Ettihad Fall Cultural Night: A sweet showcase of culture, food and community

Treats at the Saudi booth included Basbousa cakes, a traditional desert in the Kingdom. These cakes glistened on the ground floor of the SEC for the Etihad Cultural Night on November 3, 2022.

Abheer Singh, Print Contributor

When Iman Adem-Inter, an Ethiopian international student, first came to the Ettihad Cultural Center, it was for an event at the invitation of her friend Nazrawit Berhe. Now, the two of them worked together at the ECC to organize an immensely popular cultural showcase. 

“Students showcasing their culture, their food, and having that sense of community, is what we wanted,” said Berhe, who works as a leadership liaison at the ECC.

The annual fall cultural night is known as the smaller version of the popular Ettihad Cultural Festival held every spring, but this year, Berhe said the cultural night was “much more successful”, compared to last spring’s festival, gesturing at the large groups of students spread across the ECC. 

Another goal of the event was to popularize the center. 

“People are not aware of this resource,” said Adem-Inter, who is a community relations representative at the ECC.

The event certainly seemed to boost the center’s popularity, as a long line of students stood by the ECC doors to try an assortment of international sweets. Adem-Inter, Berhe and Acting Center Director Cassady Gilroy diligently handed out the small desserts which originated from India, Sadi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Turkey, Pakistan and more.

Gilroy, who also helped organize and direct the event, said the main goal was to have “community members get to experience the different cultures of our center.” 

According to Gilroy, the event provides the opportunity for many students to “experience something they may have never been able to experience before.”

On the other hand, Gilroy said the event provides students of these cultures the opportunity to “showcase the beauty of where they’re from.”

The Ettihad Cultural Center staff have plans for many more events to continue building community. 

During the fall, Gilroy revealed that the ECC will try to coordinate several “de-stressing” events near the end of the quarter. For example, “for finals week we’re going to try to prepare an actual cultural meal,” said Gilroy. 

In the winter, students can look forward to mental health and self-defense related workshops which are in the works. 

The Ettihad Cultural Night was a spectacular showcase of culture. The ECC was full of ethnic garments, delicious international smells and multilingual conversation.

The ECC leaders want visiting students to find a similar sense of belonging that they themselves have found. “I see something that represents me so I started coming here more often,” said Adem-Inter when describing her first visits to the ECC.  “I feel like I belong here.”

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