The Office of Multicultural Development (OMD) is teaming up with different organizations across campus to host the annual Holidays Around the World event, Dec. 6 in the Smith Student Center commuter lounge during common hour for food, facts and fun.
The graduate assistant of the Office of Multicultural Development in charge of the event, Sammie Walker, said she reached out to groups on campus to see if they would like to participate in the event. She said she asked the members participating to know the holiday they choose very well in order to teach it to others well.
Walker said there will be between seven and eight groups presenting holidays. The OMD is hosting Ramadan and Diwali at their tables.
“I challenged the groups in general to choose something that they felt worked well with their group or something they wanted to learn more about,” Walker said.
Black Action Society, the Student Organization for Latinos, Hispanics, and Allies (SOL), American Sign-Language Club, Student Union for Multicultural Affairs (SUMA), Sister to Sister, the Study Abroad club and Student Government Association (SGA) are some of the organizations that will be at the event presenting holidays of their choice, Walker said.
SGA will be covering the Iranian New Year holiday and Sister to Sister will be displaying what different News Years celebrations there are throughout the world.
Walker said that thinking about the idea of different holidays around the world, and not specifically in the United States, was excellent and that people will get to learn about other cultures outside of the U.S.
“It doesn’t mean that you have to be in that culture to share it, learn more and to expand our world of view of what people celebrate,” Walker said.
Walker said she hopes students can think outside of themselves, outside of the U.S. and to think about what other cultures experience. She said she wants people to wonder what influences their own holidays.
She said she thinks people often forget what Canada and Mexico experience, our neighbors. Most people don’t know many aspects within their cultures and what holidays they are celebrating.
“Thinking outside of the box of the US to your neighbors and even further will be excellent for people to think about how they fit into the world as a global citizen, and not just a US citizen,” Walker said.
Walker said that there will also be fun activities, such as the American Sign Language club performing Christmas carols in sign language. It is all about expressing the diversity of different holidays that people follow, she said.
“I think it opens conversation thinking about the federal holidays we have and how the different cultures of people living in the United States might not follow those as strictly as other holidays,” Walker said.
SOL will be presenting three different celebrations that Latinos celebrate throughout the holiday season and BAS will be hosting Kwanza. Every year there are staple holidays, but they try to mix it up and bring new ones so if people came before, they can see new holidays to learn about, Walker said.
Walker said they try to branch out to different, smaller organizations so they can meet, collaborate and bring people together.
Walker and Corrine Gibson, the Director of Office of Multicultural Development, worked together to give each group $75 to be able to build a tri-fold, create a theme, to provide games and help students get their food orders through AVI, Walker said.
Each table will feature a few holidays and different foods from different cultures, Walker said. There will also be tri-folds with facts and games that surround the culture behind the holiday.
“There’s different games and different ways to interact with the information to learn at a deeper level rather than just reading,” Walker said.