Culture in motion at the fourth annual Multicultural Fair


Genevieve Huard


The fourth annual Multicultural Fair was held on Oct. 26. It was hosted by the English as a Second Language Program, included music, dancing, fashion, games, education, demonstrations and prizes.

Attendees were given raffle tickets as they entered the theater. Prizes were distributed throughout the show and more prizes were won at the games and activities in the entryway of the Arts and Allied Health building.

Audience members hushed their voices as Ilusionado, a mariachi band from Tacoma, opened the program by playing modern and traditional mariachi music.

PowerPoints and videos created by ESL students about different countries in the world were presented, informing audience members on the cultures and pastimes of each country.

ESL coordinator and instructor Marie Kyllo and Peter Frisell, ESL faculty member, hosted the fashion and dance show.

Pierce College ESL students, instructors, and students’ friends and families demonstrated fashion and dancing from Panama, Vietnam, Cambodia, Mexico, Germany, Nicaragua, Korea, Thailand, Kenya, Colombia and the United States.

These performers represented about 500 students currently served by the ESL program in the Pierce College District.

Pierce College saw a multitude of cultures hit the stage. From the loose, billowy skirts of Mexico that were swung around like butterflies, to the tight skirts of Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia, which restricted the dancers to only take little steps and decorate their dancing with hand and finger movements.

A Mexican dance troop, which included one ESL student, performed for the audience. Not just skirts were flying, one dance involving two knives as props was performed by this troop.

When the wrong track was played accidentally, hosts Frisell and Kyllo took up their own improvised dance.

Other dance performances consisted of a traditional Mexican dance performed by an ESL student and her three young children, partners for the salsa, a duo who danced to a Mexican folk song their dance included a red flower being passed from mouth to mouth, and a traditional Thai dance.

ESL student Sriunpa Pascoe was part of the Thai dance group. Born in Thailand and resident of the United States for 26 years, she now has attended Pierce College for a couple of years. Pascoe and two other Thai dancers modeled red and gold traditional dresses, jewelry and the typical Thai smile.

At the end of the show, models and dancers came on stage to sing America by Neil Diamond.

And just outside the doors were activities, demonstrations, student-made posters representing different countries and games for attendees to engage in.


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Culture in motion at the fourth annual Multicultural Fair

by Genevieve Huard time to read: 2 min