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Celebrate Appalachian’s diverse cultures starting Sept. 9

BOONE—Appalachian State University’s Office of Multicultural Student Development kicks off its fall 2011 events with its first campus-wide Eid Al-Fitr (pronounced eed al fitter) potluck Friday, Sept. 9, from 7-9 p.m. in Plemmons Student Union’s Grandfather Ballroom.  The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required to ensure an accurate food count.  An RSVP form is available at  Guests are also invited to bring a covered dish.

Eid Al-Fitr is the Muslim holiday that marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan.  It is a joyous occasion where families come together to share a meal and celebrate life.  During the festival, participants will have the opportunity to learn more about Ramadan, meet new people, see and learn about Bhangra folk dancing, get henna tattoos and share a traditional meal.

Other events sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Student Development will include a Kwanzaa Celebration Wednesday, Nov. 30, from 6-9 p.m. in Legends.

Based on harvest and planting ceremonies in Africa, Kwanzaa (which means first fruits) was created as an African-American celebration by Dr. Ron Karenga of California in 1966. It is formally celebrated seven days and nights each year, Dec. 26 through Jan. 1. Each day, one of the seven principles of African tribal traditions is celebrated as a candle on the Kinara (candleholder) is lit.  The Office of Multicultural Student Development is having this celebration before the traditional dates due to the university’s winter break.

The final event for the semester is Find Yosef a Holiday Festival Friday, Dec. 2, from 5-7 p.m. in Plemmons Student Union’s Blue Ridge Ballroom.

Guests can have a holiday passport stamped by visiting booths representing 24 holidays from around the world, pose in a photo booth and win fun prizes.  This is a fair-style festival of winter holidays from around the world.

There is free parking for guests available in campus parking decks and parking lots after 5 p.m.

For more information about these and other multicultural events, contact Augusto Peña, interim director of the Office of Multicultural Student Development, at 828-262-6252 or visit