Students come together to celebrate Diversity on campus

Bitania Yemane, News Editor

     Bloomsburg University had it’s annual celebration of cultures fair at the quad on Friday. The event had tables set up for different organizations that wanted to share a specific culture.

     The day started with the Student Organization of Latinas (S.O.L.) demonstrating and teaching people how to salsa, bachata and merengue.
“Hey everyone we are going to show you guys how to salsa, bachata and merengue so if you guys wanna join us please do, if not that’s fine please enjoy.,” said said Angela Montano, President of S.O.L.

     As Montano and other members of the organization like Gio Hernandez, Francessca Rivera, Carlos Mendoza, Ydalini Madera and Lesley Reyes started dancing, students joined and followed along.

     “This dance is from our African roots and is used all over South and Latin America,” said Montano. This celebration is needed here at BU because we need to celebrate who we are and where we come from as a community.”

     The S.O.L were also selling platters that included rice with beans, chicken and pasta salad.

     The Arabic Club made dishes like falafels and humus to give students a taste of what food in the Middle East is like.

     “I believe that having an event like this is very important here at Bloomsburg University,” said Crysta Hayes, member of the Arabic Club, “We live in a diverse community  and this is a great opportunity to educate people about different cultures as well.” The Arabic Club is open for anyone who is interested in joining.

   “Anyone who is interested in the Arabic language or Arab culture is welcome to join,” said John Caseta, member of the Arabic Club, “The celebration of culture is also great because it is a great opportunity for organizations to fundraise and raise money for their club.”

     People had the opportunity to get henna paintings right outside the Student Service Center. by Aroob Fatima, Nour Haj Mabrouk and Sadman Mondalib.

     “Henna is a tradition done throughout the Middle East, North Africa, East Africa and even Southeast Asia,” said Nour Haj Mabrouk. It is something that started at weddings where the bride will get it during her henna party right before the marriage, now it’s so popular,  people all over the world get it just for fun and I love it because it is representing our culture.”

     The French Club had a table set up where cupcakes, flowers, brownies and éclairs were being sold.

    “This event is very important to me because we need to focus on other cultures specifically here at Bloomsburg. As you can see we have a diverse community and us coming together like this is not something you see everyday on  his campus. It’s good to see and learn where people come from and what they celebrate in their culture,” said Megan Burns, President of the French Club.

     The South Asian Society were promoting their organization and have future goals that they want to accomplish in the near future on campus.

     “We want to include everyone in joining our club,” said Sweetie Patel, member of the South Asian Society, “We will celebrate festivals, eat south asian food, watch movies, and celebrate events throughout the year.” We are planning to have the Holi festival that is celebrated in India during the spring on campus and we also want to celebrate Diwali which is the festival of the lights. We were thinking about decorating a tree on campus with pretty bright lights to represent it and that festival is celebrated in mid October.”

     Vice President of the African Student Association (A.S.A), Fatoumata Diallo, believes that celebrating cultures is important at a school like Bloomsburg.

      “At a predominantly white institution like Bloomsburg, minorities need to feel represented as well, so when we have events like this one, it makes us feel like we’re home and that we belong,” said Diallo.

      The A.S.A were selling platters that represented foods that come from African roots like meat pies, (empanadas) fish kebabs, spicy chicken, fried rice and more.

     The Black Cultural Society (BCS) were also selling homemade platters to fundraise money for their organization.

     “Today we are  selling fried chicken, baked mac and cheese, yams, collard greens, cabbage and cornbread,” said Chante Detreville, Secretary of BCS. “ I am happy that we are having this event because we get to understand different cultures and get a taste where we come from and what we go through. The BCS is an organization that meets once a week to discuss different topics going in the black community.

     “We meet every wednesday at 8:15 p.m. at the Kehr Union in the Multicultural room so anyone is more than welcome to come and join us,” said Detreville.

     The Muslim Student Association (M.S.A) had a table filled with beautiful scarves to have students try on a hijab.

     “We do this because it educates people about the hijab instead of people just saying I don’t know about it, this gives them a reason to,” said Megan McCaslin, president of M.S.A. We want people who are not familiar with the Islamic religion to know that the hijab is not forced, it’s a choice,” said McCaslin. “Some think it’s forced but we have many Muslim women here at BU who don’t wear the hijab because again it’s a choice.”

     The MSA is an organization that is open for anyone is interested.

     “This club is not only for Muslims, you can practice any other faith or religion, it doesn’t matter this is just for us to come together, have fun and learn,” said McCaslin.

     Francesca Crimi, president of the Chinese Club was writing zodiac sign and people’s name in Chinese.

     “We are selling gift baskets with moon cakes and traditional Chinese candy,” said Crimi. We included mooncakes because the moon festival is coming up on October 4th  which is celebrated in Chinese culture and during this festival people eat moon cakes.”

     Crimi also believes that the fair is an important one on campus.

     “ It is important for people to be informed of what’s going on and to recognize diversity,” said Crimi.

      With music, delicious food and fun activities, the celebration of cultures fair was a success and gave students a reason to come together and appreciate each other’s differences and the beauty of diversity at Bloomsburg University.  




Sweetie Patel (above) is seen here wearing a chaniya choli traditional gown.