to enjoy the Muhibbah performance. Marianna Davidova ‘21 performed an Armenian bridal dance, Uzundara, that every bride has to perform for the groom and the guest in Armenia. Seungmin Eum presented Taekwondo, a Korean martial art, characterized by its emphasis on head-height kicks, jumping and spinning kicks, and fast kicking technique. There were other performances representing Australia, Ghana, Haiti, Vietnam, and the U.S. Following the performance, the audience got a closer look at student’s international dresses thanks to the fashion show. Following the performance, the audience got a closer look at the student’s international costumes during a fashion show.
Sharron Bixel, a member of the friendly family program at Wilson College, shares her viewpoint: “We loved it because it is so fun to see all the different cultures together. And we liked that this year there was a program that listed all the food and the different countries that they came from so when we were back at the table eating we could look at the program and see what it was and where it was from. Also we liked that each ones’ name was there of the students and their country. Everything was beautiful too. The performances were fun also to see how each country is unique. And the fashion show was very nice. Some of the students moved too quickly on the stage, though and it was hard to get a picture. Thanks again for all you did to make that such a special night.