The Student Union was filled with lively energy on Nov. 1 as students gathered to enjoy Café International: Holidays Around the World. The event is held every semester by the World Languages Department to inspire and educate students about the languages offered at Palomar: Italian, Spanish, German, Japanese, and French.
Attendees were given a passport to collect passport stamps by participating in games and activities centered around the holidays of countries that speak the languages represented. Spanish professor and contributor Kathleen Sheahan said, “An ideal outcome is that students feel inspired to study languages”
Sheahan ran a game for one of the Spanish tables that challenged students to match holidays of Spanish speaking countries with the month they occur in. Her approach was focused on education over accuracy, and all participants were rewarded with a piece of traditional bread.
On the opposite side of the event, the German language table hosted a matching game that encouraged attendees to match a holiday and city with items representing the holiday and the region it’s celebrated in.
“We would like students to become aware that German is spoken not only in Germany but also in Austria, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein,” German Professor Beatrice Manneh said.
The event featured music, games, and free food and candy, all centered around the theme of holidays around the world. Palomar student Cynthia Garcia enjoyed a tamale at a Spanish language table after learning to fold a paper crane at the Japanese language table.
Garcia noted, “It was really nice to see parts of my own Hispanic culture represented and also learn about how other cultures celebrate days that are important to them.”
The professors and students running their respective language tables were all eager to share the specifics of their holidays with passing attendees and encouraged participants to take some food or a cultural candy with them. With enthusiastic attendees keeping the tables busy and engaging to earn their passport stamps, this semester’s Café International seemed to be a resounding success.