Empowered voices

MGC chapters to showcase talent, culture at Traditions Night Sept. 17.

The Multicultural Greek Council traditions event held at Memorial Union on Friday Aug. 30, 2019
Multicultural Greek Council Traditions Night will feature saluting and strolling, displays important for recognizing history, culture and tradition. Sam O’Keefe/University of Missouri

By Maddy Stout

Members of the Mizzou community will have the privilege of experiencing performances, activities and food that highlight Latinx and Asian and Pacific Islander traditions during the Multicultural Greek Council’s (MGC) Traditions Night.

Held 6-8 p.m. Sept. 17 in N214 Memorial Union, Traditions Night is an opportunity for MGC chapter members to display cultural pride.

“It’s hard to get up there and present your culture at a predominantly white institution, so it means a lot just to speak up,” said MGC President Grace Patton. “I really want my members to come out of here feeling empowered like their voices and stories do matter.”

Traditions Night will showcase individual chapters’ strolling and saluting. Strolling can be defined as a series of steps performed by members, usually performed to music during events or step shows. These rich historical movements were created by Africans based on a way of showing strength and unity. Originally a tradition within Black Greek-letter organizations, strolling has been adopted by MGC organizations to include movements from their respective cultures.

In saluting, a tradition common to many Latinx Greek organizations, participants speak or chant in unison while performing synchronized hand and body movements. The salute pays tribute to the accomplishments, history and heritage of an organization.

“We get a lot of our traditions from the National Pan-Hellenic Council — our historically black sororities and fraternities — and we always make sure to acknowledge that a lot of our cultural traditions stem from them,” Patton said.

Alpha Phi Gamma, Delta Xi Nu, Kappa Pi Beta, Lambda Theta Alpha and Sigma Lambda Gamma will be strolling, while Lambda Theta Phi Latin Fraternity Inc. will be saluting.

Both displays are important for recognizing history, culture and tradition. “We don’t just do strolling as a show. It’s not a show,” Patton said. “It’s a privilege to see our cultural displays and our traditions.”

MGC Traditions Night will also feature food from Latin American, Asian and Creole cultures. To receive food, guests must stop by at least three chapters’ tables to learn more about the chapter.

“You get some free grub or just to find out something on campus that you have never heard of,” Patton said. “The point of college is to get out there, even if you don’t want to join.”

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