Find Yosef a Holiday

Since 2004, Appalachian has presented a fun and interactive fair that provides easy and accessible ways to learn about cultural and religious international holidays.

A festival of images, sounds, foods, and activities that represent these holidays, "Find Yosef a Holiday" is an annual event organized by students and presented by the Office of Multicultural Student Development. Each year, the campus and the public are invited to participate in this unique celebration that shares holiday tradition and history, and supports and affirms the cultural backgrounds and experiences of all members of Appalachian's community. The reference to Appalachian's mascot, Yosef, pays tribute to Appalachian's own cultural reference and invites students to think broadly about what culture and community mean to them.

On November 30, 2010, over 300 students participated in the "Find Yosef a Holiday" celebration, which was held in the Student Union. Attendees learned about:

  • Rosa Parks Day
  • Saturnalia
  • Day of the Dead
  • Christmas
  • World AIDS Day
  • Holi
  • Le Chandeleur
  • Moravian Love Feast
  • Irish St. Stephens Day
  • Winter Solstice
  • Wintereenmas
  • Junkanoo
  • Ramadan
  • Eid-Al-Fitr
  • Eid-Al-Adha
  • Chinese New Year
  • Hmong New Year
  • Guadalupe Day
  • La Befana
  • Diwali
  • Chanukah
  • Egyptian Coptic Christmas
  • Vishu
  • Kwanzaa

Augusto Peña, Interim Director for the Office of Multicultural Student Development, explains the importance of making a tradition out of honoring different traditions. "It is important for Appalachian to recognize and celebrate the cultural diversity that is present in our community," says Peña. "Students who participate learn a great deal about the traditions of others and assume the powerful role of peer educator as they transmit their new knowledge to students who attend the event. Ultimately, all students come away with a broadened perspective, an appreciation for diversity and a renewed willingness to seek out new knowledge."