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CulturalFest Countdown: Meet Denná Good-Mojab

Posted by Ellen Frierson at Feb 25, 2015 02:55 PM |
Meet Denná, who will be performing at CulturalFest this Saturday!

Denná Good-Mojab performed at CulturalFest for the first time last year and will join us again this Saturday! Read on to find about about what she'll be singing, and be sure to buy your tickets today.

I am an 18-year-old first-year graduate student in the School of Music at the University of Washington (UW). I am majoring in vocal performance. While I specialize in opera, I also enjoy singing pop music and Iranian world music. My YouTube channel has videos of some of my performances (www.youtube.com/DennaGoodMojab).

My interest in music—particularly singing and playing piano—began when I was very young. In 2007, at the age of 10, I debuted with the Portland Opera as the Second Spirit in Mozart's “The Magic Flute.” I have now performed in a total of 10 operas with professional and university opera companies, including the Seattle Opera, Portland Opera, Pacific MusicWorks, and Opera Theater Oregon. I was just named a 2015 YoungArts Winner in Voice by the National YoungArts Foundation—for the second year in a row. In a few weeks, I’ll be participating in the National YoungArts Foundation’s 2015 YoungArts Los Angeles Regional Program. I was named a Grand Prize Winner in KING 98.1 FM's 2014 Young Artist Awards competition and have performed three times on NW Focus Live. My professional facebook page includes updates on my performances and other activities (www.facebook.com/DennaGoodMojab).

I had a wonderful time performing at the CulturalFest 2014 Performance Showcase and am very excited to be performing again this year. The Showcase offers an artistic window into some of the cultures that contribute to the diversity of the University of Washington community—as well as of the broader Seattle area.

The song I will be performing, “Sarzamine Man,” is quite multicultural with an underlying theme that transcends cultures. The Afghani singer and songwriter Amirjan Sabouri wrote the Farsi lyrics and set them to an old Armenian melody. I will be singing my rearrangement of a more classical version of the song that was arranged by Darya Dadvar, an Iranian-born soprano living in Paris. The song tells the story of a refugee who longs for a homeland torn by war and conflict. I want the audience to really hear the yearning that is expressed in the song’s melody and lyrics. I want the audience to really hear the song’s plaintive quality. And, I hope that this will help inspire audience members to do what is in their power to contribute to social justice and world peace.

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CulturalFest Ticket Information:

General admission tickets are on sale now for $15 online. Discounted student ticketswill be available for $10 in advance at the FIUTS office (HUB 206) or at Wednesday Lunch. Tickets will also be available at the door for $15.

Click here to buy your tickets today! And don't forget that CulturalFest is much more than just the Performance Showcase. Join us for free cultural activities and more at theInternational Expoon Thursday, February 26, and support FIUTS programs at the Reception and Silent Auctionbefore the performances.

Can't come to CulturalFest, but still want to support FIUTS? Consider making a donation to our cross-cultural and educational programs serving students and community members in Seattle and around the world.

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CulturalFest Countdown: Meet Natya

Posted by FIUTS Blogger at Feb 24, 2015 11:36 AM |
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CulturalFest Performance Showcase is on this weekend! Learn about one of this year's talented performers, Natya.

The CulturalFest Performance Showcase is this weekend, featuring eleven performing artists who will share cultures from around the world on the Meany Hall stage. This year we're excited to welcome Natya to the lineup. Read on to learn more about them - and be sure to get your CulturalFest tickets online or in the FIUTS office!

How did your group begin? Tell a little bit of your story.

Natya is UW's premier Indian classical Dance team. It was initiated in 2009 by a few undergraduates who have been trained in Indian classical dance styles such as Bharatnatyam and Kuchipudi. Natya is commended for their energy and enthusiasm will performing; they have given over 50 performances that have ranged from talent competitions to cultural shows. As well, they organize their own showcase every year!

What do you hope the audience will take away from your performance?

