Eastern art, dance captivate students
Posted March 6, 2009
Stephanie Arellanes
Junior business administration major Naime Laskar uses henna to tattoo junior chemistry major Danielle Strachan’s wrist with leopard paw prints Feb. 25 in Davenport Dining Hall. The belly dancing and body art event, sponsored by the Campus Activities Board, changed from a live belly dancing event when the belly dancer cancelled her appearance and a belly dancing DVD was shown instead

Asicela Muro
Staff Writer

The Campus Activities Board brought Eastern culture to La Verne on Feb. 25 with a free belly dancing and body art event in Davenport.

With Arabic traditions like belly dancing and henna tattoos and foods such as hummus and pita bread, junior special events coordinator Evelyn Castro decided to introduce students to a new culture.

“I wanted to do belly dancing because we did it my freshmen year and I really enjoyed it,” Castro said.

“It just so happened to be a coincidence with Winter Formal’s theme so it worked out perfectly,” Castro added.

The Winter Formal theme was Arabian Nights.

Originally, Castro had planned for a belly dancer to come teach at the event.

She found a belly dancer on the Internet, but the dancer later cancelled.

CAB decided to show a belly dancing instructional DVD instead called “Seven Veils: Romantic Belly Dance.”

The DVD was supposed to be raffled off at the end of the event, but there were not enough people in attendance at the end of the night to have the raffle.

The DVD presented dancing techniques and historical information about belly dancing.

Students like junior psychology major Jazmyne Lewis found the facts from the DVD to be new and interesting.

“I learned that some of the dancing and choreography has a story to it and that some of the dances are biblical,” Lewis said.

“Every veil has a story to it. It’s more interesting because every interpretation is different,” Lewis added.

Besides learning about the belly dancing and its history, many of the guests experienced eating hummus for the first time.

Hummus is a Middle Eastern food composed of garbanzo beans and tahini, a paste that is made from sesame seeds.

The dish is typically eaten with pita or other flat bread.

Students like Lewis and junior chemistry major Danielle Strachan found the food to be different but they decided to give it a try.

Henna tattooing was also provided at the event.

The Henna plant, which originated in The Middle East, has been used by many cultures.

It can be used to extract coloring that sticks well to the skin and makes a persistent stain that looks like a reddish-brown tattoo.

It is used for hair, skin and hand decorations in some cultures.

Naime Laskar, junior business administration major, was the night’s Henna tattoo artist.

She tattooed people in attendance with flowers, peace signs and other decorations.

Strachan was one of many to receive one of Laskar’s tattoos.

“It’s cold,” Strachan said. “And I hear it burns, but I have yet to find out. I’m definitely going to take care of it,” Strachan added.

Celebrations of the Arabian Nights theme was continued at Friday’s Winter Formal.

Asicela Muro can be reached at asicela.muro@laverne.edu

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