Who knew that simply partaking of a few diverse cultural experiences could have such an impact on you? Who knew that they could be so interesting, rewarding, educational and fun? Who knew that as a result of experiencing different cultures, you could be a better person and a better American?
It started with an idea to seek out culture and a few people willing to believe and invest in the pursuit. We wanted to experience culture in our area and to do it in community with each other. We established the culture club and got approval for funding and then started the adventure of discovering events to attend. We first attended the Asian Celebration. While there we watched cultural dancing, pet snakes (it was the year of the snake) ate authentic Asian food and got to know each other a little bit. Our next activity was attending a play about the lives of nine different Iraqi women, called “Nine Parts of Desire”. This was an intense, emotionally riveting play, which the University of Oregon Theatre Department generously treated us to. Only two of us went, but we were very glad we did and we bonded with each other and grew individually as well. Next we hosted showing the movie, “Life of Pi” in the chapel. This was our highest participation event and was fun to host. Next we went to a talk by Nigerian author “Chimamanda Adichie” which took place at the University of Oregon. It was fun to engage with some students from Willamette University. This talk was not what we expected, but we did enjoy getting to know the author on a more personal level. It also sparked conversation between students and staff. Our last event consisted of a cultural exchange of dancing. A visiting high school student from the country of Jordan came to NCU’s campus and shared a part of her heritage with students and staff from multiple universities. We learned a courting dance and shared a NCU student’s rendition of the ‘wobble.’ Many laughs later we realized that dancing was a great stress reliever during dead week and we hope to have the opportunity to do something similar next year!
We hope that more students will join the culture club next year and join in the activities. But apart from that we would like to encourage everyone to partake of the many cultural activities in our area. Who knew that there were so many affordable cultural events in our local community? Get involved, get diverse!