On Friday, Nov. 28, the International Student Office, which is part of Student Services, held their annual Christmahanukawanzaa party in the Whitebone Lounge at 7 p.m. For those who are unaware of what the Christmahanukawanzaa party is, it is a celebration that incorporates the major holidays of various faiths and cultures, and encourages students to come out and celebrate whatever holiday is important to them.
Gill Kazevman, the organizer of the event, had this to say about the turnout and reaction: “Two years ago there were about 50 people, as it took place after exam period. Last year and this year, the turnout was 150-200 people… It seemed like everybody had a great time. We had plenty of people, and everybody had something to do – if it was karaoke, decorating gingerbread houses, or playing Pictionary.”
It was obvious that students and guests were enjoying themselves, with the sound of laughter and off-key singing coming from the room. Students who may not have known each other before the event bonded over their first time decorating gingerbread houses, and shared their countries’ holidays with one another.
First year student Ryan Mullet said that his favourite part of the event was the vast array of different cultural foods and the karaoke, which he was rocking most of the night.
On UNBSJ and the event, Kazevman stated: “UNBSJ is a very diverse campus. We have many students that come from different countries and cultures, and celebrate different holidays during this time of year. In Christma-Hanukk-wanzaa we try to create a platform where everybody can celebrate the holiday that is important to them, and to educate other students about the different holidays their classmates celebrate. It is a great opportunity to celebrate the multiculturalism on campus and bring students together.”
Bonnie Sudul, International Student Advisor also commented on the immensely successful event, naming the sponsors who made it happen: “All I would like to add is thank you to the sponsors. The Christmahanukawanzaa Party would not happen without their financial support: Morneau Shepell, UNB Associated Alumni, Chartwells, UNB Saint John Student Services.”