Students spread culture awareness year round

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Students perform a skit in honor of Day of the Dead. Photo by Thomas Nguyen

By Narges Attaie, NewsNetNebraska

“It was the complete opposite of what I expected,” said Josh Buchmann a junior Political Science major.
His comment was similar to the many made by the audience who attended Día de los Muertos or Dead of the Dead in English on November 2.

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln is diversely enriched with students from all different backgrounds and countries, who make it a priority to share their culture with other students.

Philanthropies, dance parties, and pancake feeds are just a few social gathering ways that students in multicultural Greek systems and student organization incorporate cultural awareness at UNL all year around.

The Office of Academic Success and Intercultural Services (OASIS) is an undergraduate studies programs, which is targeted toward student success and cultural development. OASIS hosts different types of events. One of the events held at the Nebraska City Union was to represent Mexican culture. The event was held to honor the Dead of the Dead, a holiday that focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray and remember those who have died. The
event included Mexican desserts, dancing, and music. There was also poetry readings and skits about lost family members and friends.

Buchmann said he came to the invite to support a friend who was part of a skit for the event.

“I didn’t know what to expect,” said Buchmann. “But I didn’t expect it to be a celebration life.”

Another event hosted by OASIS at the Jackie Gaughan Multicultural Center (JGMC) was a Pancake Feed on November 18. The event was held for students to come to the JGMC to meet other students from different backgrounds and enjoy free pancakes.

Students also get involved to spread cultural awareness.

Sigma Lambda Beta, a Latino based fraternity, offers a salsa workshop every year called ‘Dancing with the Betas’ that encourages students to come and learn basic salsa moves.

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Miguel Beltran (Front) leads students in a salsa workshop. Photo by Thomas Nguyen

Sophomore Jaymee Patel had never done any type of salsa dancing before the event

“I didn’t know there were so many different types of salsa,” said Patel. “If it weren’t for this, I probably never would have tried it.”

“People seem to like it,” said Miguel Beltran, member of the fraternity and instructor of the workshop. “I love to dance and I enjoy sharing this bit of Latino culture with my friends. ”

Sigma Lambda Beta also hosts an entire week to cultural awareness every year called Beta Week.

“We have an event for everyday of the week,” said Beltran.

Beta Week consists of a different event every day of that week that has something to do with Latino culture.

One of those events is a potluck.

“We all cook a Mexican dish and we share it with everyone who comes,” said Beltran.

Most ethnic student organizations throw events that represent their country.

The Pakistani Student Association (PSA) recently had an event called Pakistan Night. The event included dinner, a skit about arranged marriages in Pakistan, and Pakistani music.

“Not many people know much about Pakistan, other than it’s a country,” said the president of PSA Asawar Sajid. Pakistan Night teaches its audience about Pakistan’s customs, culture, and major religion.

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Professional Dole players played tradition Pakistani music.

Bill Waters, a member of the OASIS faculty, regularly attends these events.

“I’m really proud of these students who make an effort and put these events together,” said Waters. “It really shows their dedication towards their heritage and I think it’s important for other students and faculty to come learn and support our students.”

“It really opened my eyes to how little I know about Latino culture,” said Buchmann. “I plan on attending many more events.”

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