By Jessie Morgan, Student Writer
On Tuesday afternoon, students and faculty gathered at the Union for the first ever Caribbean Get-Together. This event, a gathering organized by the Multicultural Council, featured food and games inspired by Caribbean culture.
The Caribbean Get-Together was attended by students of both Caribbean and non-Caribbean descent. Students from an array of Caribbean nations, such as Jamaica, Trinidad, Belize, Puerto Rico, and the Bahamas, came to connect with others from similar backgrounds. However, some students and faculty had no direct relation to these countries—they simply attended to learn more about Caribbean culture.
Judith Kyei-Poku, a first-year student from Ghana, emphasized the importance of being exposed to different cultures within the Messiah community.
“Events like this is what allows us to learn and appreciate other people’s cultures” Kyei-Poku said. “You don’t have to be a part of a certain group to attend their events. Learning and experiencing those who are different from you is what allows you to grow and become a more well-rounded and accepting person”.
A number of games and activities were played during the hour-long event. In the first activity, all attendees were split into two groups. Each group was given a word, and would have to think of a Caribbean song with that specific word. Towards the end, students battled each other in Dominos, an especially popular game in the Caribbean.
According to Laura Almeida, chairman of the Multicultural Council, the event was organized in an effort to introduce an official club specifically for Caribbean students.
“A few girls came interested in creating a club, or at least having more opportunities for Caribbean students to have places where they can be together and share about their cultures” Almeida said.
The Multicultural Council has begun to try and create a Caribbean Student Union. However, creating an executive club is a long and tedious process. In the meantime, the council hopes to host more events like these so that Caribbean students can have a place to connect with others from their culture within the Messiah community.
“My favorite part not just about this event, but about MCC, is making sure that international students have places where they can be themselves at Messiah,” Almeida said. “Having a space where they can feel at home, where they can be open to being themselves, and having other people that can relate with them can really just help them feel included in the community.”
Katriel Moss, who helped organize the Caribbean Get-Together, is a first-year student from the Bahamas. Moss was inspired to create a hangout space because of the importance of creating a home-away-from-home on campus.
“Coming to the states, if you see another Caribbean student, it feels like family” Moss said. “We love to talk about our culture…I’d say we’re a little proud!”
In the near future, the Multicultural Council hopes to see a thriving Caribbean Student Union in the making. As for now, hosting events like the Caribbean Get-Together will help create a refreshing atmosphere for students from that corner of the world.