• 10 Baylor events that celebrate global diversity on campus

    Baylor Gateway to India

    Baylor’s student body is comprised of students from 80+ different countries who speak 40 different languages, hailing from every inhabited continent, countries bordering every ocean, and from every corner of the globe. Each student contributes pieces of his/her own unique culture and experience to the campus community.

    How does Baylor celebrate the cultures found in such a diverse student body? Baylor’s Division of Student Life and Department of Multicultural Affairs assist more than 40 different multicultural organizations, many of which hold their own cultural festival each year. Baylor students of all backgrounds enjoy food, music, dance and other traditions as they have fun together.

    Here are 10 annual Baylor events that celebrate global diversity on campus:

    * AsianFest — Baylor student organizations representing numerous Asian countries collaborate to hold a festival that features dance, music and fashion performances, representing centuries of Asian tradition from the ancient to the modern.

    * Autumn Moon Festival — Each year, Vietnam and other Asian countries celebrate a mid-autumn holiday, traditionally celebrating a successful harvest. Brightly-lit lanterns and mooncakes highlight the many traditions related with the holiday, and Baylor’s Vietnamese Student Association celebrates through the Autumn Moon Festival, their own take on the celebration.

    * Festival Latino — Both fun and forward-looking, Festival Latino (pictured below) features sights, sounds and flavors from Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela and other Latin-American countries, as well as a job fair and networking panel. ¡Parranda!, hosted by the Hispanic Student Association, is a highlight of the weekend, with music, art and Latin-American cuisine.

    Fiesta (now Festival Latino)

    * Gateway to India — Baylor’s Indian Subcontinent Student Association (ISSA) has hosted Gateway to India (pictured at the top of the page) each spring for more than 20 years. The event features a dance competition, music, and a fashion show.

    * Harumatsuri — Harumatsuri, which means ”spring festival,” celebrates Japanese culture with Taiko drummers (very large traditional Japanese drums), a tea ceremony, Japanese pop music performances, Soran Bushi dance, and more. This festival is held each year by the Japanese Student Association.

    * Holi Festival — If you see giant, multi-colored clouds flying over Fountain Mall, you might have stumbled onto Holi, an Indian festival of colors which celebrates the advent of spring. Held by ISSA, the event showers participants in colorful powders and is followed by an Indian dinner.

    * Kente Ceremony — A historical African-American celebration and affirmation of graduates as they prepare for their calling beyond campus. Each participant receives a colorful Kente cloth to be worn at their graduation ceremony. The event (pictured below), hosted by Baylor’s Department of Multicultural Affairs, is open to all Baylor graduates.

    Kente ceremony

    * Lunar New Year — Among the many highlights of Lunar New Year is professional lion dancing, a tradition found in China and other Asian countries in which dancers dress as and mimic the movements of a lion. Numerous student organizations take part in and perform at the event, which is put on by Baylor’s Asian Student Association.

    * StompFest — Stepping is a form of dance in which the body is used as an instrument to create beats and rhythms. This historically African-American form of expression is enjoyed each spring by students who not only watch stepping, but learn how to do it themselves. This upbeat show raises funds for Central Texas Sickle Cell Anemia Association and is organized by Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., and Baylor Student Productions.

    * Better Together Day — Last (but not least) is a day that ties it all together. This event (pictured below) is held each year by Better Together BU, a diverse campus network of Baylor staff and students who come together to grow in understanding and to work together to solve global problems.

    Better Together BU

    Sic ’em, Baylor family!

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