Throughout the years, Natya’s mission has been to make Indian classical dance fun, exciting, and accessible to audience members by incorporating elements of the dance’s traditional styles as well as contemporary American culture and music.

We are extremely excited to be the opening act at this year's FIUTS Cultural Fest!

Learn more about Natya on their UW page and Facebook Page!


 

CulturalFest Ticket Information:

General admission tickets are on sale now for $15 online. Discounted student ticketswill be available for $10 in advance at the FIUTS office (HUB 206) or at Wednesday Lunch. Tickets will also be available at the door for $15.

Click here to buy your tickets today! And don't forget that CulturalFest is much more than just the Performance Showcase. Join us for free cultural activities and more at theInternational Expoon Thursday, February 26, and support FIUTS programs at the Reception and Silent Auctionbefore the performances.

Can't come to CulturalFest, but still want to support FIUTS? Consider making a donation to our cross-cultural and educational programs serving students and community members in Seattle and around the world.

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FIUTS Cultural Foodie Night with Germany

Posted by Ellen Frierson at Feb 23, 2015 03:05 PM |
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Enjoying the opportunity to try food from around the world.

by Sascha Krause, FIUTS Facilitator

The FIUTS Cultural Foodie Night is a great opportunity for those who are interested in trying out new food from around the globe and learning about their cultural background. A FIUTS community member takes the lead and introduces the food diversity of their home country. Last month we went for a German dinner at the Heidelberg Haus in Seattle. It is a family-owned restaurant serving typical and authentic Southern German food. Read about how Sarah Jing Jing from China, one of the participants, enjoyed this fantastic evening of Schnitzel, Roulade, and Black forest cake:

“I'm always into traveling to different countries. However, I'm limited by time, money and so on, so it's a bit hard to leave my footprint everywhere. Fortunately, Cultural Foodie Night provides me such a good opportunity to not only try out foreign food but also learn about their culture. I've never been to Germany and I'm curious about this beautiful country. The German foodie night led by Sascha was a great experience. We went to a German restaurant suggested by him and had some traditional German food. Sascha, the FIUTS facilitator who is originally from Germany, told us a lot things about his country, especially food. I had good time hanging out with friends from all over the world while tasting amazing German food.”

It is a great event for everybody! Check out the calendar for the next FIUTS Cultural Foodie Night. It will be awesome again…

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CulturalFest Countdown: Meet Mariachi Quinto Sol

Posted by Ellen Frierson at Feb 21, 2015 12:40 PM |
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Mariachi Quinto Sol is back with a special pre-show lobby performance at CulturalFest.

 

Mariachi Quinto Sol is a CulturalFest favorite, and this year they're joining us again for a very special lobby performance before the Performance Showcase! Come a little early next Saturday to make sure you don't miss them. CulturalFest is just a week away, so get your tickets today!

 

Mariachi Quinto Sol de UW: History and Mission

In 2002 Mario Perez, along with the help of five other students and community members, formed the student organization "El Mariachi Club." As membership increased, the performing group officially adopted the name Mariachi Quinto Sol de UW. Mariachi Quinto Sol was formed as a means of preserving as well as sharing Mexican heritage, tradition, and culture throughout the University of Washington community and the greater Seattle area.

The group has evolved to include a dedication to active participation in the struggle and fight for social justice in our communities. We hope to encourage young students, particularly Mexican American and Latin@ students, to pursue higher education by providing a unique opportunity to join a supportive group and to give back to our communities. Since its inception, Mariachi Quinto Sol has attracted a wide range of members from various academic and ethnic backgrounds. All musicians, experienced and beginners, are welcome.

About the group

Mariachi Quinto Sol is a student-run, non-profit performance group based at the University of Washington, Seattle. In the tradition of Mariachi, Mariachi Quinto Sol draws from the rich diversity of regional music from across Mexico. The variety of musical styles can range from the upbeat and dance melodies typical of the sones and huapangos, to the heartfelt rancheras and boleros.

