On March 5, Fordham Advocates for Cultural Enrichment (FACE) held its first cultural showcase in room G76 of the 140 West Building as part of an annual weeklong series celebrating cultural diversity on campus. This event was sponsored collaboratively by FACE, the Caribbean Students Club (CSC), the Student Organization of Latinx, Filipinos of LC Offering Welcome and the Humanitarian Students Union.
Each of the five student organizations contributed food, clothing or members of their club to help make the event possible and reflect the culture their clubs represent. According to Jemina Molines, Fordham College Lincoln Center (FCLC) ’21 and president of CSC, the idea to host this event was brought about by the desire to share information about foods, fashions and customs of different cultures that many Fordham students may be unfamiliar with.
Kaylin Bridglall, FCLC ’21 and a committee member of FACE, said her goal for this event was for students to have fun, but also learn something new about another culture.
“We thought that this cultural showcase would be the best way to showcase different cultural identities that exist at Fordham,” Molines said.
When it was time to eat, students formed a long line and piled their plates with many cultural foods including dumplings, pholourie, mac and cheese, fried chicken, arroz blanco, moro rice, habichuelas, and baklava. Molines’ club provided Jamaican patties, savory pastries normally filled with meat that are a common appetizer in Jamaican culture.
After dinner and a visit to the photo booth, students sat down for the cultural fashion show. Clothing items from China, Mexico, Myanmar, Egypt, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Korea, Panama and India were represented. All the clothing belonged to the students who participated in the fashion show. They wore bright colors and walked confidently as they modeled dresses, skirts, shirts and sarees.
As students walked the dance floor with clothes representing their cultures, emcee Robert Stryczek, Gabelli Student of Business ’21, read information about the clothing pieces and significance to their cultures. Music reflecting each culture also played in the background.
“I hope that a lot of people will come out and have a good time, but at the same time take something away from it,” Bridglall said. “I was really into this idea because people shouldn’t feel weird or different in their cultural clothing. This is a chance to show off something that you’re really proud of and that feels representative of your identity.”
This year’s cultural showcase not only captured the diversity of the Fordham student body but the collaboration of multiple groups on campus and their strong efforts to bring students together to celebrate what matters most to them.