Saint Mary’s Around the World Club recognizes diverse heritages
Allison Bowman | Monday, November 20, 2023
On Friday evening, Saint Mary’s Around the World Club (AWC) held an event to celebrate the end of International Education Week.
AWC partnered with the multicultural and international student services office to provide a space for students to celebrate different cultures and help them set up display tables. The tables were filled with a variety of foods, candies and gift bags from different countries. Many students also engaged in games and international karaoke songs.
Club president Chinaza Ezechikamnayo said the goal of the event was to bring everyone together and celebrate all the cultures represented at Saint Mary’s.
“When I came to Saint Mary’s, I was the only Nigerian student at Saint Mary’s. And sometimes when you’re far away from home, there’s always a sense of isolation and not being connected to your environment,” Ezechikamnayo said. “So I started the Around the Globe Club to make sure those that did not feel at home could have somewhere where they feel at home.”
The event had flags from numerous countries including Nicauraugua, Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania and many more. Even if it’s just one person in this school, displaying these flags helps you feel like your culture is identified and respected, Ezechikamnayo said.
Ezechikamnayo added that the event was also for other U.S. students to have an opportunity to appreciate the cultures represented at St. Mary’s.
“We have so much beauty and diversity at Saint Mary’s, and we should appreciate stuff from other countries and continue to make friends and connections with others,” Ezechikamnayo said.
Freshman Lucy Vung Nu said it was really nice to be able to gather around and celebrate all the different cultures.
“I think it’s important because it recognizes all the different cultures around the world which is very important to remember that there are so many people that are not what we are used to everyday,” Vung Nu said. “I’m really glad Saint Mary’s has events like these where we recognize a lot of different cultures and ethnicities around the world. Even if it’s just sitting and eating and talking to friends, it’s a really nice way to interact with others.”
Club secretary Madison Suseland said the main goal was to give everyone the opportunity to learn about new cultures, experience things that they maybe wouldn’t otherwise and get to learn about different communities.
“I think today’s event is important because it’s really functioning as a way that we can celebrate different cultures and diversity at Saint Mary’s,” Suseland said. “I think it really creates a space for people to try new things and have new experiences.”
An international student Maria Brasil said her favorite part of the event was making personalized flags to represent different countries.
“It’s important to bring awareness and make other people’s cultures known because it’s such a big part of Saint Mary’s,” Brasil said. “We have such a diverse community so it’s nice to have our countries represented.”