The Memorial Union Building’s (MUB) Granite State Room featured a diverse mix of culture, entertainment and inspiration on Friday night, Nov. 18 as MOSAICO held the annual Mr. Ms. Mx. MOSAICO Cultural Show. This year’s event marked the fourth occasion that MOSAICO, the UNH Latino, Latina and Latinx club, held the pageant that was a part of this year’s International Education Week.
In the weekly meetings in MUB room 145, where food is provided, the club has group discussions ranging from anything like interracial couples and the election of Donald Trump to our country’s climate.
The pageant was delightfully hosted by junior communication major Jovan Morse. Morse is also a member of the unrecognized club MosDef, which is an acronym for Men Of Strength Diversity Education and Family.
The pageant had three judges: Office of Multicultural Student Affairs (OMSA) Assistant Director Lu Ferrell, senior Academic Student Support Assistant Selina Taylor, and junior psychology major and MOSAICO member Juandiego Carmona.
Roughly 100 people came to the show to support those competing and take advantage of the free entertainment the event provided.
The first portion of the pageant show was a “Formal Walk” where contestants dressed up in their finest attire and strutted their stuff on the catwalk. One contestant in particular named Phin, who represented New Zealand, wowed the audience with a transforming outfit that started out professional and ended with Phin draped in elegance; a very fitting metaphor through apparel.
The talent portion of the pageant had its usual collection of singers and lip-syncers, but a few in particular stood out with their original atypical performances.
Among them was senior environmental engineering major Jia Xian Siew, who impressively sang four different songs in four different languages: Malaysian, Cantonese, Mandarin and English.
“This was my first time singing outside of bathroom my entire life. Really cool,” Siew said.
Another remarkable performance was by senior information technology major Rayvoughn Millings who performed for the first time an original song, “40 ounces.” The song is from Millings’ album, “I Am What I Am.”
“This was my first performance as an up-and-coming artist, and it’s good to get out in front of the people, and showcase what I got,” Millings said. “I was definitely nervous but I tried to put those feelings aside and represent for my hometown.”
Some of the contestants represented their heritages by performing dances significant to their native countries.
Mr. MOSAICO contestant Eddie, representing Nigeria, performed a powerful interpretive dance that illustrated a sort of freedom from slavery. On a more alluring side, Ms. MOSAICO contestant Hamida, representing Somalia, danced to Rihanna while balancing heavy books on her head.
Another show stealing performance was the slam poem by Ms. MOSAICO contestant Brianna, representing Mexico, which was extraordinary to say the least, written in a mix of Spanish and English.
After the talent portion and an intermission, the contestants participated in an interview portion where they were asked questions picked at random from a cup. The questions were simple personal questions that allowed each of the contestants to reveal more of their personalities to the audience.
Before revealing the winners, all contestants did a final walk. For this walk, contestants dressed in clothes that best represented their culture and expressed their personal style, and danced while holding flags of their various nationalities.
While there were individuals who were crowned Mr., Ms. and Mx. MOSAICO winners, it can be said that all the contestants were winners for openly expressing themselves and their native cultures. When traveling to somewhere strange, different, and/or far away, it’s important to remember one’s background. The MOSAICO event certainly brought out the individuality of the many contestants, but it also fostered feelings of acceptance for all cultures.