Cultural Events Bring New Experiences to Campus
The United Front Multicultural Center (UFMC) is one of the many departments that has taken an active role in promoting cultural events at the University of San Diego. According to Dr. Mayté C. Pérez-Franco, the Director of the United Front Multicultural Center, “most of the programs and events at the UFMC focus on culture… We pride ourselves in helping to celebrate differences and promote acceptance of all cultures with special emphasis given to the groups that affiliate with the UFMC.” In responding to why it is important to have cultural events at USD, Pérez explains, “Part of our focus is to educate the community. This means expanding beyond what we are familiar with and learning about other cultures and beliefs so that we can achieve a welcoming, inclusive and collaborative community.” The UFMC and the student organizations it supports have the unique opportunity to create a space for community members to explore, grow and become immersed in new experiences that are common in other cultures.
For the very first time on campus, USD's South Asian Student Association (SASA) hosted a Diwali celebration. Diwali, or Deepavali, is a “festival of lights” held in mid-October or mid-November, around the time of the harvest New Year, to celebrate life, love, wisdom, and the triumph of good over evil. For four days, the cities are illuminated by rows of clay lamps, or "deepa", and filled with music, food and dancing. Natasha Daulut, president of SASA, fondly remembers Diwali as “a cultural event when the Indian community comes together for dance performances and lavish dinners." Daulut adds, "On the particular day of Diwali, my mother would make the most amazing and mouth-watering dishes and we'd wear nice clothes.” 115 attendees stopped by the Hahn UC Forums on October 26, and experienced Indian culture at its finest. The event featured traditional Indian food, Bollywood music, a Bhangra dance workshop, a henna tattoo center, and the hosts made sure to wear traditional garb, in the form of vibrant sari’s.
Dia de Los Muertos
On November 3rd, the Association of Chicana Activists (AChA) hosted its annual Dia de los Muertos workshop. Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a Mexican holiday celebrated not only in Mexico, but also in the U.S. and other Latin-American countries. Day of the dead is traditionally celebrated typically around the Catholic holidays “All Saints Day” and “All Souls Day.” Families and communities create altars and gather for a celebration of life and death in Mexican culture, specifically by honoring the memory of deceased family members. At USD, the community was invited to the United Front Multicultural Center for a lunch workshop where participants had the opportunity to decorate their own calavera (skull) and learn about the symbolism behind sugar skulls and Dia de los Muertos.
If you are interested in attending cultural events this semester, its not too late…
United Front Multicultural Center Community Meeting
December 6, 2011 at 12:30 p.m.
These lunches are designed to connect students with other USD students, faculty and staff. In addition, they provide valuable information about the UFMC's programs, as well as other university and community resources.
Virgen de Guadalupe Mass
December 11, 2011at 7p.m.
The Immaculata Church
The USD student chapters of the Association of Chicana Activists (AChA) and the Movimiento Estudantil Chicano de Aztlán (MEChA) welcome the public to attend the annual mass at The Immaculata.
For more information about the United Front Multicultural Center and cultural events visit: sandiego.edu/unitedfront/
"Our focus is to educate the community by expanding beyond what we are familiar with and learning about other cultures and beliefs so that we can achieve a welcoming, inclusive and collaborative community."