AUBURN, Ala. – On Sept. 28, the Auburn University International Cultural Center in the Office of International Programs brought Cuban culture to life on Spidle Hall lawn prior to the Auburn Football game. The Year of Cuba tailgate offered attendees the opportunity to indulge in traditional Cuban cuisine and learn the basic techniques of salsa dancing from the group SALSAtlanta, all while cultivating community through interactive conversations about Cuban history and customs.
“Not only was the food delicious, but the people were friendly and welcoming which made my experience at the tailgate worthwhile and enjoyable,” said Gordon Chibada, public administration master’s student. “Also, the educational components on Cuban culture and traditions were a fascinating part of the event.”
The Office of International Programs developed the “Year of…” program in 2012 to introduce the Auburn community to the rich variety of cultures around the globe through the study of a particular country or region during the academic year. So far, the program has highlighted East Asia, Western Europe, India, the Middle East and North Africa, Canada and this year Cuba.
“The Year of Cuba program is important to internationalizing Auburn’s campus and engaging local and global communities,” said Adeola Fayemi, manager of the International Cultural Center. “The cultural education programs and events help people break down stereotypes, build connections across cultures and develop the intercultural competencies needed to be globally competitive and responsive in today’s complex, interdependent world.”
In spring 2020, the Year of Cuba will continue with several free events, including an on-campus book launch and signing for Auburn University Honors College Dean Tiffany Sippial’s new book titled ‘Celia Sanchez Manduley: The Life and Legacy of a Cuban Revolutionary.’ Also, there will be an opportunity to participate in the Year of Cuba Conference at Kennesaw State University on March 20-21.
(Written by Kalani Long)