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November 01, 1993 - Image 3

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1993-11-01

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The Michigan Daily - Monday, November 1, 1993 - 3

.Cultural show promotes
Indian unity, diversity

By MONA QURESHI
DAILY STAFF REPORTER
Fourteen-hundred people clapped
nd howled during the flashy tradi-
tional and modern dances, vocals and
skits that joined Indian and American
culture during Saturdaynight'sDiwali
Cultural Show at the Power Center.
Diwali, the Hindu holiday which
translates into "Festival of Lights",
marks a lunarnew year, speculated to
begin Nov. 13 this year.
The show, which sold out in one
our, combined lighting techniques
dintense audio, while spirited stu-
dents beamed with energy.
The Indian American Students
Association (IASA), which sponsored
the function, chose the theme "Unity
Within Diversity" in order to describe
thevariednessofIndianculture, which
in turn unites Indian and Indian Ameri-
can University students.
"No one community can capture
00hat all of India is about," IASA
President Mohan Palaniswami ex-
plained. Indian culture contains basic
distinctionsinregionallanguagesand
cultures, but also diverges in its sepa-
rate city and village cultures.
This phenomenon often separates
Indians once they leave the country,
Palaniswami said, but University stu-
dents have the benefit of learning

It's Inspirational to
ourselves and everyone
else to learn about our
culture.'
- Sejal Shah,
LSA junior
about other cultures that compose the
larger Indian way of life.
Many Indian American students
are out of touch with the Indian cul-
ture before arriving at the University,
he added.
Parents expressed pride in watch-
ing their children continue their an-
cestral culture through song anddance.
"It's like being back in India and
kids are still remembering their cul-
ture. That's the best part," said Usha
Gupta, a Novi, Mich. mother who
came with her family to support her
son, LSA sophomore Sumit Gupta.
After the show's conclusion, Sumit
Gupta, who participated in the fash-
ion show displaying the latest Indian
and American styles, said he felt joy
to see his parents happy and to be a
part of the show.
"It's everything I hoped it would
be," he said.
LSAjuniorSejal Shah agreed with

his sentiment. "It's just like coming
back home to our roots. It's inspira-
tional to ourselves and everyone else
to learn about our culture," she said.
LSA sophomore Martina Vit con-
curred. Vit, who is not of Indian de-
scent, attended last year's Diwali
Cultural Show and thought it was one
of the best productions she had ever
seen. Her interest in dance and Indian
culture led her to the stage to partici-
pate in the program this year, she said.
Students from other universities
also attended the show. Wayne State
University senior Asra Sayeedudin
said she had attended the show be-
fore, and is always happy to see her
peers at the University keep up with
contemporary Indian culture. "My
friends that go to the U of M are in
touch with their cultural surround-
ings," she said.
Butalongside the themeofreturn-
ing to their roots, participants prac-
ticed several hours each day, a com-
mitment which forged friendships that
otherwise may not have been formed.
"Everybody ended up helping,"
said an IASA social coordinater,
Gayathri Arumugham, who also cho-
reographed one of the dance num-
bers. "Now that it's over, it seems like
the most fun in the world. But I
wouldn'thave said that 24hours ago."

JONATHAN LURIE/Daily
A Bharatanatyam dancer performs a classical pose within an exuberant and
physically-demanding type of piece called a "Thillana."

