Friday Fest, a celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, took place on Friday, Oct. 12 in the Faculty Center. “Friday Cultural Fest has been taking place for more than 10 years, but this is the first time that we are partnering with the Office of Intercultural Engagement to feature Hispanic Heritage Month,” says International Student Advisor and DSO for the International Programs Center at UNCG, Stephanie Guzman.
On UNCG’s campus, students find others with common interests. Their culture might be the very aspect that creates a long-lasting friendship beyond college. When discussing culture, it is important to be taught by those who live within a culture what it means to them, their family and friends, especially within the United States where diversity is so apparent.
Within cultures, there are important celebrations like Hispanic Heritage Month. So, what is Hispanic Heritage Month and when does it take place? Those in the United States who celebrate start from Sept. 15 until Oct. 15. “It’s a time to celebrate the history and culture of the American citizen with ancestors from Spain, Mexico, the Carribean and Central America,” as explained on the Hispanic Heritage Month website. Celebrating the lives of those who came before, by carrying on the legacy and developing a passion to discuss another country one represents is very admiring.
Students should attend Friday Fests in the future because they “are a great opportunity for students to learn about other countries or cultures through visual presentations, games, activities and (often) food sampling,” explains Guzman.
At the Friday Fest, some of the student groups and organizations were in attendance, including UNCG’s S.A.L.S.A. as well as Chi Upsilon Sigma. UNCG students gathered at the tables speaking with other students who had a lot of knowledge about the groups they represent.
Food sampling allowed exploration of new treats. A flavorful lime and salt wheat snack, Totis Donitas, was present for enjoyment as well as Bocadín, a wafer filled with peanut butter and covered with chocolate.
One of the organizations, S.A.L.S.A- Spanish American Latino Student Association- holds meetings on Tuesdays. Hispanic/Latino students enjoy their time together while learning about heritage. UNCG’s community can gain knowledge about Hispanic/Latino culture. Students interested in being a part of the organization should contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Chi Upsilon Sigma, known also as Corazones Unidos Siempre, was founded April 29, 1980, at Rutgers University on the New Brunswick campus, and they have a home at UNCG. Seven Latina women wanted to create an organization that promotes leadership, community, service and a lifelong sisterhood with women in the sorority. The founders created an organization including three specific necessities which are “To service the community as well as fellow students, to open communications with all Rutgers University organizations and to develop an educational, cultural, political and social awareness amongst our Latino community and the Rutgers community,” as mentioned on the official website. It’s important for students to give back when and where they can, and have people that they enjoy spending time with to give back with.
More information about the history of this sorority can be found at www.justbecus.org. If you are interested in becoming a member of the Beta Beta Chapter at UNCG, visit them on Instagram and Twitter @cus_betabeta or email them at email@example.com.
The International Programs Center, which hosted the Friday Fest event, has other events students should take some time to explore. “We have International Education Week (IEW) coming up very soon (Nov. 12-16), which will feature a series of events, workshops and activities for students to get involved in… Leading up to IEW, we’re also accepting submissions for the International Photo Contest until Friday, Oct. 19!” stated Guzman. Students should get involved to learn more and have fun while doing so.
Culture is about gaining understanding, which leads to an appreciation of information or the people that make history interesting to talk about. Every UNCG student has a story, and Hispanic Heritage Month, every holiday and every year is time to embrace cultures together.