Global Language Department Holds a Showcase to Represent Different Cultures

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The Global Language Department at the University of Indianapolis hosted a showcase for students to express their creativity regarding their cultures and languages, according to UIndy360.  The showcase was on April 3 in the Ruth Lilly Performing Arts Center, according to an email sent by Student Affairs.

Assistant Professor of Spanish Sandra Usuga-Giraldo said the showcase was an excellent way to highlight different languages and cultures. She said it is an opportunity to showcase the students that major and minor in the Global Languages and Cross-Cultural Studies Department and their creativity.

“This year we wanted to add a showcase because there’s always hidden talents in our students and then it’s a good combination to highlight the different languages and cultures that we study,” said Usuga-Giraldo.“To add to that, the Marga Meier Global Language Scholarship is our global languages scholarship. It is offered to students, and the faculty chooses the best students because they have participated in the different student organizations.”

The Marga Meier Scholarship is offered through the Global Languages Department and is offered to students who have a high academic standing in the department, show commitment to both language and cultural studies and perform well both in and outside of the classroom, according to the Global Languages Department.

Communication major Emma Foutz participated in the showcase and said she really enjoyed how the showcase expressed the diverse backgrounds of different cultures at UIndy. Foutz said that in her speech, she highlighted how dance is an unspoken language and narrated a video she created of how important language is.

“I had turned in a dance video for my final project last year and she really wanted me to showcase and display it for everyone to see,” Futz said. “It was just some type of creative project, and so the options that she had were to write a poem, a short story or even sing. And I can’t sing and I’ve been doing dance for about 11 years now and I’m like, ‘Let’s ask if I can do a dance video,’ and Professor Usuga allowed me to perform the short story “No Speak English” by Sandra Cisneros.” 

Both Foutz and Usuga-Giraldo agree that language unites people and breaks barriers within communities. Usuga-Giraldo believes the more people expose themselves to different cultures, the less conflict there may be around the world.

“Spanish, for instance, has been the oldest language after native languages, Usuga-Giraldo said. “Spanish has been in the US territory for a long time, so it’s very important to acknowledge the presence of the Spanish and the different Spanish speaking cultures in the US territory and to celebrate that because it’s going from the global to the local and to our own campus. 

Usuga-Giraldo encourages students to travel abroad to experience different cultures. She said learning and studying another language opens people’s minds and creates a better understanding of people of diverse backgrounds. 

The Global Languages and Cross-Cultural Studies Department hopes the showcase grows next year and more people can get involved across campus. They want to include an art exhibit, music, dance, singing and many other opportunities for students to showcase their talents.

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