leadership confere
By SARAH KIINO portance of a sense of self-apprecia-
DAILY STAFF REPORTER tion, something he said many young
For someone who was kicked out African Americans lack, as afirst step
ofhigh school 37 times, Dennis Rahim toward success. "Everybodyelse loves
Watson has done pretty well in life. themselves first," he said.
The first of two keynote speakers, He also said the lackoflove young
atson spelled out his formula for African Americans have for them-
ccess at Saturday's African Ameri- selves is manifest in the lack of re-
can Student Leadership Conference, spect they show each other.
"Success in the 21st Century." "I come out of a generation of class
Watson, the executive director of and style. That's part of our success,"
the National Black Youth Leadership he said, adding that this generation of
Council in New York, made good on young African Americans must re-
his promise of "guaranteed motiva- turn to that in order to succeed.
tion in 30 seconds." Rejecting the They "act like a bunch of idiots
podium, he spread his message as he andknuckleheads. That's why I don't
moved about the room, engaging the watch 'In Living Color' - I'm not
Oudience to finish the sentences he going to watch it just because of the
began. No one could get away with color of their skin," he said.
sleeping through this one. He blamed the media for contrib-
Watson emphasized the necessity uting to negative stereotypes by ex-
for young African Americans to have posing the public to only negative
a"plan andpurpose" in life to in order portrayals of African Americans.
to be successful. He stressed the im- "We've got to recreate our image
Jlonior says anti-NAFTA
fo

'

n

ice urges
in America," he said, adding that the
negative images of African Ameri-
cans are taken in and believed by the
African American community as well
as the white community.
He said African Americans are
portrayed by the media as amenace to
society, and "what do you want to do
to a menace to society? Destroy him.
The (media) is telling white people to
destroy the Black person."
He said there is also a problem of
self-destruction within the African
American community. "(African
American men) are automatically on
kill-alert for each other," he said.
"We've got to go beyond this primi-
tive level of behavior, and I don't
mean primitive in the way society has
assigned to us."
As keys to success for young Af-
rican Americans, Watson stressed the
importance of forming good interper-
sonal relationships. "People make

op1

a plan and
things happen, ... open doors," he
said. He also said they must learn to
love themselves for who they are, and
"who we are as an African people."
Geneva Smitherman, aUniversity
alum and Michigan State University
professor, spoke at the conference on
the subjectof African American unity.
She said unity, present in the African
American community throughout the
'60s and '70s, has largely dissolved.
She said that generation made
progress in the areaof civil rights, but
more subtle racism, such as glass ceil-
ings and other types of institutional-
ized racism, persists. "Things may
appear better," she said, refering to
the higher percentage of educated
African Americans, but "we're not
doing all right ... the Black and white
communities are not doing all right,"
she said. "We're still two nations -
separate, hostile, unequal."
Smitherman said the legacy of re-

.purpose'
sistance characterized by the Civil
Rights movement in the'60s and'70s
essentially halted in 1980.
This halt reflected a mood change
in the country toward the conserva-
tive right, she said.
In order to overcome these ob-
stacles, she said unity among young
African Americans is essential, and
they must realize change does not
happen with one event, but is a day-
to-day struggle.
After the long day was over, stu-
dents reacted positively. Stephanie
King, a 1993 University graduate and
one of the original planners of the
conference, said she was especially
impressed by Watson's speech.
"He talked a lot about attitude ...
it's not your degree that's going to get
you out of here - it's 90 percent
attitude." she said. "Black people re-
specting each other ... that will help
curb some of the violence."

