Three Surry Community College Scholars of Global Distinction held a recent presentation and discussion about the holidays and traditions in their countries of origin or country of their ancestry. The students included Alejandro Mayorga of Colombia, Manuel Scenna of Italy, and Anayeli Garcia of Dobson who researched and presented the holidays and traditions of Mexico.
Those in attendance learned that both Colombia and Mexico have a day called “The Day of Love and Friendship, ” which is similar to Valentine's Day in the United States. This holiday in Colombia and Mexico celebrates love among friends, as well as romantic love. Colombia celebrates the day in September instead of February.
There are also differences in the way these countries celebrate Christmas. For example, in these three Catholic countries, instead of exchanging gifts on Christmas Day, these citizens have gifts delivered on January 6th, which is the epiphany in this country, but known as Three King's Day in those three countries. On that day, gifts are delivered as the wise men delivered gifts to baby Jesus.
In listening to the presentation, participants learned about the similarities and differences, as well as backgrounds of various holidays. Sarah Wright, who is an English and Political Science Instructor at Surry Community College and the event organizer, said: “The event was an overwhelming success. Audience members were intrigued and grateful for the information and insight. I always like to learn new things, and there are few ways better to learn than from the experience of others. I was particularly intrigued and appreciative to learn of the way that Italy commemorates and memorializes the victims of the Holocaust through the Holocaust Memorial Day. January 27th is the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, but in Italy is also a National Holiday. Countries who maintain awareness of such atrocities are less likely to repeat them. ”
The Scholars of Global Distinction is a new program open to all students at Surry Community College: Wright is the faculty advisor for the program. Scholars complete 15 credits of globally intensive courses, attend eight “passport ” events, complete an immersion program, and deliver a capstone presentation. Participation in the program fosters increased global awareness and skills to compete in the globally diverse world.
For more information about the Scholars of Global Distinction, contact Sarah Wright at firstname.lastname@example.org or (336) 386-3439.
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