Coming from a homogeneous high school, I truly valued the importance of diversity when I came to college. Diversity and acceptance of other cultures is important for a university to thrive, where you are exposed to a myriad of different perspectives and beliefs. I have truly found a newfound love for going to different cultural events in college because this is one of the very few times in life that we will be around such different people from all backgrounds and all parts of the world in one setting.
I remember one day going to a Hillel service with my friend and even though we didn't understand the prayers in Hebrew, we were able to follow along in English and find things that were meaningful to us, even though they are part of different religions. Afterwards, the dinner was a way to mix Indian culture with Jewish culture because my friend was able to enjoy traditional indian food.
This upcoming weekend, Emory's Indian Cultural Exchange is hosting Holi, an Indian festival that celebrates goodness over evil through colors. Everyone is known to participate and learn more about the festival as well as participate in a wonderful celebration full of throwing colored powder on each other! It makes me so appreciative that people are so willing to engage in participation of other cultural activities and truly become aware of other backgrounds.
Recently, we planned a Chinese New Year event and residents of different halls were so eager to eat traditional Chinese food and play ancient Chinese games. At Emory, there are places for everyone to find their cultural niche and each place is open for others to experience. I still remember the first day that I arrived on to campus, and there were signs in each language that said "Welcome to Emory. We welcome you no matter where you are from."
This weekend many people are also going to a women's empowerment play to learn more about issues in Pakistan. My roommate is in the cast, and everyone from all different backgrounds are going to support this event to both learn more about issues in other parts of the world as well as to enjoy a good show!
Emory also has different organizations such as LatinX, Black Student Union, Hindu Student Association, Hillel, Chinese Student Association, etc to encourage diversity on campus!
I believe now more than ever, that it is important to be accepting and understanding of people of all backgrounds so as to become more culturally aware as well as to get a more well-rounded perspective on different issues by associating onself to different viewpoints from people of various backgrounds and walks of life.