Volunteers,
rainlessen
Halloween
eve arsons
DETROIT (AP) - Abraham
Stephens shivered as he stepped into
the cold air from the neighborhood
city hall to begin patrolling the streets
on Devil's Night.
But, he welcomed the rainy fall
weather. Perhaps, he said, it would
deter the reckless youths who in the
past have cast a national spotlight on
the city by setting ablaze abandoned
homes on Halloween eve.
The weather and 40,000 people
who mobilized to keep watch over
their neighborhoods succeeded in re-
versing a deadly, costly trend.
Although no numbers were avail-
able latelastnight, fire fighters agreed
the arson fires were down this year on
Devil's Night.
"The early part of the evening
was average. We had the normal num-
ber (of fire calls) after midnight,"
said Senior Chief Jerry Smith. "It's
been pretty quiet. There hasn't been
that rash of fires that we've had in the
past. It's been a real quiet weekend,
between the weather and all the people
out there."
The specific number of fires, and
their causes, will be determined to-
day, Smith said. Arson investigators
were looking at all fires reported over
the weekend, particularly those in
vacant buildings, he said.
Several firefighters received mi-
nor injuries Saturday night and early
yesterday, but no injuries among ci-
vilians were reported during that pe-
riod, Smith said.
"It used to be that you'd get back
to the station and have to leave right
out," said Battalion Chief Allan
Ladson. "We wouldn't get back to
the fire house until two or three in the
morning."
Ladson, of the ninth battalion on
the city's east side, said this year
things were slow.
"I think over the last three or four
years, everyone has begun to take this
more seriously. The volunteers are
really together," he said.
Detroitpolice made 82 arrests from
6 p.m. Saturday through 6 a.m. yes-
terday morning under the city's 12-
hour Devil's Night curfew for those
under 18, Officer Allene Ray said.
The fiery tradition accounted for a
peak 297 fires in 1984, when 890 fires
were reported during the three-day
Devil's Night period.
In recent years, the number of
fires steadily dropped to near-normal
levels as the city mobilized residents
and municipal workers to patrol.
Greg Mathis, manager of a east
side neighborhood city hall, said 200
volunteers from his area patrolled
Saturday night.
"Two years ago we hadabout 200
fires in this area," he said. "But not
anymore. It's been pretty slow. I think
the weather also is contributing to the
decrease."
On the west side of the city, volun-
teers at one community center sat

around a television and drank coffee
while remarking on a slow night.
"We hadone fire," William Ware,
president of the McNichols Puritan
Community Council, said proudly.
"And we stopped a break-in."
In the past, Ware said, the areahad
more trouble with burning trash con-
tainers and abandoned cars than with
vacant houses. This year, even car
and trash fires were kept to a mini-
mum, he said.
Like last year, the city mobilized
about 40,000 volunteers and city
workers for the patrols. About 6,000
people pledged to keep an eye on
vacant houses in their neighborhoods,
part of the city's "Adopt-a-House"
program.

MSA parties make election promises

WASHINGTON (AP) - Presi-
dent Clinton, battling in Congress for
a trade agreement he considers vital
toU.S. interests, would happily settle
for the same two-vote margin that
passedhis economic plan in the House.
But because of fear that the agree-
ent would destroy jobs, the presi-
dent is at least 50 votes short.
Clinton was never so far behind
before the House approved his defi-
cit-cuttingplan, including amajor tax
increase, 218-216, in August. The
Senate joined the House when Vice
President Al Gore broke a 50-50 tie.
Because the issue this time is a
ree-nation treaty that cannot be
ended without the concurrence of
Mexico and Canada, Clinton's ability
to deal for votes is severely restricted.
Neither opponents nor backers of
the North American Free Trade Agree-

ment, orNAFTA, are ready to say the
fight is over. The pact's fate will be
decidedinavoteNov.17 in theHouse.
"It's hand-to-hand combat out
there now," said Rep. Ron Wyden,
(D-Ore.), a supporter. "We're still
going uphill but I believe we are go-
ing to win it."
House Democratic Whip David
Bonior (D-Mich.) who is in the un-
usual position of leading opposition
to NAFTA, claims 208 committed
"no" votes - just 10 short of an
majority. Treaty backers, including
Republican Whip Newt Gingrich of
Georgia, don't dispute that, but say it
does not necessarily reflect what will
happen when the vote is taken.
Gingrich said Sunday that "frankly
we need to keep the president focused
on the Democratic side where they
have far fewer votes than we do."

By KAREN TALASKI
DAILY STAFF REPORTER
With six parties, 18 independent
candidates and a slew of campaign
promises, the Fall 1993 Michigan Stu-

dent Assembly
elections are
heating upas the
days dwindle
between now
and Nov. 16and
17.

