The Daily Pennsylvanian is a student-run nonprofit.

Please support us by disabling your ad blocker on our site.

The United Minorities Council’s Celebration of Cultures event was held on Mar. 20 at Houston Hall. Credit: Abhiram Juvvadi

The United Minorities Council and the 2024 Class Board hosted a "Celebration of Cultures" event on Mar. 20.

The event — which was hosted at Houston Hall as part of Penn Student Government Week — provided cultural groups the opportunity to share their cultural practices with the Penn community. The event featured food, activities, and performances.

“It's the best way for as many people to interact with as many cultural clubs on campus as possible,” UMC Chair and College junior Oumy Diasse said. 

This was the first time the event has occurred since the COVID-19 pandemic. According to members of UMC, the collaboration with Class Board — which had the idea to plan a similar event — was an important part of reviving the tradition.

“I think [working together] was very good and very productive,” Engineering sophomore and member of the UMC and 2025 Class Board Engineering Chair Fiona Wu said. 

The two groups said the division of labor was beneficial, with UMC coordinating with student groups and Class Board handling renting the space and ordering merchandise for the event.

Credit: Abhiram Juvvadi Students sample snacks from around the world.

For the students in cultural groups, the event was a chance for them to display their culture and learn about others.

“It was nice seeing all the different cultural associations there are at Penn. I really liked the Korean Student Association station,” College first-year Dahai Yonas said. 

As a member of the Penn African Student Association, Yonas was also involved in putting together a table to showcase aspects of Africa. The PASA table served jollof rice, a popular West African dish, and invited students to answer trivia questions for a chance to win jewelry.

“I think they liked the food and learned more facts about Africa,” he said. “It was cool to see their reactions.”

The event closed with performances from a variety of groups, including Penn Taekwondo, Pan-Asian Dance Troupe, Strictly Funk, and more.

Credit: Abhiram Juvvadi Penn Sargam, a South Asian Classical and Fusion Music Group, performed in the Hall of Flags.

“All the groups were very talented. I think that was a good wind-down to the event,” College junior Mehmed Ozkan said. “I feel like this was a good way for these people to put themselves out there. The Taekwondo club, for example, I’m hoping to check out.”

Following the success of the event, Diasse said UMC has plans to continue hosting events that will facilitate similar intercultural interaction and hopes to collaborate with other groups. 

Students echoed this sentiment of wanting more events of this kind, mentioning the importance of cultural awareness in the Penn community and expressing their interest in seeing the Celebration of Cultures event return to being an annual tradition.

Credit: Abhiram Juvvadi Food from various world cuisines was served at the event.

“I think it was special that everyone could come. We usually see an Asian cultural thing or something specific but not cultures from around the world,” College sophomore and member of the Penn Philippine Association Myka Salvacion said.