BY: Christine Boland-Prom
My mother and my father are both Baha’i’s. The Baha’i Faith is a monotheistic religion that believes in the oneness of humanity. We believe of Progressive Revelation, meaning that different manifestations of God (Jesus, Moses, Muhammed) come throughout humanities time to reveal more of God’s message. This meant that “Christmas Break” was a break to celebrate a holiday my family didn’t practice.
My parents made a choice, to celebrate a holiday from another religion. They did this so that my brother and I would fit in at school. They knew how incredibly difficult it would be for a child to continuously explain to their peers why “Santa” didn’t bring them anything. How do you explain that to a 5 year old? They made a choice to celebrate Christmas with my brother and I.
I always looked forward to Christmas, because I got presents. And in a few months I got gifts during a Baha’i holiday, Ayyam-mi-Ha. Ayyam-mi-Ha translates to the Days of God. We celebrate God and the relationships we have, this often translates into gift giving as signs of appreciation.
When I was younger and my family celebrated both holidays I was always excited about presents. As I got older I started to learn the significance of Ayyam-mi-ha and I look forward to decorating the Christmas tree every year. My mom also make different types of Christmas cookies each year and the cookie plate is ALWAYS full of delicious cookies.
BY: Fatimah Ahmed
Culture is a very important part of our lives. It is a way of life that is very different for everyone.
My culture is very important to me, it’s part of my identity. I am a Muslim Indian American. I grew up in an Islamic school and Desi South Asian community. I grew up around kids that were Indian, African, Pakistani, Egyptian, and Palestinian. I loved learning about cultures and their ethnicity.
BY: Amanda Mudlaff
This summer I was provided with an experience of a lifetime. I was able to travel to Costa Rica with two of my best friends. I had always wanted to explore the world outside of the United States, and I finally was given an opportunity to do so. As it was my first time traveling out of the country, I was very nervous, but also extremely excited.
My friend that grew up there planned the entire trip. She talked to her parents in order to get discounts on tickets and was able to schedule an activity that everyone would love and enjoy. Her parents were the best hosts and tour guides we could’ve asked for. Her mom was very kind and was always up for adventuring with us kids, and her dad would quiz us on the culture of Costa Rica and was an amazing chef.
Throughout the trip, we got to experience some breathtaking and amazing feats that Costa Rica had to offer. We started our trip by spending the first two days in a hotel near a volcano. During that time, we were able to go white-water rafting down a river, as well as white-water tubing! The white-water rafting tour also provided us with lunch from an organic farm that offered the typical Costa Rican lunch. IT WAS AMAZING. Typical Costa Rican meals include rice and beans for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as chicken, yuca, and a salad. Afterwards, we were taught how to make sugarcane juice, and then given a shot of moonshine the farmers make themselves. We finished off the night by going swimming in natural hot and cold springs.
By: Helen King
College is a culture of its own. It’s filled with traditions, various experiences, and becomes its own world away from home. This new culture can be fun and provide memories that will last a lifetime, but it can also be very difficult to adjust to.
By: Brina Whittier
Studying abroad may just seem like a long vacation to an outsider, but it’s actually a life-changing experience for many students. Last year, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to study and live abroad in Luebeck, Germany for one year. I can honestly say that it changed my whole perspective about the world we live in. I was able to travel to 11 countries around Europe; many of which did not speak any English. From not being able to read a simple menu to acting out charades to communicate with natives, the experience opened my mind about how important it is to connect with different cultures. Studying abroad was a unique educational experience, not only from the different teaching techniques, but also from the interesting people I met along the way.