Binghamton University students didn’t need to study abroad to get a taste of the world.
Binghamton’s Got Talent, an internationally-themed performance competition, was held Saturday night in the Mandela Room.
Coming in first and winning the $200 cash prize was Binghamton Masti, a South Asian fusion dance team.
They were followed by the Binghamton Irish Dance Troupe in second and the Latin dance team Quimbamba in third.
It was Masti’s second year performing in Binghamton’s Got Talent and its second year winning.
“Preparing was a lot of work, a lot of dedication and perseverance,” said Anisha Mahajan, a member of Masti and a junior majoring in biology. “But when you see your group on stage, in sync, it’s worth it.”
Other acts included Tae Kwon Do Club, International Flag Dancers, Evolution Dance Company, mixed martial arts, Binghamton Crosbys and Hoop Troop.
In addition to the performances, International Night featured a sampling of international cuisine like sushi, empanadas and falafel provided by local restaurants including Thai Time, Mediterranean Gyro and Hibachi Grill & Sushi Supreme Buffet.
Every attendee was given a goody bag with the inscription, “Enjoy the diverse candies and the diverse entertainment,” a fitting description for the talent that included an a cappella version of a David Bowie song, a light show by Hoop Troop and a sword fight by Chanbara, a group that performs a mixture of martial arts and Japanese sword choreography.
“I think the international diversity seen tonight can help facilitate interactions between people who have had different life experiences,” said Tyler Rock, an undeclared freshman. “This can alter point of views and help people become more open-minded.”
The performances were accompanied by an international fashion show featuring traditional dress from various countries.
“I thought the fashion show was amazing,” said Juliana Cuomo, a sophomore in the Decker School of Nursing. “It was very essential because a lot of the performance pieces didn’t allow for intricate clothing, so having that at the end really brought everything together.”
Ying Wu, president of International Connection, described the purpose of the club as a way to bridge the many cultural gaps present in the University.
“We hope that through Binghamton’s Got Talent, students and faculties can have a chance to see how diverse BU actually is,” said Wu, a senior majoring in actuarial science. “We also hope that through this event, our audience can be proud of their cultures and also enjoy and appreciate other ones.”
International Night was sponsored by the Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science, Multicultural Resource Center, the Intercultural Awareness Committee and the International Student and Scholar Services, among others.
Students thought that the night was a good representation of what Binghamton University has to offer.
“I think a lot of kids here tend to have the assumption that Binghamton isn’t very diverse. But the problem with that is, they just aren’t looking hard enough,” Cuomo said. “If any Binghamton student attended the performance, there would be no doubt in their mind that our student body represents so many different cultures.”