MEChA hosts Noche de Cultura at BC Campus

A group of women perform a dance representing Mexican culture during the MEChA event at the Noche De Cultura at BC on April 21.

Lizette Chavez, Reporter

Noche de Cultura, a BC event that highlighted various diverse dance performances from across the world, was held in the Outdoor Theater on April 21. The first dance performance was a Hula dance troupe that showcased performers of various ages. Hula is usually performed by women, although traditionally both men and women would perform. The dancers used many traditional Hula instruments and props like Pu’ili, split bamboo sticks, and Ipu, a single drum made of gourd.

A Christian singing group performed some songs with all the singers taking a turn at a solo. The group consisted of both men and women and were of different ethnic backgrounds. Some of the audience raised their hands in the air and a few got up to sway and dance to the music. The next culture expressed through dance was Mexico, with Ballet Folklorico, a dance performed by both men and women with tapping steps and costumes specific to a region. The different regions represented were Sinaloa, Jalisco, Chiapas, all with different musical sounds in their dance.

This performance brought many of the audience members to do the shout out or “el grito” as it is known in Mexico, a tradition done by audience members during the dance. Some guests seemed to find the performance moving and a couple of them shed tears. Dezi Von Manos, newly-elected Student Government Association president and president of MEChA, shared her thoughts on the audience’s reaction to the performances.

“I love that, when we can really touch the people because that’s what the whole purpose of this night was, especially with everything that’s going on around us in the world. There’s a lot of hatred, there’s a lot of disrespect, so this honestly was a perfect opportunity for MEChA to bust out with this, because we were creating cul
tural awareness and acceptance as well as respect.”

The final performance was a group of dances from Peru where MEChA member Emmanuel Limaco’s family hails from. Limaco shared anecdotes about his family and between the dancer’s costume change would regale the audience with Peruvian history, as well as share some of his favorite Peruvian dances.

Von Manos said that the event did fairly well with its turnout for being the first time the event was held. She said that it would hopefully be occurring again and that it was named an annual event because they hope to continue to host it again as a new tradition at Bakersfield College.

“I was grateful for the turnout because in all honesty this was one of the first big events that MEChA has collaborated with
other organizations to throw … we’re so appreciative of all the people that came out.”

[In the story “MEChA host first Noche de Cultura” On the Print edition of  Vol.88 No.14 published on May 3, we mention in the headline and the first sentence that it is the first Noche de Cultura event, we changed the story because of inaccurate information, the Noche de Cultura has had previous events prior to this one we covered.]