End-of-semester fatigue was nowhere to be seen as NYU Abu Dhabi students, staff, and faculty converged on the University's Downtown Campus to celebrate the diversity and unity of the African continent late last week.
To kick things off, a football tournament was held in the garden in the late afternoon before students settled down to watch performances on the stage. There was also a smorgasbord of dishes offering delicious tidbits from all over the continent, art displays, and of course the centerpiece, a melange of contemporary and more traditional dances. The dances were interspersed with a quiz testing the audience's general knowledge of Africa, a musical piece, as well as a glitzy fashion show. Students charged down the "runway," parading fashions from all over Africa. Given the array of colorful clothing, however, it is fair to say the whole night was a fashion show of sorts.
Africa Night was held as part of the NYUAD Cultural Ambassadors' events series, which has packed the semester with Diwali celebrations, National Day celebrations, and now a celebration of Africa. Each African nation was represented in some small way — from the Thieboudienne of Senegal to the delectably sour injera bread from Ethiopia.
The dances were so natural and so full of joy, which is what Africa is all about.
Freshman Abdoulaye Ndiaye relished in the opportunity to recreate customs from his home country of Senegal. "The Africa Night brought back so many memories thanks to the little details, for example, sitting on mats," he said. "I really felt at home."
Ndiaye, however, maintained that the dancing was his favorite part. "The dances were so natural and so full of joy, which is what Africa is all about," he explained. This year's celebration followed the success of last year's event and seems to have secured Africa Night's spot on the University calendar for some years to come.