Celebrating Multicultural Week on Campus: A Bhangra Dance Class

A student's take on participating in a dance class during AUC's recent Multicultural Week celebration.

Written by Shalom Adams, with photos by Allen Tsiyer

During the last week of July, AUC hosted Multicultural Week on campus. The second annual event of its kind, Multicultural Week celebrated the diversity and cultures represented in AUC’s student body and the larger community. The Student Volunteer Committee (SVC) worked with numerous groups on campus to host events that express different cultures, so others could enjoy and experience them. 

Activities included dance classes, such as Tinikling Filipino, Zumba, Indian Bhangra, African and Caribbean dances, and finished with a multicultural dinner to taste delicacies from all over the world.  All of the events were open for all students to attend and enjoy. The ambiance was unique on campus, and the events were really a sight to see firsthand. 

The South Asian Medical Student Association (SAMSA) hosted the Indian Bhangra dance class, as well as a movie night featuring Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani. I chose to go to the Bhangra dance class—it was one-week post exam and time for some well-deserved relaxation! The dance was hosted on the school patio, and I came ready for a calm, relaxing time. 

Three of SAMSA’s members were up in front of everyone ready to teach Bhangra to about 40 of us. When they demonstrated the dance, it seemed to flow through them effortlessly. Then, it was our turn. As you can imagine, it didn’t flow as easily for us the first time.

But, as the SAMSA members patiently went over the steps again, they were able to give over the dance to us. By the end, we were all smiling. The teachers, our peers, proved very capable of teaching us in an organized manner. They showed the passion of the culture through their feeling for the music, and by allowing it to flow through them to us. 

The event was not just a dance class. It was students coming together in a new way—sharing not just the same schedule in medical school every day, but also an experience that helped us better understand our peers and their backgrounds.