About Mariachi

The popular form of mariachi as we know it today is a reinterpretation of the variety of styles of music from the many regions across Mexico. Families and communities hire mariachi to play at weddings, funerals, church events, birthdays, quinceañeras, holidays such as Día de los Muertos and las Posadas, and for any number of occasions calling for musicians such as serenading a loved one.

Learn more about Mariachi Quinto Sol on their Facebook page!

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CulturalFest Ticket Information:

General admission tickets are on sale now for $15 online. Discounted student ticketswill be available for $10 in advance at the FIUTS office (HUB 206) or at Wednesday Lunch. Tickets will also be available at the door for $15.

Click here to buy your tickets today! And don't forget that CulturalFest is much more than just the Performance Showcase. Join us for free cultural activities and more at theInternational Expo on Thursday, February 26, and support FIUTS programs at the Reception and Silent Auction before the performances.

Can't come to CulturalFest, but still want to support FIUTS? Consider making a donation to our cross-cultural and educational programs serving students and community members in Seattle and around the world.

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Exploring Seattle with Jade: Portage Bay Café

Posted by Ellen Frierson at Feb 20, 2015 12:30 PM |
Jade, one of the FIUTS student bloggers this quarter, shares her favorite places to get great food in Seattle.

Jade Onnalin Kajornklam is one of this quarter's FIUTS student bloggers. Jade is from Thailand and is an international exchange student at UW. In her free time, Jade enjoys exploring different places to eat around Seattle. Her blog posts will share her favorite locations so that other international students can learn about them too! Read on to learn more about one of Jade's Seattle restaurant recommendations.

What’s up guys? So many things coming up at this time, life is so busy. Hands up if you have yourselves fooled with the exact same excuse as I do. I caught my brain telling myself I’m busy most of the time this week just to stay inside in my cozy nest which I built in my bedroom especially for Netflix time of the day, aka all day long. I see college life contains pretty much four main paths: studying, socializing, working out and traveling around the city. Last two seems to be in and out of the picture, they come on and off for me. How about you guys?

If you find yourself quite a bit of a lazy bird who likes to stay in your own nest and wonder why your life is so boring…. Well well, it is your life, you get what you do buddy. So how about going out freshly for some breakfast close by?!

I’m not going to force you out of your bed early in the morning and spend 20 minutes yawning in the bus to just get food. For lazy folks like us, I will lay out a baby step for you to try and when you get addicted, trust me, you are going to have so much fun creating some adventures of your own every single weekend!

This week is all about ‘Portage Bay Café’, the fabulously famous breakfast place in Seattle. Wowww, excited? Since this place is quite well known, I guess a lot of you might already know and have been to the place, but remember, this column is all about getting your lazy wings spread widely and fly out of your nest to someplace that is close and easy to go to. So, for those who haven’t heard of the place, buckle up and prepare to have your mind blown!

Two blocks away from our lovely west campus in the Sunday morning, there stands the extraordinarily crowded row house. You will spot the line of people standing inside and even all the way outside sometimes. It goes like that even in the afternoon. This facts truly reflects the popularity of Portage Bay Café, but it might also get you asking yourself if you want to risk spending one hour and a half just to try this place out. Yes, you do! No, let me put this together again. YES, YOU DO. The food experience you will get there is absolutely worth the wait; despite the fact how gorgeous the dishes are, you can book it online! Isn’t that service just like a life saver? I did reserve beforehand myself and I got my table impressively right on time of reservation. I can’t tell you why other people do not book it online and why there is still a waiting line. That is a total absurdity to me.

The restaurant is separated in three areas, inside, inside on the upper floor and outside. And what is beautiful about outside area are the feeling of being wrapped and hidden in the little glass house with your friends with provided cozy blankets and heater!

