By Ellin Youse, Transcript Correspondent
Friday’s Top Hits Karaoke event gave students and residents of the Citizens of the World house an opportunity to take to the stage and perform songs in their native languages.
Top Hits Karaoke was the house project of sophomore Emmy Chien, a member of COW house. Chien says she decided to hold an international karaoke night to bring her hobbies from her home in Taiwan to American soil.
“I go to Karaoke once a week with my friends back in Thailand, so I want to introduce my hobby to OWU,” she said. “Because COW House is an international house, I found the Mike Karaoke System that includes English, Chinese, Taiwanese, Spanish, Japanese and Korean songs, which allows students from different countries to participate.”
Only about fifteen to twenty students attended the event, but Chien said there was no lack of spirit despite the intimate audience. With clapping, singing, screaming and dancing, she said if there was a shy performer, it did not take long for him or her to warm right up.
The confidence exuded by performers could be attributed in part to their pride in their nationality.
“COW house emphasizes the globalization of the world, so by gathering students from different countries to sing out their heart, we all get to know each other more,” Chien said.
“The diverse environment provided by COW house was highlighted through this event because without the diversity in house members, the event would not have been successful.”
Chien said junior Ashley Madera, the house moderator, noticed diversity among performers was not limited simply to their languages, but was also shown in their individual song selection. While American students gravitated towards poppy tunes, the Chinese students sang slower ballads.
“The way the American students interact when singing was also different than when the Chinese students sang,” Chien said. “It was like team work when the American students sang a song they all know; they shared the two microphones, clapped and danced. Amongst the Chinese students, only two students sang and the others listened.”
Freshman Kerrigan Boyd said the event was a fun way to learn about different cultures and recognize the true diversity on OWU’s campus.
“It was really cool because people did songs in Chinese and people could see the words on the screen,” she said. “It put a fun twist on the whole thing.”
Madera agreed with Boyd, saying she appreciated the “true talent” of the performers.
“I am always amazed at how comfortable some people feel in front of the microphone and this event was no exception,” Madera said. “Some people would be surprised to know that some of the guys on campus have amazing voices.”
As the COW house moderator, Madera realized how connected the event was to the house’s mission statement.
“I think this event was a great kick-off to the upcoming events for the Citizens of the World House this semester,” she said. “I think it truly embodied our mission to immerse cultures from around the world in an activity we are all familiar with.”