Bulls Radio program “Talk Di Tings” connects with USF’s Caribbean student culture


TAMPA— Students from the Caribbean have a significant presence at USF, from Club Creole to the Dominican American Student Association. Now, thanks to a group of Jamaican international students, there is even a Caribbean radio show.

“We named the show Talk Di Tings,” said Sunil Collins, co-creator and co-host of the show. “That’s kind of a Caribbean dialect for ‘talk the things.’ The things being things that are happening. Whatever is happening right now, we’re gonna tell you how we view it from a Caribbean perspective.”

Collins and co-creator Daniel Perry got the idea for the show in the summer of 2014. Their goal was to have a show filled with music and conversation a Caribbean audience could relate to.

“In coming to USF, a lot of international students, including myself, feel homesick,” said Perry. “We are in a foreign country with a foreign culture. In creating a show that can relate to the upbringing and culture of my Caribbean people, I hope listening gives them a piece of home here.”

Staying connected with their listeners is a priority for the Talk Di Tings crew. They use Instagram, Twitter and YouTube to engage listeners, posting videos, questions and snippets of the show. Talk Di Tings teamed up with the Caribbean Culture Exchange and hosted a party to promote the show and show the listeners a good time.

“We always dance and have fun in the studio, and we want to bring that vibe to our listeners,” Collins said. “We want them to feel like they are in the studio with us each time they tune in.”

Talk Di Tings airs Sundays at 10 p.m. on WUSF-89.7 in Tampa and can be streamed worldwide at BullsRadio.org.


Confucius Institute at USF Fosters Cross-Cultural Understanding Between Chinese, American Cultures

Kun Shi and the Confucius Institute are bridging the gap between China and the United States.

The Confucius Institute at the University of South Florida is helping students learn Chinese while submersing themselves into the Chinese culture.

“The USF Confucius Institute has numerous projects each year,” said Shi.  “All are focused on supporting the Chinese language programs and facilitating cross-cultural understanding.”

The Confucius Institute has a culture center that has helped students get acclimated to  Chinese language and customs.  Students speak and interact in a Chinese environment with books, games and movies in Mandarin for them to use.

“It’s beneficial to use class materials in a more real context,” student Nabil Smith said.  “You get to practice your Chinese on a more social level.”

The Confucius Institute holds many events throughout the year, including martial arts exhibitions, bridge competitions and Chinese New Year festivities.  There are also plenty of scholarship opportunities for students and chances to study abroad in China, with all expenses paid.

“We have some really great events here at USF, including Chinese opera and different kinds of music events,” student Fang Kairen said.  “There is even a Chinese competition for Hacky Sack.”

USF was the first university to have a Confucius Institute in Florida and it remains one of the best Chinese programs in the country.

Photo Gallery: Local Designer showcases Earth-inspired fashions for her new line

For years, Julia Chew has been creating fashions out of her Tampa home for her line, “Xiaolin.” At 20-years-old, Chew has already made hundreds of items that have been showcased across the globe. She is currently working on the “Phoenix Bird” that will be displayed at an upcoming fashion show.

Although it may look like a regular living room, to Julia Chew, a designer, it’s a place where her creativity is brought to life.
Chew’s creations  usually begin on paper, and when they are ready to be conceived, she gathers her fabric and a few simple tools including needles, thread and measurement sticks.
Chew begins with a dress form that works as the blank canvas for her fashions.
After hours of hand sewing, Chew uses the dress form to hold her handmade fashions, like the “Phoenix Bird.”
Inspired by the Earth and its animals, many of Chew’s designs feature colors and elements common to the planet. On the “Phoenix Bird,” in particular, Chew hand sews hundreds of dyed feathers onto the dress.
For years, Chew has been designing fashions like the “Phoenix Bird.” Her line, “Xiaolin,” has been displayed in boutiques around the country and recognized in magazines and fashion shows across the world. Photos by Cassaundra Palmer.


Photo Gallery: Formula Kart Racing brings families together at the Florida Winter Tour Race

Formula Kart Racing is rooted in  family, friendship and competition. From all over the world, competitors and their families join to compete in a safe, yet competitive racing environment. To succeed in this sport, drivers must show high dedication and motivation, as they commonly spend 12 hours at the track daily to prepare for a race. Formula Kart Racing remains one of the few sports where parents and children work together toward a common goal. At the end of a day at the track, even if they were unsuccessful, drivers and their families take away an unforgettable experience. Photos by Kristina Vorndran.

Photo gallery: Colby Parrish and Dunedin’s Enchanted Earth represent the softer side of witchcraft

Going to Enchanted Earth and talking with Colby Parrish was unlike any experience I’ve ever had. Though I’m Christian, and this way of life has never fallen under my beliefs, I find it interesting in getting to know people and trying to understand their mindset on spiritual matters. Colby said his clients are wide-ranging, and many seek out his services if only for an opinion or advice. From a Mormon family, he said nothing has ever spiritually and emotionally connected with him as his current beliefs and practices do. Meeting the owner of the shop, a Stevie Nicks with red hair, as well as some of the other “witches”, I was surprised at how content they seemed. They say they believe there was a Jesus, which shocked me, but that he was just one of the many gods and goddesses that make up the universe. It was clear to me by the end of the conversation that all people, no matter beliefs and practices, simply want to find some kind of comfort in something and the people that share in the same ideologies. Believing is truth in the minds of us all.


Going to Enchanted Earth in Dunedin and talking to Colby Parrish was unlike any experience I have ever had.

Though I believe in Christianity — and this way of life has never fallen under my beliefs — I found it interesting getting to know these people and trying to understand their mindset on spiritual matters.

Parrish said his clients are wide-ranging, and that many seek out his services only for his opinion or advice.

Born into a Mormon family, Parrish said nothing has ever spiritually or emotionally connected with him like his current beliefs and practices.

Meeting the owner of the shop — a Stevie Nicks lookalike but with red hair — as well as others that identify themselves as, “witches,” I was surprised at how content they all seemed.

The witches said they believe there was once a Jesus, which shocked me. But they believe that he was just one of the many gods and goddesses that make up the universe.

It was clear to me by the end of our conversation, that all people — no matter beliefs and practices — simply just want to find some kind of comfort in something, and the people that share in the same ideologies.

To me, believing is truth in the minds of us all.