Students can attend a variety of multicultural, diversity events this month

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By Andrew Nieves and Marissa Lundeen

A dancer performs in a previous year’s Fiesta. Multicultural Student Services has its annual Fiesta event this weekend. (Multicultural Student Services)

November is here, bringing with it cooler temperatures, an endless stream of midterms and event season. The Multicultural Student Services and other multicultural and inclusion groups on campus have events going on that can give students a much-needed respite from the onslaught of homework and studying this month. 

Fiesta

Multicultural Student Services is hosting Fiesta, an annual celebration of Latin American cultures on Friday, Nov. 5 at 7 p.m. in the Wilkinson Student Center Ballroom.

BYU’s Diwali celebration will provide the BYU community a unifying foundation to explore South Asia’s cultural heritage and people. (BYUSA)

The event will feature dances and musical performances from various Latin American countries. Tickets can be bought online.

Diwali

Diwali is a major festival that celebrates the victory of good over evil, knowledge over ignorance and spiritual light over darkness, said Kethura Vennamala, vice president of the BYU South Asian Student Association.

The South Asian Student Association is hosting a Diwali celebration this Saturday at 11:30 a.m. in the Wilkinson Student Center Garden Court. Diwali will provide the BYU community a unifying foundation to explore South Asia’s cultural heritage and people.

The event will feature live performances, food for the first 150 people, henna and photo opportunities.

South Asian Student Association President Gabriel Abello said prosperity and the triumph of spiritual light over darkness is why Diwali is an important festival for so many people around the world.

“People can relate in the sense of overcoming our own demons and seeking for greater prosperity in our own lives. The celebration helps us come together with family and friends to celebrate these triumphs,” Abello said.

Native American Life Q&A

November is National American Heritage Month and there are multiple opportunities to learn about Native American culture, heritage and history from fellow BYU students.

BYU’s Native American club Tribe of Many Feathers is hosting a Q&A panel discussion on Native American life. The panel discussion is on Tuesday, Nov. 9 at 7 p.m.in room 5519 of the Wilkinson Student Center.

Erika Yellowhair, president of the Tribe of Many Feathers, said the Q&A is a way for Native American students to be seen and heard on campus since students from Native American backgrounds are often forgotten.

“We want to share our club members’ voices to help other students see that we’re still here and relevant,” Yellowhair said.

Tribe of Many Feathers has other events taking place throughout the month of November to celebrate Native American Heritage Month.

Lū’au

The Multicultural Student Services presents Lū’au, a celebration of Polynesian heritage and culture. (Multicultural Student Services)

Multicultural Student Services is also hosting Lū’au, an event that will highlight the diverse heritage of Polynesian peoples through student-led music, song and dance performances.

Lū’au will be Nov. 17 and 18 at 7 p.m. in the Wilkinson Student Center Ballroom.

Hayley Aiono, the administrative services coordinator for Multicultural Student Services, said the objective of the event is to teach leadership to the students planning performances, as well as cultural education and inclusion to those attending.

“For those attending in the audience, we hope that they come, and first and foremost, enjoy themselves. But we also hope that they feel immersed in these different Polynesian cultures and that they can learn something new about these rich cultures that are being represented,” Aiono said.

Tickets for Lū’au can be bought online.

Candid conversation with LGBTQ students

The Office of Student Success and Inclusion is hosting a “candid conversation” with LGBTQ students so they can share their experience of being queer at BYU.

Marissa Gilson, inclusion advisor for the Office of Student Success and Inclusion, encourages BYU students and employees to come, listen and learn from their fellow peers.

The event is Nov. 11 at 6:30 p.m. in room 3220 at the Wilkinson Student Center. Gilson said this is a great opportunity for students to feel they are being heard and their experiences are being understood.

“We really hope that students that come to the event will feel better equipped to talk to students who identify as LGBTQ and to be advocates to this community, stand up for them when they are not there and also be a friend,” Gilson said.

The Office of Student Success and Inclusion is hosting an event where LGBTQ studentswill share their experiences at BYU. (Office of Student Success and Inclusion)
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