The International Students Association hosted its 30th annual production of “Ethnos” for its first time back in Boone Family Theatre.
ISA originally started out with this show in 1992 under the name “Culture Show” but was later renamed in 2002 to Ethnos.
This year the show hosted 17 acts with influences 13 different countries ranging from. Acts presented a range of performance from K-Pop to Hip-Hop. Though traditionally held on campus, in 2021 the show was hosted in the Abilene Civic Center due to then Cullen Auditorium being under construction.
“When COVID-19 hit, it was a prerecorded show and the year after that we did it in the Abilene Convention Center,” said Daniel Mejia, vice president of ISA and junior graphic design major from Tegucigalpa, Honduras.“It’s nice to be finally back on campus and hopefully, people found that even more special to be back here where it’s been for so long.”
Ethnos celebrates students from different countries across the world initially being all student-led acts to now honoring guest performances from the Abilene community.
To Annie Escobar, marketing director of ISA, Ethnos is a way of sharing who they are to the students.
“As an international student it is important to have representation on campus,” Escobar, sophomore biology major from Tegucigalpa, Honduras, said. “It’s cool to share my culture with other people but it’s also cool to respect and learn from others. Ethnos brings out the beautiful and wonderful things that many cultures can have.”
The show order included:
- Melody at first sight: Multilingual Song
- K-Pop Choom
- Lady Raga
- Fingerstyle Guitar performed by Ziyo Gao
- USPFO Dance Group
- Hoa Rahi Dance Group
- Back to the Motherland
- Somos Cultrura Ballet Folkloric Del Big Country: Alma De Nuestra Raices
- Novela Bachata
- Sabor Latino
- Así Se Siente México
- ACU Swing Cats
- Baton Twirler performed by Mariah Williams
- Global Worship
The show’s importance spreads to the students who perform. For Maki Lioka, a freshman communication major from Hitachinaka, Japan who performed in the J-Pop act, Ethnos is the stage to showcase her culture.
“Especially because I am from Japan, it is important for me because I can know about different cultures,” Lioka said.
This year, Ethnos also included two performances with alumni hosts Takuma Tsueki and Felix Mbikogbia.
To students like Lioka and Escobar, ISA is not just a club and Ethnos is not just a show. ISA and Ethnos creates a sense of ‘home’ for them in Abilene.
“Our slogan for ISA is home away from home,” Escobar said. “You can’t really have home while ignoring the other part. Ethnos is bringing home to the states.”