Global Citizenship Organization fashion show highlights cultural diversity

On April 12, GCO (Global Citizenship Organization) hosted a fashion show on Pearson’s lawn, in order to expose the Maryville College community to cultural diversity.

The event, which has been held annually by GCO for several years on campus, features different international clothing styles from all over the world.

This year, international and American MC students participated in the event, including Nami Falhan, Tahmina Alayi, Yuji Miura, Iradukunda Igor, Macarena Rufatt, Boyoung Han and Sungchan Kim.

“I participated in the GCO fashion show about three years ago when I was doing an ESL program. It was very interesting to see so many people in various different costumes,” said Yuji Miura, a junior MC student from Japan.

“My favorite costume, except Japanese traditional costume, was the Saudi Arabian traditional costume. Two of my friends were wearing the costumes, and I thought it was so nice to see my friends in them because I had always seen them in casual clothes.”

Countries regularly represented through traditional clothing at the event include Korea, Japan, Germany, Greece, Myanmar and China, among others.

“I participated in the fashion show the year before last,” said Maxwell Davison, MC senior. “I wore traditional clothes from Ghana. I liked seeing the other outfits from the different countries, especially when my friends wore their home countries’ clothes. I’ve always liked the traditional dress from Vietnam, the ao dai; but I might be biased since my girlfriend is from there. Other than that, probably in a close tie for second are the dresses from Laos and Thailand. I think it’s a great event for both the domestic and international students to attend. It is another one of the fun events that GCO hosts to help bring people together to learn about each other in small but meaningful ways.

Although some participants experience stage fright, being a part of the fashion show is regularly rewarding to participants and viewers alike.

“I participated in the fashion show last year,” said Elizabeth Datskou, MC sophomore. “I really enjoyed participating in it, but it was terrifying to be up there with all those people watching. I wore a Greek outfit and I thought the outfit I wore was really pretty, so I loved showing it off. My favorite costume was a Japanese one and it was so colorful and intricate that I thought it looked beautiful. I learned a lot about different cultures just by the outfits they wore, so I thought that was really cool and the event was so much fun.”

Eun Hur, who came to MC as an exchange student from South Korea remembers the event as an exciting opportunity to share her culture with other students.

“I was glad that I participated,” Hur said. “At first, I was so nervous to walk through the runway but I felt confident after few minutes later so I introduced the traditional costume I was wearing. I learned that there are diverse costumes in many countries. I thought the event was really helpful to know about other costumes and cultures.”

For further information about upcoming GCO meeting and events, contact Laura Pierpont, president of GCO.

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