Long Beach, News

Ethnic and gender groups celebrated CSULB’s Multicultural Festival

The Southwest Terrace was draped with over 200 flags from around the world Thursday to celebrate diversity at Cal State Long Beach.

The sounds of salsa music reverberated from the Multicultural Celebration on upper campus for the fourth day of Diversity Week. Passing students were invited to check out the variety of cultures with food and live entertainment.

The Muslim Student Association invited participants to learn about the Quran while the South Asian Student Association painted henna tattoos on those who were interested. Students with Disabilities at Large presented a game where they spun a globe, place their finger on a location and in return, learned about disability activists in that area.

Campus members gather around tables displaying traditional items from different cultures.
Ivette Manriquez
Campus members gather around tables displaying traditional items from different cultures.

While the notion that culture is about ethnic traditions, a few groups on campus posed alternative ideals.

“We are here today to basically show that queer culture is a culture that not everyone knows about,” said sophomore sociology major J Jimenez, vice president of Queers and Allies. “We want to help with diversity on campus and show that we are loud and proud.”

Other activities included a map of the world, which was covered in labels that pinpointed where students are from.

A blackboard displayed the phrase, “I respect diversity,” written in colorful chalk in French, Portuguese, Bangla, Arabic, Korean, Dutch and Spanish.

As some watched the Salsa Club and American Indian Community Drum Team performances, others decorated cardboard puzzle pieces with the flags of their cultures.

Kysha Bloem, program assistant of Associated Student Inc. Beach Pride Events, said that these puzzle pieces were a reflection of the wide-range of backgrounds, cultures and identities that make up the student population.

Volunteers from the student senate and President’s Ambassadors served empanadas, vegetable rolls, meat pies and boba to those who signed in.

“The event is embracing the different cultures and communities on campus,” said President Ambassador Averie Anderson, a senior majoring in marketing and human resource management. “It’s nice to see the campus be inclusive as it brings people together.”

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