Ethan Lam / The Daily Gamecock

USC celebrates multicultural holidays with Christmahannakwanizka

The Office of Multicultural Student Affairs and Student Government partnered to host  Christmahannakwanizka, an event that combined holidays that are celebrated during this time of year in the Russell House Ballroom.

The event featured a collection of various holiday treats and drinks, including eggnog and apple cider. There was holiday music playing in the background, and eight tables spread around the room. Students were gathered around the tables, talking and trying out the food. Every once in a while, the music would pause and someone would speak about a select holiday.

This is the first year that this event was held, so organizations involved worked to celebrate and highlight every culture.

"This year we were looking for ways to celebrate and highlight everybody, while keeping everybody engaged in a super fun way," said Lyric Swinton, third-year sports and entertainment management student and the secretary of inclusion and equity for Student Government.

Some of the holidays represented at this event were Kwanzaa, Diwali and Hanukkah. 

"It was really interesting to learn about a bunch of different holidays ... We sat at the Kwanzaa table, so we learned a little bit more about it," said Elle Boyle, a first-year visual communications student.

Something that stood out to some attendees was the variety of students at the event. Students could not only learn from the description cards placed at each table, but also speak with other students about the holidays. Fourth-year social work student Erin Woods said it was unique in that the event felt open and inviting to many cultures.

"I love an event where a lot of people from different backgrounds come together and just celebrate the holiday season in general because I think we always loosely use the term holidays with a lack of understanding of how many different celebrations there can be," she said.

The event organizers hoped to get students in the holiday spirit regardless of what they're celebrating.

"I hope that students will leave this event honestly knowing that we represent all cultures," Swinton said. "We also understand that every student, faculty or staff member here cannot just be automatically put into a particular category. Different people celebrate different things so we just want to be inclusive and celebratory of all of those things," Swinton said.

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