A poem from Fredericton to the world

Claire Bridgeo – The Aquinian

Three international students, Khairunnisa Intiar from Indonesia, Emmanuel Rutayisire from Rwanda, Kiyoka Kunishima from Japan, and Kara Cousins from P.E.I., delivered a powerful message of unity through a poem written by Rutayisire.

The diverse group performed the poem in their respective languages. The poem spoke of humanity and our world – a world shared by strangers.

“It’s me, it’s you, your father, my mother, your brother, my sister – a planet full of foreigners is where we live.” The poem was repeated in turn by each group member. “Embracing the unknown, join us; let’s start new painting.”

Rutayisire said the poem was about different people with different cultures all coming together and working together.

“I like writing poems and I enjoy poetry, so I hope they liked it and the message was delivered,” he said.

This stark, short message left the audience, including Sabrina Sotiriu, the president of STUISA, with optimism.

“They were amazing. I knew what to expect because I saw them at the rehearsal, but they are still amazing,” she said. “I think it was the most powerful act of all the performances because of the message it carries.”

They also played and sang John Lennon’s “Imagine” after the poem was read to the audience.

Intiar and Cousins spearheaded with vocals while Kunishima played piano and Rutayisire played along on bongos and sang.

The performers said the group was well organized although they only had a week to prepare. The idea came together in a collective effort, and four friends of diverse nationalities established an artistic common ground.

Kunishima, said she was nervous before the performance but she had fun performing with the other members.

“I really enjoyed the performance. It was the multicultural fair which represents diversity so we decided to perform together because we are all from different countries,” she said. “I think it went well.”

“Tonight, we are here to give you a message,” said Intiar on the stage before the performance.

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