The winner took home $15 in URos and a plastic toy microphone at the end of International Karaoke Night on Saturday. The Language Center filled up steadily throughout the two-hour show.
Students sang in Korean, Japanese, German, and American Sign Language, among other languages. Songs ranged from an emotional Chinese ballad called “Red Rose” to pop song “Bad Boy” by Korean girl group Red Velvet. Cardi B’s “I Like It” was performed in Spanish and English, and a cover of Elton John’s “Without Question” — from the Dreamworks film “The Road to El Dorado” — was entirely in Portuguese. Some students laughed through their performances, fumbling with friends through awkward translations, while others were more serious.
“It’s not only about learning a language, but learning a culture,” said senior Marco Ramos, the other host. “We want to foster interest in languages with people who are heritage speakers and people beginning from scratch.”
The Language Center is home to a variety of activities, with tutors in multiple languages available to help. One Language, One Recipe is a cooking event where students practice their language of choice while learning a new recipe. Similarly, Conversation Hours are a time for students to practice speaking their language around the tables in the Cultural Center. All are welcome, Flaga and Ramos said, regardless of their fluency.
The Language Center also hosts discussion groups about cultural intersectionality. Panels in the past have focused on the struggles of learning languages and the differences between international and American students here at Rochester. “It’s about a cultural understanding of all languages,” Ramos said.
International Karaoke Night announced the three winners, and then Flaga and Ramos took the stage again, while everyone sat on the Intercultural Center’s couches eating food on paper plates. “It’s a beautiful night in the language center!” Ramos said while applauding the winners.