Office of Multicultural Affairs Special Clubs
- Somo Lo Maximo: Hispanic-American Club
- Brother II Brother
- Sister II Sister
Hispanic Heritage Week:
Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15. It was enacted into law on August 17, 1988, on the approval of Public Law 100-402. The day of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September18, respectively. Also, Columbus Day or Día de la Raza, which is October 12, falls within this 30 day period.
India presents a cultural potpourri of number of religions with their own festivals and celebrations but the four major religions followed in India are Hinduism, Islam, Christianity and Sikhism in the descending order. There are a number of regional festivals which are celebrated in particular areas only. Bright colors brightly lit religious places, illuminated houses, sweets and traditional dresses and dances and unwavering enthusiasm are the characteristics of all the festival holidays in India. Cuisine, dresses and ornaments, especially of the Indian women, with the profusion of golden, red and yellow colors, cultural and traditional performances and music, chariot and car procession of the deities and interesting folklores give the Indian festivals their universal appeal. The concept of universal brotherhood encompasses all the festivals of India and the vibrant colors, warm hospitality and infectious buoyant spirit of the Indians attract people from all over the world to take part in the Indian fairs and festivals.
Asian Heritage Week:
Family reunion is an essential theme of Asian festivals. The Chinese New Year (Spring Festival), celebrated by Chinese all over the world, is always a period of family gatherings. Conflicts or ill manner on these days are regarded as a sign of bad luck in the future; therefore people always keep the festival harmonious. In Asian festivals also emphasize the seasonal change according to the lunar calendar. In Japan, for example, the coming of the cherry blossoms (sakura) is one of the happiest events in Japan. First and foremost, it heralds the coming of the spring, which is a delight since winter in Japan is bone-chillingly cold. With so many celebrations and festivals in the Asian Heritage we cannot cover all of the festivals and celebrations but we spend this week recognizing almost every Asian Heritage celebration or tradition.
African Heritage Week:
In 1926 Dr. Carter G. Woodson instituted the first week-long celebration to raise awareness of African Americans’ contributions to history. Prior to this time, little information could be found regarding African American history. Important achievements were left out of history books, and there was a general misconception that African Americans had made little contribution to U.S. society or history. 50 years later, the week became a month, and today February is celebrated as African American History Month. The month of February was chosen because it celebrates the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, both of whom dramatically affected the lives of African Americans. Frederick Douglass (1817-1895) was a writer, lecturer, editor, and civil rights activist who escaped slavery at age 21 and went on to campaign for the abolition of slavery, establish a newspaper, and hold the office of Minister to Haiti. He was a major voice in the anti-slavery/civil rights movement of his time. Abraham Lincoln (born February 12, 1809), as the sixteenth president of the United States, issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, thereby declaring that all slaves within the Confederacy would be permanently free. Each year, the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, founded by Dr. Woodson, sets the theme for the month.