Growing up, I was always drawn to exploring and learning about other cultures. From absorbing season after season of the Argentinian show Violetta and learning all of the songs before putting together my first coherent sentence in Spanish, to engulfing encyclopedias and documentaries about countries I had not heard of, I was fascinated by the diversity of cultures and peoples I was sharing this planet with but could only meet through the screen or the pages of my books.
The ever-curious younger Mary inside of me was filled with joy and infinite gratitude last Wednesday when the people I grew to love and appreciate through these few months came together to share and celebrate the elements of their cultures dear to their hearts. Living and studying together unites us with shared struggles and joys, and does it so well that it is easy to forget how many distinct stories merge together in our community.
Last Wednesday reminded me, yet again, of just how much more there is for us to learn and appreciate about one another. Kaleidoscope sheds light on those unique parts of ourselves and places we call home. Thank you for your songs and dances, for exploring the most delicious foods and desserts, for carrying your flags proudly, and for joining us in calling for peace. Thank you for your effort and for all the love that has gone into the event.
I hope… No, I know that Kaleidoscope is just the start of our exploration. The years to come will bring about more chances for us to celebrate and share those parts of our identities connected to places thousands of miles away. And with that, I also hope we all take the initiative to create those chances, to learn about and from each other, and to truly get to know what makes Vassar the beautiful community that it is.
With love and gratitude,