Once you are being taken to your table, you cannot miss the bar full with fruits, nuts, jams and big bowl of whipped cream. These are unlimited for whoever orders pancakes and French toasts. The vibe inside is extremely lively. You will find many different noises all at once. People talking, laughing, waitress walking around—fast with an arm full of plates, clinking noise when knives touch the forks, softly played music. Giant window allows you to enjoy the brightness outside, you will feel happy and awake trying to choose what you are going to order. It will take a while for your first time because everything just sounds so good. Not after you finish them though, the dish is huge. You can’t deny the fact that fat amount of happy food makes you want to nap. But people, you’re supposed to be happily napping after long hard working time on weekdays.

So what’s to order? If you ask me I’d say French toast is phenomenal. I’m saying this because it is my favorite dish from Portage Bay Café and of course, unlimited sides from the bar allows me to have mountains after mountains of whipped cream, who wouldn't love that? I guess you have to try it out yourself to be able to tell if I’m exaggerating about this or not. *evil wink* And ooh, I had sides of sausage and pepper bacon along with French toast which doesn’t sound relative or even get along. I just couldn’t really take a chance of not having those. And it turned out just beautiful, gotta get my thumb up for those pepper bacon.

One more thing I really love about Portage Bay Café is the staff, they are all smiling and trying their best to deliver a really good service to you, you will just feel it. They are fast, they are sharp and they will get you whatever you want. At least, they did that when I asked for two boxes to pack my leftover home, including my whipped cream mountain.

All I can say is that I left Portage Bay Café with good food in my belly, good friends by my side and Breezeblocks by alt-J playing in my head.

All right guys, two blocks away from west campus. You can have what I had, too. Now go make your reservation!

Love,

Jade

Here is the website: www.portagebaycafe.com

There are three branches according to the website which are Roosevelt, South Lake Union and Ballard. The one we are talking about is the first one. Down there is the website. I highly recommend you to see what they have in a menu beforehand, which helps a lot if you get indecisive when it comes to food just like me. And of course, please, reserve the table online if you do not want to wait.

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For more about Jade and the other Winter 2015 student bloggers, click here.

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CulturalFest Countdown: Meet Taiko Kai

Posted by Ellen Frierson at Feb 19, 2015 01:30 PM |
Taiko drumming returns to CulturalFest on Saturday, February 28!

Taiko Kai is returning to CulturalFest for the second year with an energetic, inspiring performance! Join us at Meany Hall on February 28 to see Taiko Kai and many other performers from around the globe at the CulturalFest Performance Showcase. Get your tickets here and read on to learn more about Taiko Kai!

How did your group begin? Tell a little bit of your story.

The club directors had been playing taiko with a local Seattle youth taiko group for many years. As they got older they felt that it was time that they began their own group at the University in order to spread taiko to young adults in the collegiate community. Taiko Kai was finally established during Winter quarter of 2013, originally offering free workshops to students and eventually was molded into a close knit performing group.

What do you hope audiences will take away from your performance?

Taiko Kai hopes to evoke a sense of pride for our heritage and culture through our performance. We also hope that as the audience watches and listens to the rhythms of the taiko, they will come away with an appreciation for a facet of Japanese music. By performing alongside other acts representing cultures throughout the world at Cultural Fest, we strive to foster long lasting relationships within the UW and Seattle community.

Is there anything else you would like people to know?

So much fun! So much taiko! So much DON KA DON!

 

CulturalFest Ticket Information:

General admission tickets are on sale now for $15 online. Discounted student ticketswill be available for $10 in advance at the FIUTS office (HUB 206) or at Wednesday Lunch. Tickets will also be available at the door for $15.

Click here to buy your tickets today! And don't forget that CulturalFest is much more than just the Performance Showcase. Join us for free cultural activities and more at theInternational Expo on Thursday, February 26, and support FIUTS programs at the Reception and Silent Auction before the performances.

Can't come to CulturalFest, but still want to support FIUTS? Consider making a donation to our cross-cultural and educational programs serving students and community members in Seattle and around the world.

