UMaine’s Multicultural Mosaic, where community meets the world

There were a variety of culturally enriching events taking place this past week. Among them was the Multicultural Mosaic, which took place this past Friday, April 7. This event was created in order to allow students attending the university to get a small taste of the different cultures that are present in and around the campus community.

This event is a literal mosaic of “varying cultures and faiths” hosted by the UMaine Student Heritage Alliance Council (SHAC). The goal of the event was to “fill the Memorial Union with diversity, activities, music, and refreshments” as described by SHAC. Those who were invited to represent were among the university’s student groups, clubs and organizations. Each group was given either a room or a table in the union to decorate and make their own in preparation for the event. As a result, half of the Union had been turned into a giant fiesta.

The Asian Student Association had prepared their tables with exceptional decorum, including a smaller representation of their classic festival dragons, large hand fans of Asian style, authentic style cloths used to make different traditional clothing items, umbrellas, lanterns, hats and marriage candles.

“These are for marriage,” vice president of the Asian Student Association Rong Zhang said about the candles. “When you get married, the candles are lit in the couple’s room where they bow and thank their ancestors. It also serves as decoration.”

The Latin American Student Organization (LASO) came fully equipped with all sorts of food, including chips, varying types of salsa, brigadeiros (a Brazilian delicacy) and other goodies. Their decorations included flags from each of the countries represented by the group and classic styled papel picado. They also brought a few classic college games from their arsenal, including ring toss and water pong. They will also be hosting coffee tables in the Union during the next few weeks as well as hosting Coffee Hour on May 5, or more colloquially, Cinco De Mayo.

The Spanish Club and the German Club came with goodies and news about their future events. The German Club had a special German cheesecake along with different types of German candy. As it turns out they will be having a dessert sale on April 26 featuring their popular cheesecake, a German black forest cherry cake, and many more classic dishes.

The Spanish club also decided to take advantage of the event’s hype to inform everyone about their upcoming Masquerade event. This will be taking place on April 22 in Estabrooke Hall where they will be partnering with the tango club in order to also provide a public dance lesson during the event. For the Mosaic though, they provided a fun assortment of hats for people to try out.

Additional clubs brought noisemakers, painted Arabic translations of your name in henna and other activities.

“I got to see a bunch of the tables,” Sarah Basques said. “The German Club had good cheesecake, a lot of clubs are also advertising for future events which is good to know about. It’s fun.”

This yearly event continues to serve as a unique opportunity for students to learn and try new things.

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