By Carlie Provident
An option of Dumplings, and a fortune cookie were open to those who attended Cultural Day, which was put on by Organization of Black Collegiates on Tuesday, Feb. 20, on Thiel Campus.
The event began with everyone stating who they were. The speakers were asked what fortune they got from their cookies. One individual in the crowd stated, “isn’t it interesting how relevant these fortunes in the fortune cookies are to our lives we are living right at this moment”.
International student Youin presented, “Happy Chinese New Year 2018 – Year of the Dog” Animals are used as representation for different years, she said. The new year starts when it does due to the Lunar Calendar. A 15-day festival. Chinese New Year goes back to before the 14th century. There are “Chinese New Year Customs” and traditional dumplings, and the color read.
She continued saying that Chinese New Year is celebrated with red envelopes, firecrackers, fireworks, etc. Youin hasn’t been home to celebrate the holiday in approximately 5 years. There are also Door Gods they put on their front doors to guard their families, she said The animals for the calendar were chosen through a race that the first 12 animals to make it first. Also, the animal of your birth year can help predict your year and how it will go for you.
Sereen Peace spoke of the Gullah Geechee people, from the college group OBC. She spoke of the traditional Gullah language known as Geechee. She then showed a video about a woman explaining how in ways hard to understand the language, but it is one that was used through history.
Another speaker of Geechee decent is Candice Glover. She spoke about Gullah Gullah Island and about how the people were taken from Africa by the British for plantations to grow rice, indigo, and cotton starting in 1750. She said this was all done to supply England with products they needed.
A show “Underground” was shown because it was relevant to reveal an island off South Carolina where these individuals stayed. This is “Roe Plantation” The Gullah community was specifically targeted for their skills, Glover said. Everything and everyone portrayed in the program was authentic from this island.
According to Glover, after slavery had ended many former slaves moved to Nova Scotia and Canada. Many migrated so that they would be accepted more by other people and where they would be more comfortable.
Peace said her great grandmother was born to former slaves, the Gullah Geechee, that still worked the land. Her grandmother lived to be 98 years old. She also had three children which were photographed in the images on her PowerPoint.
“In order to know where you’re going, one must know where they’ve come from,” said Peace
Lloyd Meeks then presented the culture in Baltimore, Maryland, which is where he’s from. He spoke of how crabs are a big part of his culture how steamed crab is very important. He showed slides of the city and how the culture has evolved over time, and also spoke as one who lives there, and the reality of each day.
“A city built on the toughness,” once said Gervonta Davis, a boxer from Baltimore, who overcame a lot of challenges.
Meeks also spoke of his foundation “The Meeks Foundation – For the Culture” and how they go into communities where they help with educating younger people no matter where they come from. This is so the people they help can change situations and avoid consequences. “It’s up to you to break the cycle” at the end of the day.