‘Learn a different language, get a new soul’

Vanessa Gomez

According to a Czech proverb, when you “learn a new language,” you “get a new soul.” Maybe City students didn’t trade in their souls for new ones, but they definitely got a peek into the souls of other cultures from around the world on Dec 2.

The Language Day in Gorton Quad heightened cultural awareness on campus with ethnic foods, colorful flags, and various performances from both students and professional artists.

Germany, Russia, Spain, Colombia, and France were just some of the countries represented at this lively event.

Participants of the event included representatives from World Cultures, Language Clubs, Study Abroad Programs, and the Languages department. Rosalinda Sandoval, the Languages department chair, headed the event and was thrilled with the successful turnout.

“I’m very happy with the amount of support we’ve had from student affairs,” Sandoval mentioned. “Today’s performances have been very colorful and it’s a great opportunity to have so many cultures get together.”

This celebration’s food offerings went without a hitch as Sandoval noted that they used “private vendors” and “donated food” to enrich the experience.

The Paloma Aragon Dance Academy gave the audience a taste of Spain with a very passionate and colorful flamenco performance.

“This is our third year performing,” Aragon said. “We love it here.(City) is very welcoming and we love the ethnic variety at City College.”

Aragon joined Rocio Carrera on the dancefloor twirling and stomping to the flamenco guitar played by Aragon’s husband.

Aragon’s group gave four different performances as the crowd clapped and cheered along.

The Arabic cultures were well represented with Mohamed Haji Hassan, a computer technology and Arabic student, offering Language Day participants their names written in Arabic. Tarciana Quantz, an Arabic belly dancer, really fired up the crowd with her gyrating hips and numerous sparkly costume changes.

Quantz, a Brazilian that also performs as a samba dancer, has been dancing for over 17 years all over the world.

“I fell in love with traditional Arabic dancing,” Quantz said in a Portuguese accent. “I feel that when you want to learn something, you must go to the source, so I thought, ‘I’m going to Egypt.'”

Quantz performed with many props, including a full-sized candlebra complete with lit candles mounted on her head. She explained that the headdress is traditionally used in wedding ceremonies. Quantz also twirled canes that originally were used only by men to symbolize a combat dance that she described as “a theatrical dance.”

At one point Quantz invited audience members to join her, and physical therapy major Yazan Haddad was quick to oblige with dance moves of his own. Anjali Goel, a liberal studies student, also joined Quantz.