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.”
“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.
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.
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.
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.