The Oregon State University Women’s Center, Pride Center, and INTO-OSU collaborated to put on a Cross Cultural Halloween Party on October 30, 2011 in the MU Ballroom. Over 200 international and domestic students participated, making the evening entertaining as well as educational for many.
It was several international students’ first time experiencing Halloween in the United States. They chose to attend the party to learn more about Halloween and to make cross cultural connections with other attendees. Shivangi Agrawal, a freshman from India, explains, “I went to the Halloween party because I have never been to one before; when I used to watch it on TV or in western movies back in India, it always attracted my attention. The whole thing is so fascinating and new. Nothing like this would ever happen in India and I had to experience it.”
Keeping with the tradition, guests were encouraged to come in costume and could enter a “Most Creative Costume” contest. Benny the Beaver created a stir when he showed up, mingling with the crowd and posing for pictures with them. Shivangi herself dressed in a costume – a Pirate – for the very first time and showed it off on stage. “I didn’t win but it was so fun going up on the stage like that. I usually have a lot of stage fright”. Music, dancing, food, candy, photo booths, and the traditional practice of pumpkin carving combined to create a festive atmosphere.
Shivangi said of the experience: “I’m so grateful and glad that they decided to do this. Otherwise I wouldn’t have gotten to experience anything like it…It was a lot of fun. I opened up a bit after that party and made new friends in this totally foreign country. It made me miss home a little less and I really hope they keep doing stuff like this. They did an amazing job.”