Aicha Ly | Opinion Editor
It seems that almost everyone has TikTok nowadays. The few people who do not have this famous app undoubtedly have heard about it or seen it through videos shared on other social media platforms, such as Instagram and Snapchat. Its name is warranted; TikTok is so diverse in its content ranging from teaching, spirituality, politics, comedy, art, food, travel, therapy and more which makes it very easy for time to fly by as you scroll until you finally come across an ad that reminds you to take a break from the app. However, one trend out of its miscellaneous trends that stands out to me is the sharing of a cultural day event.
Essentially, in celebration of diversity amid divisive geopolitical events and difficult international challenges such as COVID, schools have taken the initiative to facilitate a “Culture Day” in which students come to school in cultural attire. These TikTok videos feature cultural music, food and dances from all around the world as students wear their colorful prints, jewelry and ethnic hairstyles. I believe this would be a wonderful event to bring to Eastern, becoming an annual or biannual event during the warmer parts of the year. Having a Culture Day in the beginning of the fall semester when it is warm out could be a great welcome for new and returning students as the academic year kicks off. Perhaps it could even be a required FYI event so students can be exposed to other cultures and groups on campus. On the other hand, having it in the Spring could be an educational and fun conclusion to the year in enjoyable weather. Depending on budgeting, this could be an event in which students can simply optionally wear their cultural attire to classes or it could be a bigger event with food trucks that cater cultural foods and music during University Hour.
There are plenty of identity oriented clubs on campus that could also hold a mini fair and potentially put on performances, in addition to justice clubs that advocate for diversity and inclusion–which are values that Eastern has been trying to more heavily incorporate. In a previous issue, I wrote about the lack of study abroad on campus. Both study abroad and the world languages department here at Eastern are very small; maybe a Culture Day event could boost their popularity if representatives are present with booths if it ends up being an outdoor university hour event. Afterall, both departments do relate to the world and the many people in it–focusing on breaking down barriers to international connections while expanding compassion and perspective as global citizens in the name of unity and understanding.
I believe a Culture Day would make Eastern stand out as an institution in a fun and enlightening way. It could possibly even be a great pitch for prospective students, increasing popularity with admissions if families on tours were able to see and participate in such an inclusive and enjoyable event. It is one thing to talk about diversity, but it is another thing altogether to witness and appreciate it. So, why not showcase and celebrate all the cultures represented by Eastern’s community?