Brandeis’ International Business School Student Association hosted their fifth annual Global Gala, an event dedicated to honoring the cultures of students that comprise IBS, last Friday.     Before the show started, the audience was encouraged to browse the different cultural booths that were placed around Levin Ballroom. Each displayed information such as national currency, language or notable figures about the various countries represented. 

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FAMILY: International students enjoy the company from the other “study abroads.”

The show began with a video created by Huiwu Wang IBS ’19, Elidaurys Martínez IBS ’20 and Ebube Iheme IBS ’20, which centered around an evil wizard who canceled Global Gala; the event could only be saved once students completed a series of tasks. Once the show officially started, students Erica Ma IBS ’19 and Arafat Mondol IBS ’19 gave a brief history of IBS, followed by Associate Dean Kate Goldfield ringing the IBS gong, which is only used for special events. Dean Kathryn Graddy then provided further welcoming remarks, stating that “this celebration really embodies the vision of one Brandeis.” 

The first official performance of the night came from the Leadership Fellows. Their mashup of the Cha Cha Slide, Baby Shark and Watch Me showed the fun-loving side of the graduate students. Next was a cover of the Chinese pop song “Li Ge,” by student Junyuan Jiang IBS ’19. The crowd roared as Jiang hit each note skillfully. Following Jiang’s solo, African dance group Too Much Sauce grooved to a medley of hits such as “Caracara” and “Teré Teré.” The group lived up to their name with their hip and lively moves.  

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SWING WITH STYLE : Students had a blast performing with their traditional customs.

The next act to grace the stage was supposed to “take us back to 1969.” In her cover of the song “Wild Horses,” Maura Bastarache IBS ’19 did just that. Dance group Desi 2.0 followed; they danced to a number of songs featured in Bollywood films and ended with Punjabi MC’s “Mundian To Bach Ke.” Their performance was highlighted by their vibrant outfits and synchronous moves. Moving to the latter half of the show, Taiyi Xiang IBS ’20 and Qianshen Chen IBS ’19 sang a remix of “Where is the Love” and “Love Sickness,” masterfully singing in both English and Chinese. Additionally, Xiang and Chen’s voices complimented each other extremely well. The next group was LatinXtreme, who danced to a mix of songs ranging from “Guayacanal” to “I Like It.” Each was well done and represented the different aspects of Latin American music and culture. 

As the night came to a close, the International School of Blues, comprised of Profs. Grace Zimmerman, Robert Reitano, Aldo Musacchio, Debarshi Nandy (IBS) and Administrative Assistant to the Dean Kate Morreale. They delivered one of the best acts of the night. The audience cheered during the entire set — though this may have been due in part to an announcement made before their performance that students would receive extra credit for cheering on their professors. 

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FROM THE PROFESSORS: IBS faculty band “International School of Blues” played to the sound of non-stop cheering.

The show closed with a fashion show that displayed clothing and music representative of the cultural backgrounds of IBS students. The countries represented include Afghanistan, Benin, China, Madagascar, Dominican Republic, the Kingdom of Eswatini, Ethiopia, Lithuania, India, Pakistan, Myanmar, Nigeria, Vietnam and lastly the United States. 

After the show’s conclusion, the guests and performers were invited to enjoy a dinner with food from some of the different cultures represented by the student body. Overall, the event was extremely entertaining and a great way to allow the students of IBS to take pride in their heritage and show a lighter side of themselves.