Monday, December 3, 2012

'Tis the Holiday Season

      In my last post I wrote about Thanksgiving and, just like that, we've now moved into the holiday season. As we're finishing up lessons and preparing for finals, the students of UWC- USA have also been looking ahead to the holidays. There have been several "big" events in the past week to get us in the spirit and we've been reminded again that we live in an extremely diverse community with students from both similar and different backgrounds.
* Dorm Day- On Saturday afternoon each of the six dorms got together for some quality dorm time and to celebrate the beginning of the holiday season. My dorm (Kili- the best dorm on campus :)) got together at our RTs (kind of like our dorm parent) house downstairs for some delicious pizza, salad, desserts, and home-made apple cider (yummmm), some campus charades, karaoke, Secret Santa gift exchange, and to share how we celebrate the holiday season at home. It was so fun and a great way to spend time with our dorm-ies. And hearing about the holiday traditions was incredible- I hadn't thought about how many traditions we have around this time of year. We talked about Christmas (and the wide, wide variety of traditions throughout the world), Hanukkah, St. Nicholas Day, New Years, Chinese New Year, Russian Christmas (we celebrate on the old calendar- so on Jan. 7), Diwali,  and others. The most interesting thing was how many of the holidays were based on similar events or principles and yet are celebrated so differently. Once again, a UWC moment of realization :)
* Love Cafe- I've mentioned cafes before. This one is a tradition where each performance is dedicated to an individual or a group. It was really fun and the performances were, for the most part, really good and/or really funny. I performed along with Z, A, and M. We did Dog Days by Florence and the Machine and I will try to post a video when I get it from G.
* Winter Concert- another Castle Concert, but this time with many more group performances and fewer individual performances. They were incredible- as always! And some of the holiday music definitely got us in the holiday spirit. Check out the livestream: 
* St. Nicholas Day- tomorrow at assembly some of the Europeans and I are going to talk about St. Nicholas Day which is celebrated on Dec. 5, 6, and 19 throughout Europe. We'll talk about the traditions surrounding the holiday and the legend behind the saint. Preparing for this has been a great opportunity for me to learn a little about my own culture and tradition and compare it to others', which are both surprisingly similar and surprisingly different. I won't tell you too much about it because it's a surprise for the  rest of the school, but I may fill you all in later.

I hope y'all are also excited for the season- Happy Holidays! :)

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