DILS Students Bring a World of Cultures to the College of Arts & Sciences

Annual International Multicultural Night Featured Diverse Sights, Sounds and Tastes

Russian students Arye Knaani, Ana Leyva and Roxanne Mayrand perform
the nursery rhyme “Antoshka” with Language Partner Elena Chudnovskaya.

From India to Ireland, Russia to Iran, Korea, Turkey, Poland and Vietnam, cultures of the world were on display at the annual DILS International Multicultural Night.

The Directed Independent Language Study (DILS) Program, of the UM College of Arts & Sciences, gives students opportunities to study languages not offered through the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures. It is an individually directed program, where students work alone or in small groups directly with native speakers of their target languages, known as Language Partners.

DILS is open to students of all majors, and in any year of study.

Each year, DILS hosts International Multicultural Night, where participating students have an opportunity to present a piece of the culture they are studying to the UM community. This year’s event was an unqualified success, drawing over 100 people to the Student Activities Center.

DILS Director Dr. Maria Kosinski said, “I was impressed by the genuine enthusiasm of the students, and by the real pride they took in demonstrating what they are able to do.”

The evening began with three songs, performed by DILS students in Hindi, Irish and Russian.

Persian/Farsi students demonstrated Iranian dance, teaching the audience how to count and snap in Farsi, and presented information about the Nowruz new year holiday.

DILS Farsi student Natasha Khoyi and Language
Partner perform a traditional Iranian dance.

Then the evening took a decidedly “pop” turn, with karaoke performances in Korean and Turkish.

Students presented travelogues on India and Vietnam, and read poems in Russian and Polish.

Students and Language Partners also prepared and shared a variety of international delicacies from their countries.

 “This event demonstrates the significance the language they are learning has for them,” Kosinski said. “It gives them the opportunity to make their own discoveries of the corresponding cultures.”

March 03, 2015