On Saturday, Nov. 12, Eastern University celebrated the second-annual Multicultural Festival hosted by the Hosea 4:6 Initiative, “Around the World in One Night,” in an effort to spread diversity awareness. The president of the initiative, David Quinones, asked several students and friends who were willing to represent their cultures at the Festival.
Each cultural group had their own table to share food, pictures and items that describe the group’s native homeland. Places like Puerto Rico, China, Costa Rica and Ukraine were represented at the Festival. The event, which was held in the Dining Commons on the St. Davids campus, welcomed everyone to a mini-world tour, where people shared stories through cultural dances, songs and folktales.
The Festival hosted students who were interested in learning about the diversity at Eastern. Everyone conversed and made new friends as we shared our particular cultures. People even began to learn one another’s cultural dances, and the whole venue was transformed. After each individual performance the crowd erupted with applause, the joy only growing as the night progressed. It was a humbling experience connecting with friends new and old to discover more about them.
I got to host the Puerto Rico table along with a few friends, and as I served the homemade Spanish dishes and looked around, I couldn’t help but admire the multiple cultures that could be found together in one room. Many people I didn’t know who were from different countries got to share their patriotism with the Eastern community. As many people came to give their compliments on the food, this helped me appreciate my ethnicity and culture more. Often, it is so easy to take your own uniqueness for granted until someone else acknowledges it. There couldn’t be a better time to celebrate the importance of diversity than now, as we draw near to the Thanksgiving holiday, when we all can remember to express gratitude for our neighbor’s cultural differences. The Festival was a success in bringing people together in spite of race or language barriers that many times separate us from engaging with one another.