KAJANG, 16th July 2019 – On July 10th 2019, UNITEN Student Representative Council hosted their annual UNITEN Cultural Night headlined “Night Between Nations”. The event director, Ibrahim Kareem Sherif Mustafa Hassan shared in his opening speech his aim to bring together the multicultural people of UNITEN and promote unity through diversity. The stage was then graced by our Deputy Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, Alumni & Management, Dato’ Prof. TS Dr. Mohd. Zamri Yusoff, who stated in his speech that he was excited to come after last year’s memorable performances. He also shared how amazed he was at the fact that approximately 300 tickets for the event were sold out in less than a day, an amazing feat in my opinion. With the opening speeches out of the way, the energetic emcees kick started our 7-course meal of colorful performances by the multicultural and multitalented students of UNITEN.
“There was an idea, to bring together a group of remarkable people to see if they can become something more“–Nick Fury
The first performance of the night by PKC also known as Persatuan Kebudayaan Cina began our journey between nations with an adorable yet informative performance. A simple play based on a young boy asking his family of their cultural festivities interlaced with simple videos sharing details on the Lunar Calendar, History of the Chinese New Year, the 12 Chinese Zodiac and cultural practices during festivities. Next we move on to our friends from UNITEN Indian Cultural Society or better known as UNICS delivering a performance dubbed “Rhythm of Spirits”. With bright colorful outfits, the sound of ankle bells or Ghungroos, beautiful choreography and heart pumping music left us dancing along in our seats. Next, we were thrilled to have the Japanese Cultural Club UNITEN or commonly referred to as JCCU on stage with a sequel to a performance from 2 years ago. The story of a samurai who arrived at his city only to find its charred remnants. In his quest to seek justice, our hero was caught between a battle between nations with a simple, yet clever plotline, amazing costumes and witty stage play that led to a hilarious and remarkable performance.
About an hour into the night, ASTENA or formally known as Anak Seni Tenaga Nasional came next waltzing in with 3 old men who made us laugh the whole time they were on stage. ASTENA’s theater division presented us with a relatable muted story of love and heartbreak with a clever twist that left tears welling up our eyes. Even without dialogues, the music and their acting performances onstage were enough to transcend language barriers and deliver the story. Next up was ASTENA’s band and vocal division which delivered two songs. Their rendition of “Bunyi Gitar” was a beautiful and nostalgic reminiscent of the old P.Ramlee movies and “Warisan” was sung with such grace and gusto that I forgot any intent to sing along and ended up simply listening in awe. Fresh and still pumped up from their recent success at the Festival of Colors, FESCO 2019 at Universiti Teknologi Petronas (UTP), ASTENA’s dance division or GEMATARI took the stage with an energetic performance with classical Malay tunes, graceful choreography and an overall beautiful performance taking us into palace halls of old.
Moving forward, we were served with performances by our Palestinian friends. Classical Arabian tunes were delivered through a powerful and energetic performance leaving us clapping and tapping our feet along with the music. Our Yemeni friends did not fall short with a light hearted performance. With their traditional dance and festive music, simple but with smiles across their faces telling us that ‘this is it, this is home’. Finally, we got to witness a unique mix between Arabian and Indonesian music through a duet with a guest from Infrastructure University Kuala Lumpur (IUKL). Despite being a first for me, they pulled through with amazing vocals and a lively performance with the audiences singing along closing up the performances for the night. However, the fun did not end there. An exciting lucky draw session followed suit with 5 lucky members of the audience winning prizes such as RM20 worth Touch’n’Go card, a 16GB thumb drive and a power bank. The interaction between the emcees and the audience filled the hall with laughter as if alleviating the sadness of not winning any of the prizes. The night ended with photo sessions filled with genuine smiles and a satisfied audience. I took the chance to talk to some people in the crowd and these are their remarks.
“A great effort by the SRC and I now realize how multitalented UNITEN students are and hope to see more events such as this in the future.” – Dato’ Prof. TS Dr. Mohd Zamri Yusoff
“The crowd was so energetic and the atmosphere was amazing. I LOVE IT!!” – Emcee
“A lot of hardships but we pulled through with great cooperation by everyone”- Committee
“Overall an awesome event. There was music, drama, action and everything. Worth it. Hope for more to come.” – Audience
In conclusion, Night Between Nations was successfully executed and achieved its intended purpose. We came in looking for performances to entertain us through the night but ended up with more, with awareness and insights of the multicultural community of UNITEN, Putrajaya Campus being the highlight. The event brought a group of remarkable people together and made them into something more. A symbol of unity through diversity. Truly, a Night Between Nations.
Written by, Syed Muhammad Bin Syed Hood
Edited by, Nur Izzah Arrina Bt Muhamd Nasir & Rayvathi a/p Theivindran
Photo credits to, Arif ashfar from Skuad Media Uniten