Opinion: Campus cultural festivals are crucial for students to attend

There are many places on campus where students gather and spend time with each other. These include club events, social gatherings, and — most importantly — cultural events!

Tis the season to attend cultural festivals conducted by our wonderful RSO’s on campus! Now that the sun is out and the academic year is coming to a close, it’s time to expand our knowledge on the cultures of many of our peers.

Through these cultural festivals, students are able to discover the countless countries that we have so much to learn from. At these festivals, students are also able to learn about the several student organizations on campus, which celebrate a variety of ethnicities.

But knowledge won’t be the only benefit to attending these festivals. Cultural festivals also allow us to truly interact with the many peers we may have otherwise not seen as much around campus. These festivals create a friendly space for questions and dialogue between students about one another’s culture.

These festivals are a much easier and better place to learn about culture from people of the culture being studied, rather than other places, where information is limited and sometimes false.

By doing so, inclusive campus dialogue is created, which our campus strives for. It’s important for us as students to gain this knowledge from each other.

Cultural festivals hold creative booths that feature countries around the world and showcase various traditional garments, cultural jewelry, ethnic dances and native cuisines. From baked goods in Russia to sweets in Pakistan, there’s always so much to try at these festivals. Who would ever want to miss out on new, delicious food?

These festivals also help to break stereotypes. Unknowingly, humans have an instant bias in their mind, whether it be heard from a TV show, from another person, etc. By learning from others who are close to their heritage, we break free from these stereotypes that distance us even more.

Hosting these coordinated cultural festivals gives students on campus a chance to express their own culture. It may not be obvious, but students often wait to have an open platform to showcase their culture to the rest of the UW community, as it’s easier than asking for help.

Many UW cultural festivals have been fun and successful in the past, and there is always room for more booths. So go out and support cultural discourse by attending campus cultural festivals!