In the middle of a very Maine February, Bowdoin’s College Houses recently offered a colorful global tour of sorts. For the college’s inaugural Language and Culture Week, each house adopted a language and threw a series of events in honor of some of the cultures that speak that language.
Quinby House hosted Spanish events. Baxter House became more French. Reed organized program celebrating Italy. Burn threw Chinese-themed events. The rest of the houses offered Arabic, Japanese, Korean, Russian or German events.
Evelyn Sanchez Gonzalez ’15 came up with the idea for Language and Culture Week. She helped student residents of the College Houses develop ideas for dinners, talks, workshops, performances, games and parties to celebrate the cultures they chose to spotlight for a week. “It’s is a time to look within and beyond ourselves in a more structural way to continue to learn from our peers,” Gonzalez wrote in her publicity materials. “You also won’t want to miss out on the food. ;)”
Helping the efforts were the student multicultural clubs, such as the Latin American Student Organization and Korean American Student Association, as well as Bowdoin’s language departments. The complete schedule of events is listed below the photos.
Gonzalez said her love of languages sparked her desire to organize the week-long program. Spanish is her first language, English her second, and she has studied French and Italian. “It came out of this love and energy to share this with others on campus,” she said.
She requested the College Houses offer plenty of educational events to make the week enriching. So along with a Carnival masquerade party, karaoke night and a series of Italian, Mexico and Russian meals, there were also talks by faculty, film screenings, a tea ceremony, an Arabic calligraphy workshop and dance classes.
Photos of the Japanese tea ceremony by Anna Aridome; other photos by Eliza Graumlich ’17 and Aviva Mattingly ’15
9 p.m. Ladd: Carnival Masquerade Campus-Wide: A Global tradition, usually celebrating the beginning of the Catholic holiday lent. Wear: Colorful clothing, fitting masks, and beads. Sponsored by Ladd, Reed, the Italian & German Department
4 p.m. MacMillan House: Growing up in North Africa and the Middle East: A Discussion with coffee and tea about students’ and professors’ experiences.
6:30 p.m.-7:30 pm Howell House: Japanese Tea Ceremony
7 p.m. Helm House & Russian Department: Film showing of “The Tribe” (part of the World Cinema Festival)
7 p.m.-8 p.m.MacMillan House: Cooking and Arabic Calligraphy
7 p.m. Burnett House: Chinese Open House: Performance of Chinese music by a student, Introduction to Chinese courses, Envelope (luck ‘money’) give aways – a traditional practice during the celebration of Chinese New Year, Chinese Calligraphy demonstration
5 p.m. Ladd House: German Table and Authentic Meal; German students and staff with come speak/cook in Ladd; open to whole campus
6:30 p.m. Edwards Dance Studio: Arabesque Barre Open Studio for all seeking to learn
7 p.m. Helmreich House: Bliny! Celebrate the Russian Holiday Maslenitsa with Pancake-making and Music
7 p.m. Reed House: Talk with Associate Professor of Romance Languages Arielle Saiber
7 p.m. Baxter House: Talk with Associate Professor of Romance Languages Hanétha Vété-Congolo
6 p.m. Reed House: Italian Dinner
7 p.m. Baxter House: French Film & Food
8 p.m. Quinby House: Mexican Loteria Game Night with the Latin American Student Organization
7 p.m.MacMillan House: Arabic Film Screening and Discussion
7 p.m. Burnett House: Screening of ‘A Touch of Sin’ by the Cinema Dept in Sills Auditorium
7 p.m. Quinby House: Dinner & cooking Mexican Food with LASO, followed by dance lessons including salsa, bachata, merengue and cumbia
8 p.m. Reed House: Cooking Italian Food
9:30 p.m. Howell House: Miyazaki Movie Screening with Anime Club
7 p.m. Kresge: Film screening of German film O, Boy, with reception prior.
9-11 p.m. Howell House: Karaoke night with Korean American Student Association