MSA
ELECTION

Two new
parties - Beavis n' Butt-Head and
the Students' Party - have thrown
their hats in the ring, hoping to roll
voting tides their way. Platforms dif-
fer, but both parties emphasize a need
to refocus the student government
toward campus and student concerns.
"We believe MSA has been taken
more seriously than it should be,"
said Beavis n' Butt-Head member
Brent House. "They seem to be stuck

in a rut year after year.... We want to
give students something they can en-
joy that's less political and more
open."~
Mark Fletcher said party mem-
bers are still working on their plat-
form, but firmly believe in the Beavis
n' Butt-Head philosophy of "MSA
sucks... Heh heh."
Students' Party chair Devon
Bodoh said he feels MSA has not
been an active force on campus be-
cause of an interest in political agen-
das that have nothing to do with stu-
dent services.
"Very little student opinion goes
into the decisions that are made by
MSA. We'd rather be a constructive
party than a destructive party," Bodoh
said.
Party member Betsy Pugel said
she hopes the Students' party can
adjust MSA's power toward students
more than political ideologies.
However, more experienced ad-
versaries wait in the wings. More fa-
miliar names such as the Conserva-
tive Coalition (CC) and the Progres-
sive Party may be difficult for the
fledging groups to defeat.
"Keeping things centered here in
Michigan and this area has stayed
with the party over the years," said
CC member Mark Biersack. "We're

focusing on what is in the best inter-
ests of students."
The Keg Party and The Michigan
Party, both a year older and wiser
after forming last year, are not ready
to let the new parties take over. Party
members from each group say they
plan on repeating their election suc-
cesses.
With 14 candidates, The Michi-
gan Party is the biggest party running
intheelection.JeffAlexander,amem-
ber of The Michigan Party, said stu-
dents were nominated based on quali-
fications, not cartoon affiliations.
"We have the most diverse group
of people with the most diverse plat-
form," Alexander said. "The voters
are not morons. They're not going to
vote just for something just because
they say they're cool."
Keg party nominee Atisa Sioshansi
said she chose to run with the Keg
Party because of its creativity and
dedication to MSA.
"I'm a first-year student and all of
this is brand new. The Keg Party
helped me get adjusted to it,"
Sioshansi said. "They putalot of time
and effort into MSA. I know they're
going to do a lot of new things."

Student groups
" Advertising Club, mass meet-
ing, Freize Building, Room
2035, 5:15 p.m.
" Association for Computing
Machinery, general meeting,
Electrical Engineering and
Computer Science Building,
Room 1500, 7 p.m.
Q Comedy Company Writer's
Meeting, sponsored by UAC,
Michigan Union, Room 2105,
7 p.m.
O ENACT-UM, meeting, Dana
Building, Room 1046, 7 p.m.
O Estonian, Latvian, and
Lithuanian Club, meeting
.Z* a ..ata. -n -n. a nA:rItlt -.

St.
Q Self-Defense Principles,
CCRB, Room 1200,9 p.m.
Q Shorin-Ryu Karate-Do Club,
beginners welcome, CCRB,
Room 2275, 8:30 p.m.
Q Study/Discussion - (re)intro-
duction to the Bible, spon-
sored by University Reformed
Church, 928 E. Ann St., 9 p.m.
U Tae Kwon Do Club, training
session, CCRB, Room 2275, 7
p.m.
Events
U Basic Witchcraft: Creation
Spirituality, elements of the
nlrl rlainn of Rnrnne Inter-

U Study Opportunities in the
Countries of Eastern Eu-
rope and the Former Soviet
Union, Lisa Fein and Jeannine
Lorenger, International Cen-
ter, Room 9, 7 p.m.
Student services
U Career Planning and Place-
ment, Maximizing Limited
Experience on Your Resume,
CP&P, 4:10 p.m.
U Practical Training and Inter-
national Students, Room 9,
International Center, 2 p.m.
Q Psychology Academic Peer
A Avisina gnonnred by the

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