Interfaith Holiday Dinner gives ‘broader perspectives’

Attendees+of+the+Interfaith+Holiday+Dinner+gathered+in+the+Student+Union+to+celebrate+the+traditions+of+different+cultures.+

Photo by Ysabella Gonzalez- Reporter

Attendees of the Interfaith Holiday Dinner gathered in the Student Union to celebrate the traditions of different cultures.

Ysabella Gonzalez, Reporter

On Wednesday, Dec. 1, Community Service Center held an Interfaith Holiday Dinner in the Student Union where multiple holidays were celebrated over one dinner. 

Sophomore Regan Laubscher, a student intern at the Community Service Center, said the dinner was her project that she has been working on for the past few months. Laubscher didn’t know what interfaith meant from growing up in a nonreligious household until this year, and said she thought it was really cool once she knew about it.

“The idea of interfaith is important,” Laubscher said.

Laubscher said she chose the food from the menu of previous dinners, selecting what was served before, and did some research on the different holidays and what the people of each culture eat. She said she was really happy with the turn out that the event had and that it was crazy to see everything come together.

In the future Laubscher said that she hopes to add more holidays to the dinner than just Hanukkah, Diwali, the Lunar New Year, Kwanzaa, Christmas in Jamaica, Christmas in Mexico, Christmas in Italy, Ramadan, Baisakhi, and Nowruz. 

Each holiday got one or more food items to represent them, such as breads, main dishes, and drinks. They also each got a stand that explained the holiday and culture. There were also activities attendees could participate in, where they decorate a mason jar or candle holder to reflect their views of the world.

“I think it’s a really great thing to learn about other people and their religious holidays that they celebrate, and their culture, because it gives you a broader perspective in the world you live in and it’s really cool,” Laubscher said.

First year N’dia Battle attended the event by accident with her friends. She said she had seen posters about the event celebrating the different holidays, but had just gone to the Student Union to study. She said that she thought it was cool and decided to participate since they were already there.

“I started talking with other people and I was like, okay, so this seems like a nice event to get involved with,” Battle said.

Senior Emmalee Villafana came to the dinner since some friends of hers worked on it and for the free food. 

“It’s really important to realize that the holiday season is about so many different cultures and religions and holidays,” Villafana said.

She said she really enjoyed the casual atmosphere of people talking and hanging out. She also really enjoyed the food provided.

“Traditions change for people and are special and unique to each person,” Villafana said.  “It’s a reminder that everyone has each individual experience and we need to recognize, but come together and enjoy it together.”