Hisam Baig is Northwest Community College Initiative student from Pakistan studying project management at Edmonds Community College (EdCC). He has always been interested in music, and recently performed a solo at International Night, an annual talent show at EdCC. Here he shares how music has the power to break down cultural barriers:
I am from Hunza, a beautiful valley walled by high altitude mountains in the extreme north of Pakistan. I love to be engaged in the arts. I have a special interest in music and can’t go a day without listening to it. It gives me a wonderful feeling. Whenever I get opportunity to talk to other international students, the first thing I ask after introducing myself is about performing arts and especially music.
When my friends understood that I’m inclined towards music, they asked me to sing during the 34th Annual International Night at Edmonds Community College. The theme of this annual event was Passport to the World: Sharing Culture Through Talent. I never expected this to be as perfect as it was because I was outside of my culture and comfort zone. I was also worried about the language barrier between me and the audience. But it didn’t mean I had to leave everything to chance. I auditioned with a positive mind set and made it through to the final performance.
On the night of Friday, February 8th at Edmonds Center for the Arts, everyone looked excited but I can’t explain my state of mind. Though the notion of climbing on the stage in an exotic atmosphere filled me with apprehension, I was ready to face the music. When I climbed on stage I didn’t feel like that I was performing in a mega event. I didn’t sense the presence of crowd and it was like I was alone and singing Hindi-Urdu songs from 1970’s for my own entertainment and satisfaction. I really enjoyed being myself. I wasn’t sure how it went, but I ended up with a huge round of applause. As I have often heard before, I experienced that music has no language barriers, no boundaries.