Global Initiatives gives Trojans a taste of international celebrations throughout September
September 29, 2022
USC Chan’s Global Initiatives office joined students, faculty and staff in celebrating several important holidays in September. As a truly international division with students from more than 15 countries, the Chan community enjoyed, shared and learned about deeply meaningful traditions from around the world.
By Danny Park
September 14: Mid-Autumn Festival and Chuseok
Global Initiatives served mooncakes to observe the Mid-Autumn Festival and Chuseok, important holidays celebrated by many people in East Asia to observe a successful harvest. “The Mid-Autumn Festival is a day for friends and families to gather together in China,” said Wen Guo, a student in the USC-Peking University Health Sciences Center dual-degree program. “The full moon and round-sized mooncakes represent reunion and happiness. Thanks for the mooncakes from Global Initiatives! It made us feel warm as if we were at home!”
September 18: Fiesta de Nuestro Chile Querido (Chilean Independence Day)
Students, staff and faculty honored Chile’s Independence Day by playing Chilean games, enjoying a terramoto (a beverage of pineapple ice cream and grenadine) and sharing Chilean recipes. “It was a wonderful opportunity to show Chile and the presence of Chilean occupational therapists at USC,” said post-profssional master’s student Carolina Garcia Maldonado, who is a licensed occupational therapist in Chile. “I believe that this space for expression and promotion of different countries and cultures is invaluable and undoubtedly opens doors to generate alliances within the Division and the campus. It was a pleasant surprise to meet and hear from other Chilean students, and I hope we continue to build a Chilean and Latino community!”
“Today was a way of showing my culture to other people from different regions of the world and learning about similarities,” said post-professional OTD student Daniel Hofstadt. “I learned that Mexico has the exact same drink as terramoto, but instead of using pineapple ice cream, they use vanilla. Also Las Argollas is a traditional game in most South American countries. I was very happy to give a space for people to share.”
September 21: Saudi National Day
USC Chan’s Saudi Arabian students celebrated their culture by sharing dates, Arabian coffee and providing Arabic translations of people’s names as they commemorated Saudi National Day marking the 1932 unification of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
“For Saudis, every 23rd of September is an important date, as we gather and express the love we hold for our country,” said post-professional master’s student Hayouf Alobathani. “This year, my Saudi colleagues and I were delighted to celebrate this joyous occasion not in our country, but within the Chan family who made us feel like we are at home! Thanks to the Global Initiatives for their support, for giving us unforgettable moments, and unforgettable loving family!”
“It was an enjoyable and memorable learning experience about the Saudi Arabian culture, and I truly appreciated the Saudi students’ open and warm attitude towards the many different students who were also willing to build cultural awareness,” said Global Initiatives OTD resident Jiwoo Choi.
September 26: Rosh Hashanah
On September 26 and 29, Global Initiatives served apples and honey in observance of Rosh Hashanah, a Jewish holy day that literally translates to “New Year.”
“To me, Rosh Hashanah is all about reflecting on the lessons of the past year, and letting go of the things that aren’t serving you so that you can be a better person in the year to come,” said Entry-Level OTD student Roxana Honowitz. “This early time of year is always hectic with the start of school coinciding with very important religious Jewish holidays. It was lovely that Global Initiatives took the time to sweeten the New Year at Chan with apples and honey not only for the Jewish students, but for everyone to enjoy! It has been a treat to share about our own practices as well as learn about others’ as well.”