Ethan Rice | Echo
At the annual Mosaic Night event, the many cultures represented on Taylor's campus will be celebrated in an explosion of festivity.
The theme for this year's Mosaic Night is "Burst the Bubble." The theme centers around the idea that while many people view the Taylor environment as a "bubble;" you don't have to go off campus new cultures, new people and new ideas.
The night will feature a wide variety of performances ranging from dancing to singing to poetry and more. It is presented by Multi-Ethnic Student Association (MESA).
Last year, senior Amish Mishra was co-president of MESA. This year he continues to be involved, as he has been every year of his time at Taylor University. He credits Mosaic Night with introducing him to different people in unexpected ways.
"It makes me happy to see people stepping out of their comfort zone," Mishra said.
He notes that not every participant is necessarily from the culture their group represents. It provides opportunity for students interested in engaging with other cultures to step across boundaries and make new friends with peers who may be from a very different background.
Freshman Lauryn Terry is excited to perform in her first Mosaic Night. She heard about Mosaic Night through her participation with TU Dance Vibes.
Another freshman, Kyle Mongoven, shared Terry's excitement. Joining a group as an extra male dancer allowed him to meet many new, talented people. He now has an opportunity to perform alongside them in front of the entire student body.
While many students frequently explain the event as a "multicultural AirBand," there are several key differences that make Mosaic Night its own unique event. The type of acts are more varied beyond just dancing, and there is no competition or winner for the night.
"There's no way you can compete against different cultures," junior Lynreshay Johnson said. "Instead, we have so much appreciation for one another as we come together on this special night to show pride for our countries."
This is Johnson's third year as a part of Mosaic Night. This year she choreographed the performance representing her own home country, the Bahamas. She believes it is the most important event of the year for international students, offering a chance to display a part of their home culture to their peers.
The event has grown more popular in recent years. Johnson believes that rising attendance reflects heightened student awareness about the diversity around them.
"Airband brings together floors and wings to build their community," Mishra said. "Mosaic Night brings together people speckled across campus who you may not have crossed paths with otherwise."
Mishra said that events like this are important to help students become comfortable to reach out and engage with cultures they are unfamiliar with, even as they move beyond the confines of campus. He believes these experiences can help those who join and watch learn to engage in other people's passions and minister to their future communities.
Mosaic Night 2019 falls on the evening of Saturday, April 13 at 7 p.m. in Rediger Chapel, following the Global Market, which begins at 5. Doors will open at 6:30. Tickets are five dollars and are on sale at the Dining Commons, Student Center and Office of Intercultural Programs Office from 8 to 5.