16 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, November 21, 1997
community celebrates potpourri of winter holidays
s cold weather sets in, students antici-
pate a brief respite in the form of
upcoming vacations. Thanksgiving
holiday and Winter Break beckon students
to traditional holiday feasts and loved ones.
Many University students, staff and fac-
ulty are gearing up for holiday trips back
home, while others will make Ann Arbor
their home for the holidays.
'There's no school, no
studying and no
The diversity of culture and religion on
campus causes a potpourri of holiday tradi-
tions and celebrations during the winter
Business junior Amin Irving said he cel-
ebrates the "traditional" holidays along
with Kwanza, which many African
Americans observe. Kwanza relates more
to his cultural history, Irving said.
"I plan to eat at Thanksgiving, open gifts
at Christmas, light candles at Kwanza and be
with my girlfriend on New Year's," Irving
The time off and away from the pressures
of school can be just as thrilling for students
as the holiday festivities.
"It's exciting because I can't stand
school, and there's no school, no studying
and no homework," he said.
Rockville, Maryland is the destination Ann Arbor's
for LSA first-year student Jeff home to cel
"Going home excites me," Goldberg
said. "My family celebrates Hanukkah. We exchange
gifts, light the menorah and the remembrance candle."
The remembrance candle is a 24-hour candle lit in
respect for those who have died, he said. But times have
changed as he and his brothers have grown up, Goldberg
"It's getting different now," Goldberg said. "Now that we
are all getting older, we don't always get to see each other for
the holidays. It's disappointing and sad."
Music first-year student Christina Shay looks forward
to going home so she can participate in a popular long-
"My friends at home and I like to go caroling," Shay said.
But Omena Ubogu, an Engineering
junior from West Africa, said staying
alone during the break makes him unhap-
"I usually stay in the dorms during
Thanksgiving break. It's really boring,"
Ubogu said. "It's like the worst thing on
Earth because no one is around, just me and
my TV set."
Ubogu said the only holiday she cele-
brates during this time is Christmas.
"I'm making plans to go to England for
Christmas because I have some friends
and family over there, but first I have to
see if I can get tickets," she said.
'Moms tend to send
Some of the more anxious and creative
in Ann Arbor don't wait until they are
home to get into the holiday spirit.
Shay said she uses her computer to put
herself in the holiday mood.
"I always decorate my dorm. I take pic-
tures and graphics off the computer and
past them up," Shay said.
Engineering senior Lynn Zwica said
that she and her roommates like to deco-
rate the house they live in.
"We have some Thanksgiving things
up now, and we'll decorate for
Christmas," Zwica said. "We don't real-
OUIS BROWN/Daily ly have room for a tree. We might get a
II head wreath. I know we'll have something. I
live with six girls, and moms tend to send
Student Services Representative Marilyn Fitzpatrick said
she likes to go to departmental parties and to play Christmas
music at the office.
"We work right up until Christmas Eve, but we have
fun," Fitzpatrick said. "We play chorales."
Fitzpatrick said that she liked to play "A Charlie Brown
Christmas" CD and the "Cow's Christmas," which
includes tracks titled "Deck the
Stalls" and "We Wish You a
Dairy Christmas and a Happy
e areall Moo Year."
wedont "Music is a big part of Christmas
o t for me," Fitzpatrick said.
S. State Street is decorated for the holiday season. Some students will stay around Ann Arbor for the holidays, while others wi
ebrate the season with family and friends.
"We started about two years ago. It was just something we
felt like trying, and it was pretty cool.
People will actually try to offer us cookies and things,"
Law first-year student Jasmine Abdel-Khalik, who is
planning to fly home to Gainesville, Florida for the holi-
days, said her family participates in United States holi-
days and Colombian traditions.
"On New Year's Eve we all get together and exchange
a New Year's gift and tell our New Year's resolutions,"
Abdel-Khalik said."New Year's is a tradition that comes
from my mom's side of the family. She's from Columbia
and New Year's Eve is actually more important to her than
Christmas is the other
holiday her family partici-
pates during that time.
"I get to put up the
Christmas tree when I get
home, partly because I am
the oldest and partly
because my mother does-
n't know how to decorate
and put a tree up," she
manager for the North
Campus Entree Office,
David Wahr, said that he
hopes to start a new tradi-
tion this New Year's.
"I'm hoping that I will
be joining Michigan at the
Rose Bowl," he said.
are so different
and staff learn to revise
and combine holiday tra-
ditions to observe the ritu-
als of more than one cul-
Architecture Prof. Mete
Turan, who's from
Turkey, said he's going to
Pittsburgh during break to
visit friends because he
Thanksgiving. But Turan
LOUIS BROWN/Da ly said he participates in
m Thailand, sts next to a some American holiday
idays. traditions because of his
"My kids are very excited about the holidays because
they celebrate both Turkish holidays and American holi-
days," Turan said.
Like Turan, Mira Mitra celebrates some American holi-
days because of her children's excitement.