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Facilitator Corner: Ferris Maghi

Posted by FIUTS Blogger at Feb 18, 2015 04:10 PM |
Read about the experiences of one of our amazing volunteer student leaders!
Facilitator Corner: Ferris Maghi

Ferris (left) on a FIUTS bike trip

FIUTS Facilitators are student leaders from all over theworld who welcome new international visitors, help to organize events, and lead activities for hundreds of students each quarter. Read on to find out more about the FIUTS facilitator experience from Ferris!

Name: Ferris Maghi
Country: China
Major: Mathematics
Class: Junior
FIUTS Facilitator Since: September, 2014

I came to the US in 2013 and had been studying at North Seattle College before I transferred to UW. People always suppose that I am good at math when I tell them my major. But actually I am not either good at or interested in math. Instead, I chose math as my major simply because it is useful to me. I usually spend my private time indoors on reading, gaming, cooking and eating.

What does it mean to be a FIUTS facilitator?

I became a facilitator because I enjoy spending my time with the amazing FIUTS community, and meeting different people and learning about different thinking, which I believe will inspire my own mind. Speaking from the experiences I gained from the events I have facilitated so far, being a facilitator is not different than any other kinds of volunteer, except that there are much more chances to meet people with a higher cultural diversity. By facilitating I have improved my skills of communicating with people with different cultural backgrounds, which I consider as one of the best things to learn in the United States.

Ferris (back row, far left) with other facilitators at IMA for roller skating

Favorite FIUTS anecdote as a facilitator

Every moment I spend with FIUTS is awarding and joyful. However, the most remarkable memory I have had as a facilitator is the service project at Marra Farm. Farming is one of the things I had decided not to do again in my life. But this decision of mine was beaten by the attraction of the free pizza provided for volunteers. (Wherever free foods are, there I am…) During the farming service project, I met some talented farmers and a group of remarkable Bosnian students and teachers, and learned how an American farm works which I would never have any other chance to learn.

Tips/comments for peer facilitators

Get involved, have fun, and come to Culture Conversation Group!

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Learn more about the FIUTS Facilitator program here!

More Facilitator Corner posts:

Kevin Sander

Joey Liao

Anya Raj

Minhtu Nguyen

Jianyang (Jane) Zhang

Jialu Sun

Fleur Xuanlin Li

Saleh Alwabel

Clara Jiayao Lu

Le (Juliet) Huang

David Veth

Yili (Jacky) Chen

Jonathan Cheng

Fah Thamsuwan

Charlie Warner

Katherine Li

Nabil Sutjipto

Jeremy Sculley

Ani Antonyan

Jaisang Sun

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CulturalFest Countdown: Meet UW Bhangra

Posted by Ellen Frierson at Feb 17, 2015 01:55 PM |
Filed under:
UW Bhangra, a group of UW students and alumni, will share traditional dance from the region of Punjab, India.

CulturalFest is less than two weeks away! UW Bhangra is one of the eleven performance acts on the Meany Hall stage during the Performance Showcase on Saturday, February 28. Learn about their history and plans for their performance, and get your tickets today!

How did your group begin? Tell us a little bit of your story.

UW Bhangra started a few years ago in order for the Punjabi community to come together and express their culture through this traditional form of dance. Our team has preformed at many events and has even taken part in competitions in California and Canada. Over the years, many UW students have performed and passed on the team legacy to incoming students for them to keep the tradition alive at the University of Washington.

 

What do you hope the audience will take away from your performance?

We hope to express our ties to the region of Punjab, India and we want them to see how we demonstrate our culture through our use of different props, bright colors and variations of dance styles within Bhangra. Traditionally, every part ofBhangra represented a part of Punjabi life, but now as it has become a bit more modernized, it is used as a reminder and a way for us to stay connected with our cultural background.

 

Is there anything else you would like to say about your performance?

