When I think back to my time at John Cabot University, so many things come to mind. But one word in particular stands out: diversity. Being a JCU student meant experiencing diversity in so many areas of my life. John Cabot is a diverse place: professors, staff, friends, classmates. My friends and I all had very different backgrounds. We came from various corners of the globe, bringing along our own cultures and traditions with us. That made our time together all the more special.
We all blended as one student body, and found our identity in the fact that we were becoming global citizens together. But during times of celebration and holidays, all of our wonderfully interesting differences would come out. Each one of us had something unique to bring to the table. One of my all-time favorite undergraduate memories is one of those occasions. A few days before Easter, some friends and I were having coffee on Viale di Trastevere. We were talking about how we usually celebrated the holiday, and we decided to all join together for one giant Easter dinner.
Easter started out in a very traditional manner. Each of us went to our separate church services to commemorate the importance of the holiday in our own traditions. The night before, some friends from Russia, Georgia, Ukraine, and Serbia went to the midnight Easter liturgy at the Russian Orthodox Church in Rome. On the morning of of the holiday, my Italian friends headed out to Catholic mass, and I attended a Protestant service. Already I knew that this was going to be a unique way to celebrate a holiday that I had always spent with family in the past. We all enjoyed our own traditions and expressions of our personal faith before joining together for one giant feast and celebration.
A Multicultural Celebration
After church, we all started cooking and getting ready for the dinner. I let my Italian friends do most of the cooking while I handled some other responsibilities of getting the apartment ready. One friend from Sicily prepared pasta using bottles of fresh tomato sauce sent from home. She also got lamb from the neighborhood butcher as per her dad’s very specific instructions.
Once the food was ready and the wine was poured, the evening began. We enjoyed pasta, meat, salad, and a variety of cakes and desserts. We played music in all different languages, laughed a lot and even dyed Easter eggs. That night, our international, interfaith, and multicultural apartment hosted friends from Sweden, Italy, America, Serbia, Bulgaria, the Republic of Georgia, Russia, and Saudi Arabia. I think that night was special for everybody. The food, the company, and the diversity made it so unique. I know that this kind of evening would only be possible at a place like John Cabot University.