"We celebrate at Christmas time and give gifts," said
Mitra, an administrative assis-
tant in Academic Affairs. "We
don't have family over here, so "Now that
we party with friends.
"My son will be coming ing Old
home for the holidays. He cele- g t
brates both American and Hindu always get
holidays," she said.
Mitra added that the main hol- each other
iday for her family occurs in
October, which is the celebration holidays.
of the Indian festival Diwali. She
traveled to India last year for the
event, which is known as the
"Festival of Lights."
"Our celebrations are so differ-
ent than here. It doesn't matter if you know someone or not,"
Mitra said. "We all go out on to the streets and celebrate
together. Here you celebrate with only family, we celebrate
Rackham graduate student Piyapol Nimmananuthron
said he won't celebrate Thanksgiving, but many of people
in his home country Thailand will.
"Thai people will celebrate everything because they like
to have fun," Nimmananuthron said.
Some international students are stranded in Ann Arbor
without the comforts of home.
"It upsets me that break doesn't fall during the Chinese
New Year because I would like to go back home for it,"
said Sandra, an LSA student who did not want her last
"The Chinese New Year is just like Thanksgiving.
Families get together, and we have fireworks and food,"
Sandra said. The New Year is celebrated on Jan. 28, she
Sandra, who is from Hong Kong, added that many of
the Chinese holidays, such as the celebration of mid-
autumn, have already occurred.
"For this celebration people appreciate the fullness of
the moon," Sandra said. "We light candles inside lanterns
and go outside at night to appreciate the moon."
She explained that moon cake is a sweet lotus seed cake
with a yoke inside.
Sandra plans to fly to visit her brother in Vancouver,
Canada during Winter Break and spend the Chinese New
Year with other Chinese students on campus. Sandra said
she wished the break occurred during the holidays that were
most important to her.
But she said she doesn't mind being in the dorms dur-
ing the Thanksgiving holiday.
"Friends can get together, and you don't have the pres-
sure of homework and school stuff," she said.
- Jeff Goldberg
LSA first-year student
'It was like the
classic bad trip
Holiday travel can be more of
an adventure than people desire.
Irving said bad weather almost ruined his vacation once
on his drive home to Lansing.
"My worst experience during holiday break was when I
was driving home, and there was this huge snow storm,"
Irving said. "I did a 80 (miles per hour) on 1-96."
Irving added that he was lucky that it was 3 a.m., and
there wasn't much traffic on the road.
LSA junior Colin Zyskowski also recalled road prob-
lems complicating trips home over the years.
"My car has broken down three times. I cracked my
engine block once, and another time I ran out of transmis-
sion fluid," Zyskowski said.
Zyskowski said that each time he had to have his par-
ents help him out.
"I had to walk in the cold, to a pay phone and call my
parents to call a tow truck," he said.
Shay, who doesn't own a car, relies on her parents to pick
her up and take her home to Bloomfield Hills.
Shay's parents drove all the way back to Bloomfield Hills
one time after Shay realized she had made a big mistake.
"We were all the way back here when I realized that I
had left my keys at my house. We had to drive all the way
back home to get them," she said.
Wahr and his grandmother had a bad time flying
home after visiting family in Denver after Christmas
"I was sick and my grandma had the flu during the
flight. There was bad turbulence, and there were scream-
ing children behind us," Wahr said. "It was like the clas-
sic bad trip experience."
Not all travel experiences turn into bad memories,
though. Abdel-Khalik had an unexpected surprise during
a layover when she was traveling to home to Florida.
"I was going home at exactly the same time as some
friends from other universities," Abdel-Khalik said. "We all
met in the Atlanta terminal by accident."
Rackham graduate student Plyapol Nimmananuthron, who's fror
Buddhist statue. He said he will not celebrate the upcoming hol
Students utilize travel options
Students hoping to get last minute holi-
day flights may have more trouble than
Most airlines advise that anyone flying
during the holiday season order tickets
three months ahead of their departure.
"We recommend three months, but stu-
dents should at least try to book a flight one
month in advance," said Tony Mihalic, a
sales agent for Delta Airlines.
Although airlines encourage early book-
ings to avoid waits and rushes, some flights
dents a discount card, which gives a 10 per-
cent discount for any fare all year.'
University Express, a luxury bus service
that runs students on routes between Grand
Rapids, East Lansing and the University is
active extra days before and after
"There will be additional runs to help
students get home. I have been flooded
with calls for Thanksgiving rides," said
Daniel Ward, University Express owner.
Holiday fare specials and student rates
discount on fares for people between the
ages of 12 and 22. The only requirement is
proof of age.
United Airlines has a domestic travel
package deal for people under age 25. It is a
$548 package of four coupons, which are
good for any two round-trip flights to any-
where in the United States. The coupons
must be used within a year of their purchase.
American Airlines offers a feature called
"Student Saver Fares," an e-mail service
that notifies students when their are any