editor's note

It goes without saying-and without Dean of Admissions Christoph Guttentag's corny speech at Convocation ever year-that Duke students do some pretty impressive things, in and out of the classroom.

But you expect a certain level of overachievement out of students at a university like this one. There are, however, some other accomplishments that I still find awe-inspiring, because they require students to put in vast amounts of time and creativity on top of other duties, work with others and do something that won't earn the coveted resume line. Awaaz is perhaps the best example.

Our longstanding editorial policy at The Chronicle has been to run a photograpºh of the performance, but because it's a consistent annual event, we typically don't go much farther; it's hard to find a new angle each year. That policy makes a lot of sense from the standpoint of running a newspaper, but that doesn't mean that the hundreds of students who take part every year don't deserve recognition.

I find Awaaz impressive for three reasons. First, the sheer organization required to put together a show of its size, for two nights, including sound, video, dozens upon dozens of performers and hundreds of audience members is stunning.

Second, the committment of so many members of Duke's South Asian community to represent and foster an appreciation for their heritage is admirable. Humorous Facebook groups about FOBs and ABCDs aside, members of Diya and performing groups like Dhamaka, Raas and Lasya do not hesitate to celebrate their roots with high-quality, high-energy routines at Duke, using forms that they have learned through hours of practice at home and at the University.

Finally, Awaaz brings together a huge and diverse cross-section of the student body for two nights each year. The only event that comes close is National Panhellenic Council's Spring step show. It isn't easy to translate this kind of large event into a broader campus culture trend, but hand-wringers can look to Awaaz as a model for positive social interaction on campus.

Diya and all those who contributed to Awaaz are to be congratulated on a job well done-yet again.


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