The Multi-Ethnic Student Association (MESA) held its annual Cultural Fusion Festival in the Tuscarora Room in the Reisner Dining Hall on Saturday, April 4. MESA was created for students who come from multiple different ethnic backgrounds and to raise awareness of multi-cultural SU students.
“I’m German and black,” said Ray Jones, president of MESA. “Sometimes we can’t always identify with our cultures. The biggest idea was to take as many cultures as we could and fuse them all together in one festival to keep everyone open-minded and create a unity of culture.”
While MESA typically has the Cultural Fusion Festival every year, COVID-19 restrictions made it impossible for MESA to do so in recent times. This is the group’s first festival to have performers since the height of the pandemic.
“Now that [COVID] restrictions are regressing, we can bring performers now,” said Brenda Aristy, the MESA president’s adviser. “This is an event that MESA is known for.”
MESA had a variety of performers appear at the festival, such as the McGinley Irish School of Dance, which kick started the event.
Duncan Moore, from Baltimore, Maryland, played the bagpipes. Moore is currently Grade One for solo competition, the highest ranking in amateur competition for bagpipes.
Lion Dancers of D.C. performed the lion dance alongside Tai Chi performers. The Proverbs Reggae Group performed music as the last appearance.
The festival also had SU alumnus Kanza Amin for henna art. Henna art originated as a cooling technic which involved crushing plants. Now it is used more as a decorative way of participating in Indian culture.
“As the adviser, I was guiding him in the way that he needed to,” said Aristy, giving praise to how Jones arranged the event. “He pretty much did most of the work, and I think that’s a lot, especially for an athlete, being a student and being president on top of that. I think he did a really good job with bringing different cultures on this campus.”