Pangaea: Prepare for lift off

“Attention passengers, please fasten your seatbelts and prepare for liftoff,” said the airplane simulator at this year’s Pangaea event put on by the Student Association.

The music was loud as students packed into the gym once again for the annual cultural event, Pangaea. For five years, the SA has presented a night which celebrates culture through food and the arts.

The word Pangaea comes from the hypothetical super-continent that included all current land masses before they broke apart during the Triassic and Jurassic periods.

Pangaea encourages students to come together just as our world once was to celebrate the many cultures on campus.

“We have a lot of people who are very involved and talented,” said Johnny Humphrey, campus life coordinator.

“The event celebrates culture and our diversity and is something that is a unique opportunity. It’s not like your typical educational setting. It’s fun and interactive.”

Each student was given a passport as they entered the gym. This passport was their ticket to food around the world.

Students had the opportunity to journey to the Caribbean, Pakistan, Africa, India, the Mediterranean, and North America through the different types of food.

For two hours, sounds of students’ voices echoed throughout the gym. They got their passports stamped once they tried each type of food.

DC student Nikita Patel, who is a part of the corporate social responsibility (CSR) and promo crew at the event, says most of the students entering were confused, but once they heard there was food and saw what was happening they were intrigued to stay.

The performances started just after 6 p.m. Talent acts performed on stage in front of the packed gymnasium. They started with the night’s hosts announcing students would be departing to the Caribbean.

A team of students performed a Caribbean-inspired dance and soon students were off to explore Pakistan’s singers and the African Student Association’s dance performance.

The crowd was engaged in each of the talent performances but things shifted when it was announced students would be landing in India. The crowd cheered loudly and sang as the performers for India walked on stage. A female student played an acoustic medley of Top 40 hits, including songs of her culture. The crowd applauded loudly as she finished.

The planning for Pangaea starts at the end of the previous year’s event, said Humphrey. He said the planning is extensive but it was not challenging to get strong talent acts this year.

“It’s great to see the students we have want to get involved and want to put themselves out there. I thought the talent that was there exceeded my expectations,” said Humphrey.

Between acts, the student association drew numbers out of a bin for a chance to win prizes. One student received the ultimate prize of the night, a $1,000 dollar trip anywhere in the world.

The event closed with a final flight to North America where three dance performances took over the evening. The final dance group called ‘Nat’ had more than 15 students performing a North American dance infused with Middle-Eastern dance moves.

Students rushed the stage after the performance to continue the excitement. The music kept playing and students danced on the stage as the gym started to empty.