Organized by Northwestern’s International Club, the I-Club Coffee House is the group’s biggest event of the fall semester. This year’s program consists of several acts from 10 students: eight from NW and two from Dordt. Performance types range from singing and dancing to poetry and musical presentations.
Freshman and International Club core member Ali Almail described the event as an opportunity to “foster the bond between Dordt and NW.”
Almail stressed that not only are students from both colleges welcome, but all students within NW’s community.
“It’s not just for the American or international students,” Almail said. “It’s for everyone.”
The International Club presdient seionr Ya-Wen Liu invites all students to attend.
“Come to have fun, be relaxed and get some free cookies,” Liu said
Liu’s goal for this year’s program is that students will take something away with them: specifically, something new about a culture different than their own. Two of Liu’s favorite parts of the event include the variety of cultures represented and simply watching the performers showcase their talents.
“It’s really fun to see people perform, to be willing to perform — then to say ‘oh, he can do that, or she is really good at this’ — it’s surprising,” Liu said.
As for the cultural element, Liu explained that the event is unique in that it provides a fun, more accurate method of learning about other cultures. For Liu, one obstacle to learning is the exclusive use of social media and the news.
“You often only get to see the bad things [about a country], not the good…there are beautiful things,” said Liu.
One of the fun ways Coffee House addresses this is through the roles of the MCs. This year’s MCs are sophomores Carol Li and Anselmo Kim. Before each act, the MCs will introduce the performer. Occasionally, the hosting duo will ask the audience to identify a “fun fact” about a number of different cultures.
Most of these “fun facts,” Liu explained, are actually seen as common sense in the countries they derive from, but are surprising for those from other countries.
Liu hopes that by presenting the facts, no matter how simple, in a non-academic and interesting way, people will remember and genuinely seek to learn about a culture new to them. Ultimately, Liu is excited for the students who get the opportunity to perform.
“You can feel their happiness,” Liu said.
Almail, a member of the Coffee House decorating committee, has one thing on his mind: a giant decorative mug that will adorn the Hub stage for the evening.
“It’s going to be about six feet tall,” Almail said.
Coffee House will be held from 7:30 – 8:30 p.m. this Saturday, Nov. 18, in the Hub. An after-party complete with dancing and pizza will follow the main event at 9:00 in the Fireside Room of Ramaker.