Friday, December 8, 2017

HDIC Events: Nationality Room Open House

On the first and third floor of the Cathedral of Learning, special classrooms exist called the Nationality Rooms.  These rooms serve to bring about cultural education at the the University of Pittsburgh.  Every holiday season, the Nationality Room Program decorates the rooms in the traditional style of the nationality and then have an open house where the public is invited to tour the rooms and learn about the traditions.

The Cathedral of Learning decorated for Christmas.
The event always starts off with a welcome and a kick off from the director of the Nationality Room program who has a history with the Early American Room since her grandmother is the ghost (supposedly it’s haunted) that occupies the room.

The kickoff of the event.
Throughout the event, there are three different things going on.  In the main hall of the Cathedral, different cultural dances and performances took place. These performances highlighted cultural history and traditions from around the world

Cultural performance taking place in the Cathedral Commons
Surrounding the main hall, the nationality room associations set up booths selling food and items from their nationality. 

Some of the food tables set up in the Cathedral Commons
And finally, the nationality rooms were open for tours with tour guides in them talking about the traditions of the nationalities and usually wearing traditional clothing.

The French Nationality Room and tour guide.

Tree decorations in the Lithuanian Room
The cool thing about the nationality rooms are that all but two of them are functional classrooms.  These rooms throughout the holiday season stay decorated causing a warm feeling within the classrooms (and sometimes a bit more cramped, but we’ll forgive it).

The Christmas Tree in the Czechoslovak Room.
If you get a chance this holiday season, stop on in to the Cathedral of Learning to check out the nationality rooms.  And keep an eye out for next year’s open house!

The decorated Chinese Room.

All images copyright © 2017 Allen Howard/HDIC Productions
All images shot on a Canon Rebel t7i with a Tamron 18-200 mm f/3.5-6.4 VC lens.

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