CAB and SDEC Host Annual Intercultural Festival


Photo of event T Shirt Taken by Captain’s Log Staff

CNU’s Student Diversity and Equality Council (SDEC) and the Campus Activities Board (CAB) hosted their annual Intercultural Festival on The Great Lawn last Friday afternoon. 

The event featured arts and crafts representing different cultures around the world. Participants could design Mardi Gras masks or decorate coloring pages patterned to look like Kitenge, traditional African clothing used for celebratory occasions. Students who participated in any one of these activities received a free tie dye shirt with the Intercultural Festival logo on it. 

The event also included samples of food from various cultures, such as butter chicken and naan, king cake and pad thai.

Sophomore Jasmine Batth, the Vice President of Programming for SDEC, shared with The Captain’s Log why she thinks the Intercultural Festival is an important event for the CNU community.

She said,  “I am a person of color at a predominately white institution. I love our university and I love what we’ve done in order to embody the spirit of diversity, but I think that putting on events like this helps to showcase it more to the student body. I think it helps celebrate cultures outside of what can be seen here in Newport News or that are more widely celebrated in the United States.”

Batth talked about Holi, one of the celebrations being represented at the Intercultural Festival this year.  Holi, also known as the Festival of Colors, is a Hindu festival in which people dance and throw colored powder at each other.

Batth said “One of my cultures is being celebrated. So for me, getting to listen to my music, getting to play my games, that’s special to me in a way that most other festivities aren’t”

Junior Alyssa Itinger, a member of CAB’s executive board who serves as the Culture and Lecture Chair,  also helped organize the event. She emphasized the importance of respecting other cultures while also educating people, “I grew up overseas in many different countries and one of the things I loved was celebrating other cultures.”

Itinger, who has lived in Thailand before, expressed her excitement in bringing Songkran to the Intercultural Festival. Songkran, or the Water Splashing Festival, is part of the Thai New Years celebration.

To find more information on upcoming events or activities, follow @cnucab and @cnusdec on Instagram.