We are a group of all UW students or UW alumni and hope for the audience to have as much fun watching our colorful, upbeat performance as we do preforming it for them!

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CulturalFest Ticket Information:

General admission tickets are on sale now for $15 online. Discounted student ticketswill be available for $10 in advance at the FIUTS office (HUB 206) or at Wednesday Lunch. Tickets will also be available at the door for $15.

Click here to buy your tickets today! And don't forget that CulturalFest is much more than just the Performance Showcase. Join us for free cultural activities and more at theInternational Expo on Thursday, February 26, and support FIUTS programs at the Reception and Silent Auction before the performances.

Can't come to CulturalFest, but still want to support FIUTS? Consider making a donation to our cross-cultural and educational programs serving students and community members in Seattle and around the world.

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Roller Skating at the Winter Facilitator Social

Posted by Ellen Frierson at Feb 13, 2015 04:55 PM |
FIUTS student leaders got together for a roller skating party at the IMA!

By Yanran Zheng, FIUTS Facilitator & Student Board Leadership Chair

On Friday January 23rd, we had our quarterly facilitator social! The theme for this time is roller-skating. As one of the planners, I believed this activity would be a great opportunity for facilitators to know each other and have fun.

Surprisingly, more than 40 people showed up for the events! After people got to the FIUTS office, we headed to the IMA and I was so happy to see that the attending facilitators were all in good mood and talking and laughing all the way.

Things went very smooth. Pizza and soda broke the silence after the announcement, preluding a night full of joy and friendship.

I would say that apart from the roller-skating itself, a little climax of the day would be the game called “Scream”. Glad to see that everyone was enjoying that.

Here’s a group picture! Look at all the lovely faces!

Around 7 pm, we were able to enter the court for roller-skating. One nice little interlude was that the person who was in charge of the game area, Mulu, is a FIUTS alumnus! What a great coincidence!

Since I haven’t skated for many years, it was really challenging for me to restart. However, with the help of my FIUTS friends, I did it! Thank you: Abby, Charlie, Jackie, Danika!

It’s a night to be remembered.

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CulturalFest Countdown: Meet Hussain Fadwani

Posted by Ellen Frierson at Feb 12, 2015 09:45 AM |
Learn about one of the new soloists in this year's CulturalFest performance lineup!

Hussain Fadwani is a newcomer to CulturalFest this year, and will be presenting a Qawwali, a traditional form sub continental music. Usually this would be performed with traditional instruments. However, Hussain's performance uses Western music to show how easy it is for two instruments from different cultures to mesh with each other. Learn more about Hussain below, and get your CulturalFest tickets today!

How did you begin as a performer? Tell us a little bit of your story.

I've been singing since I was a kid. One day, my parents decided to turn this fun thing into something more serious. I can't thank them enough for sending me to a teacher for Indian Classical Music. Since then I have been making songs of my own and performing around the Dallas, Texas area.

What do you hope the audience will take away from your performance?

I hope that the audience gets an insight to the world of Pakistani music. It is very diverse with different genres but always keeps the tradition of music alive. That is what I will try to show; a semi classical piece with modern Western music and how East and West are actually closer than people assume.

Is there anything else you would like to say about your performance?

The piece I will presenting is a Qawwali sung by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and group.

CulturalFest Ticket Information:

General admission tickets are on sale now for $15 online. Discounted student ticketswill be available for $10 in advance at the FIUTS office (HUB 206) or at Wednesday Lunch. Tickets will also be available at the door for $15.

Click here to buy your tickets today! And don't forget that CulturalFest is much more than just the Performance Showcase. Join us for free cultural activities and more at theInternational Expo on Thursday, February 26, and support FIUTS programs at the Reception and Silent Auction before the performances.

Can't come to CulturalFest, but still want to support FIUTS? Consider making a donation to our cross-cultural and educational programs serving students and community members in Seattle and around the world.

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