Pangea Makes Triumphant Return to Spotlight

Students in the Fashion Show at Pangea

It’s no secret the pandemic completely changed the world in March of 2020. It even led to the cancelation of the renowned Pangea event, hosted each year by Methodist University’s International Club.

But two years later, Pangea finally made its anticipated return on Thursday, March 24—filling the Huff Concert Hall stage with the many languages, talents, and colors of the University’s international students.

“There’s a lot of love and happiness tonight,” said Nerketa Nelly Damiba, the president of the International Club who hails from Burkina Faso. “It means a lot to me personally. The last time we were able to host the event [in 2019], I was a freshman. Now, I’m a senior.”

Dozens of students from at least 37 different countries across the world provided a couple hundred attendees with a spirit-filled night—performing a range of talents including a religious play by students from Benin, Nigeria, Mozambique, Libera, Rwanda, Jamaica, Niger, South Africa, and Lesotho; Thai boxing from Thai and Portuguese students; dancing by students from Lebanon, Afghanistan, South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Niger, and Burkina Faso; and a musical performance by students from Russia, the Dominican Republic, and Portugal.

Pangea is especially important now since most Methodist students haven’t had a chance to see it for themselves prior to tonight,” said Bryan McDowell, the Study Abroad coordinator and International Student Services specialist at MU. “Our international students certainly gave us a very entertaining taste of their country with their outstanding performances.”

The culturally rich night even attracted some spectators from outside of the MU community.

“The Methodist international students told us about Pangea and we thought it would be a great opportunity for our international students from Fayetteville State University to connect and interact with their students,” added Dr. Matthew Winne, a researcher who works with international students at FSU. “They haven’t had the chance to attend events like this during the pandemic so this was huge.”

Pangea wrapped up with what appeared to be the crowd favorite: the fashion show. It allowed international students to show off diverse and colorful attire from their home country.

“Tonight was about embracing each other,” said Damiba. “We wanted to highlight not only the differences, but the similarities between countries while bringing our cultures to light.”

For more information about Pangea and the International Club, contact McDowell at (910) 630-4199 or bmcdowell@methodist.edu.