Pirates of the Caribbean
The West Indian Student Organization will celebrate the lively and rich culture of the Caribbean in their second annual Caribbean Showcase on Sunday, April, 10 at 8:00 p.m. in the main lounge of the University Center. The multi-university showcase will cover a variety of areas of Caribbean culture, including its music, dance, traditional attire and delicious cuisine.
As WISO’s showcase will demonstrate, Caribbean culture encompasses a great number of traditions that express the wholeness and longevity of Caribbean heritage. Last year, universities including William Paterson and Rutgers Newark participated in the event.
When asked to define the richest element of Caribbean culture, WISO President Dujuana Grell discussed the difficulty of choosing only one element as the richest.
“Every aspect of Caribbean culture is so rich, it’s hard to choose one over the other. From our food, to our music and dances, to the lavish events we have like our carnivals, it’s hard to pick just one as the richest element,” she said.
WISO has found a way to avoid identifying and celebrating only one aspect of a culture shaped by various influences, including European colonial rule, the African heritage of slaves, the legacy of native Indian tribes and the majestic tropical climate of the region.
They present the palpable richness of Caribbean culture through its many different forms, thus demonstrating how each part is intertwined with one another to form a strong cultural identity.
WISO’s Caribbean Showcase promises both education and entertainment for the Seton Hall community.
The interactive nature of the program will allow students to engage actively in the various elements of Caribbean culture as they listen tothe music, view the dances and traditional dress of the Caribbean people and eat authentic Caribbean food.
Grell has high hopes for WISO’s event.
“I hope that SHU students leave our event with a better appreciation for West Indian culture,” she said.
“We are trying to present the student body with so many years of heritage and culture in just one night. It may be a bit overwhelming, but we want them to feel like we took them on a journey with us, back home to the islands!”
Grell promises Caribbean drummers and dancers as well as masquerade costumes and West Indian delicacies like patties and tropical beverages.
Grell also divulged one of the main attractions.
“What we are most excited about is having steel pan performers at the event. As far as I know, Seton Hall has never experienced steel pan, and that is an instrument highly cherished on our islands,” she said.
WISO had expanded its Showcase from last year, adding a number of performances to its program.
“This year, not only will there be much more food, but we will also be having performances by a junior dance company called Concepts and Choreography, steel pan, and steps/strolls from Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc, and Lambda Tau Omega Sorority Inc., just to name a few,” Grell said.
“The fashion show segment will also be much larger than it was last year,” she said.
For students and faculty who find themselves craving something a bit more tropical in this relentlessly chilly New Jersey weather, or are simply looking for something to do on a Sunday night, WISO’s Caribbean Showcase should have it all.
Emily Lake can be reached at email@example.com.