What do you think of when you hear the word “unity”? My initial thought used to be a cliché one, something very similar to what you would find in a dictionary. Well, that changed last night when I volunteered as a DJ at Parade Of Nations sponsored by Center for Diversity and Social Justice, CDSJ. I saw various countries being represented by students who either go to Central or people from our community. Some of the countries that were represented were Peru, India, America, Hawaii, Saudi Arabia, Japan, Mexico, Nigeria, Cameroon, and many more.
Many of the participants not only walked for their nation but also performed. The opening performance of the night was by Mexico and it was outstanding as it got the audience fixated on the performers due to the skills that they incorporated in their dances. You could easily tell that the group was prepared and coordinated just within the first few seconds of their performance. If that wasn’t enough, the group ended up doing three distinct performances. This was the beginning of a fun night.
Another performance that got the crowd enticed was the African group which consisted of Demola from Nigeria, Ola also from Nigeria, and Belo from Cameroon. The African group almost owned the night with their performance of a Nigerian song titled Kukere by Iyanya. Initially it seemed as if the performance wasn’t going to take place as one of the members might have been experiencing stage fright, but they proved the crowd wrong when they all came back out and rocked the place. You could feel the African beat and rhythm rock your bones and flow through your blood stream; while the crowd cheered along and the group expressed pride for their culture during their performance.
The final performance is one that I know is going to be embedded in the memories of all those who attended the show since I caught a glimpse of their performance during rehearsals, and I knew they were destined to leave the audience in awe due to their raw talent. The Polynesian group shutdown the ballroom with their Haka performance. Just their stage presence was intimidating and once they started performing, the audience were left in awe by the uniqueness of their performance. Their scary war facial expressions and chanting was something that not many were expecting to see but never the less, this is what made them rock the show like nobody else would’ve expected.
Whenever I think of the word “unity” now, I think of Parade of Nations. Nations coming together and being united. No religion division, political disagreements, or social differences. Just coming together in unity and having fun representing their cultures.