A large crowd gathered in the Events Barn on Friday, Nov. 9, for Multicultural Mayhem, a celebration of diversity through performances, fashion, and food. The event was organized by On the Move, a student organization that builds relationships between Utica’s refugee community and Hamilton College.
The event was facilitated by Madhi Mahil ’20 and began with student dance performances by HEAT (pop dance) and Trop Sol (Latin dance). On the Move also brought in musicians and dancers from the local area. Toxic, a local K-Pop dance group, showed off their moves to various Korean boy band songs, and performers from MUCC (Midtown Utica Community Center) entertained the audience with an acoustic Karen song, a Karen dance, a Kisagua/Kisoga dance, and a Hawaiian dance.
MUCC is one of the sites of On the Move’s weekly service trips. Watching the show, the audience enjoyed an international dinner consisting of catered Indian, Chinese, and Middle Eastern food from local restaurants.
Dinner was followed by a fashion show, where students walked the runway with their traditional and modernized clothes and introduced the clothing and the occasions for which they would wear them. The show featured clothing from various countries including Guatemala, Kenya, Bhutan, Nepal, Morocco, India, China, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and Mauritius.
Throughout the event, On the Move promoted their ongoing fundraiser, Laptops for On Point for College. This fundraiser raises money to buy refurbished laptops for students at On Point for College Utica, a nonprofit that assists first-generation and low-income students in getting a college education. So far, they have raised enough funding to buy about 20 laptops.
The event concluded International Week, which took place Nov. 5 to 9. Previous events included International Trivia Night, dinner with the International Students Association, Faith Around the World Dinner with All Beliefs Union, and Multilingual Day.
Founded in 2016, On the Move aims to raise awareness of refugee issues and cultural diversity through volunteer work, fundraisers, cultural events, and talks. Multicultural Mayhem is On the Move’s biggest event of the fall semester; its other major annual event is the food festival, which takes place in the spring.
Amar Kassim ’20, president of On the Move, said that he wanted to “celebrate the diversity we have on campus as well as in the nearby Utica community ... because refugees do bring a lot of cultural diversity and productivity to Utica.”