The International Student Club hosted their annual Coffee House show this past Saturday in the Church-Chapel’s fellowship hall. Some attendees brought food for the potluck-style meal held before the event, featuring international dishes such as chicken biryani and Pakistani kima. 

Last year the event was held in Sauder Concert Hall. Dan Koop Liechty, director of alumni engagement and international student advisor, explained the move away from Sauder:

 “We have always had a dinner and a show, but this year we decided to combine them, which is actually how this event started decades ago,” he said. The combination was due in part to “the changing demographics of our international student body,” Koop Liechty said. “In the past four years, the percentage of international students who are athletes has gone from around 30% to more than 70%. While athletes are awesome, they are not generally rushing to sing and dance at an event like this.”

While attendees ate before the show’s start, the room was filled with conversation, smiles and anticipation of the performances. Starting off the show was Ishmail Bangura, who is from Sierra Leone. He rapped and sang along to a song called “One Africa.” 

Next up was Ezekiel Metekai, a junior from Kenya. He started by showing off some items from Kenya: a spear, a shield, a machete and a gourd to put blood and milk in — which he said tastes “like a milkshake.” Then he performed a Maasai dance accompanied with slideshows of his homeland and snapshots into his culture. 

Following Metekai’s performance, Danny Hagan and Evan O’Toole gave a comedic presentation on stereotypes and general facts about Ireland. 

Afterwards, Julia Hyeyin Jun, who is from Korea and Malaysia, and Silas Immanuel from India, performed “Broken Spirit,” a song written by Jun’s younger brother. Jun played the piano and sang along with Immanuel, who sang and played the guitar. 

Kahoot made an appearance for the second year in a row, quizzing the audience on food, landmarks and fun facts. Bangura then reappeared and performed a spoken word poem called “True Warrior,” challenging ideas of toxic masculinity. When asked about performing at the Coffee House for the second year, Bangura said, “It is just something I love doing and I love doing poetry … I feel like it’s the best way to express myself.” 

Following his performance, Amina Ben Mansour, who is from Tunisia, shared an interactive presentation about her homeland, including the fact that “Star Wars” filmed near her home in Tunisia for scenes on Tatooine, a sand planet with two suns. 

Right after that Aysia Adkins, Emilia Thut, Fatima Zahara, Fernando Daza, Gustavo Gonzalez, Jocsan Barahona Rosales and Meredith Blossom took the stage to perform a choreographed K-pop dance to the song “Eve, Psyche & the Bluebeard’s wife.” 

In the second-to-last appearance of the evening, Koop Liechty presented scholarship awards to five international students. The students that received the awards were Shoaib Ansari, Saif Ansari, Pedro Scattolon, Szofia Kallai and Peace Muhagachi. 

The last act was The Queen Singers: Aysia Adkins, Eliza Alemán, Fatima Zahara, Irish Cortez and Mairin Mendoza. They sang “Canción Sin Miedo,” which is a song of women speaking up against femicide in Mexico. 

As they closed Coffee House, the ISC gave thanks to Koop Liechty and his contributions this year and in his six years before, saying that the night “wouldn’t have been possible” without him.

Koop Liechty also expressed his gratitude: “I need to say a huge thank you to the ISC leadership team. … To the international students, I would thank them for choosing GC and making us a better place with their presence here.”