MSA Celebrates Culture in a Night of Food and Fun


A smell appetizing enough to make any stomach growl wafted through the cafeteria, as music representing countries all around the world prompted people to get up and dance. Balloons and flags filled the room with color, alongside the attendees’ elaborate and elegant outfits.

This was the setting of our school’s annual Culture Night, hosted by the Muslim Student Association (MSA), on Friday, June 2nd. At the event, there was music, food, a lit backdrop for photos, and a safe space for students to bring their cultures in a night of celebration.

Mariam Alajjan, the facilitator of MSA, said that Culture Night was made to celebrate cultures from all around the world and create an environment where students feel included and welcomed.

“I think it’s important because it makes kids feel at home, it makes their cultures feel appreciated, and it opens people up to new things,” Ms. Alajjan said.

In preparation for Culture Night, the members of MSA had to find people to cook all different kinds of foods, buy decorations, and get as many people as they could to attend.

“I would say [preparation was] a little stressful, but it’s also a lot of fun,” Ms. Alajjan said. “I’m learning a lot in the process, too, so it’s great that I get to meet new people and talk to new people and just immerse myself in cultures that are new to me.”

French teacher Gina Reichert attended the celebration and enjoyed everything it had to offer. She believes that sharing cultures is important, and was pleased with how the night turned out.

“I believe that it’s important for us all to know that it’s not just us,” Ms. Reichert said. “We’re all different. It takes all people to make the world, and it’s a beautiful thing.”

Takiya Awwal, the president of MSA, said that bringing cultures together is an important aspect of the Muslim religion.

“Even in the Holy Quran, it talks about how it’s important for different countries and different places to come together and to unite, and Culture Day is kind of a way for us to do that,” Awwal said.

Awwal also shared how important was to respect different cultures, as well as being able to distinguish culture from religion.

“I just think everyone should respect each other’s cultures, no matter what it is, and realize that religion and culture are two different things, and sometimes people do get them mixed up,” Awwal said. “Like, yeah, I’m Muslim, but I’m also Ghanaian-Nigerian and Togolese. There’s different aspects to both.”