Rhythm Nations Celebrates Vibrant Cultural Community

Yuri Kang '16 represents South Korea in the flag parade. Photo by Carmen Pullella '16.

In a Smith celebration of the different cultures represented at area campuses, students from many far-flung countries recently performed the songs and dances of their homelands.

Rhythm Nations is a cultural performance hosted annually by Smith’s International Student Organization (ISO).  This year, students from Smith and the Five College community teamed up to treat the audience to performances displaying the rich cultural diversity on all the campuses of the five colleges— Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke and Smith colleges and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

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SC Masti, Smith College South Asian fusion dance team. Photo by Carmen Pullella ’16

Prim Devakula ’14, vice president of ISO and a native of Thailand, describes the event as a wonderful opportunity for international students to meet each other.  “What you create here at Smith and with ISO doesn’t end here. Smith’s international alumnae are amazing,” says Devakula.

When studying abroad in China, Devakula recalled how she felt “Smith-sick” and reached out to alumnae in the area, who met her and took her out to dinner.

Smith’s last entering class boasted 114 international students from 38 countries, from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe. “International students choose Smith for our outstanding academic programs and for the opportunity to live in a vibrant community with other highly accomplished peers,” says Karen Kristof, senior associate director of admission at Smith College.

Wiame El Bouhali ’14, president of ISO and a native of Morocco, echoes Devakula’s sentiments about the international student network at Smith. “In ISO, I have made so many friends. We’ve been together four years, but it feels like a lifetime.”