Students celebrate Christmas in various forms across the globe

Published in the December 7, 2016 issue of The Bells Many of us have grown up in the United States associating Christmas with stockings, Nativity scenes, caroling, and sugar cookies. But those who are descendants of other cultures, sometimes have their own traditions when it comes to the holiday season. Mexico Professor Karla González grew up in Mexico, surrounded by Christmas traditions that combine the classic Spaniard/Catholic traditions with those of the indigenous people. “The Christmas celebrations in Mexico typically last two weeks and are very family-oriented,” Gonzalez said. “One of the most important traditions of the Mexican culture is the celebration of Las Posadas, where a group of people walk around the city to recreate Mary and Joseph coming to Bethlehem.” The group of walkers knock on a predetermined door and are rejected, as Mary and Joseph were at many of the inns. They continue this route of knocking on doors while singing a song about Mary’s story. In the end, the group will convene at a home, where they are invited inside. There is a big celebration with many family members and friends inside the house. The turkey or ham isn’t what you would eat for Christmas dinner in Mexico; instead, several varieties of tamales are served. “The ladies will all get together in advance and spend an entire day making tamales in preparation for the Christmas season,” Gonzalez said. “These tamales are filled with chicken or pork, but there is also a sweet variety for dessert.” They also serve many warm drinks during their celebrations since many times there are so many people that they have to celebrate outside. One of these drinks is a traditional atole. This is a corn dough-based drink, flavored with sugar cane and seasonal fruits. “They also serve a fruit punch, but not an American version,” she said. “It’s one more like a hot cider made with local tropical fruits, and boiled with cinnamon and sugar cane.” The children in Mexico do believe in Santa Clause, but when they receive presents they believe it was brought by Baby Jesus. One way you see this is by the nacimientos found in the plazas and at home. These elaborate Nativity scenes are more important to the Mexican culture than a Christmas tree. Australia To our friends down under, the concept of “let it snow” is completely foreign. Australian traditions are very unique and adapted to the climate that they live in. Dr. Claire Phelan grew up in Australia and shared some of her favorite Christmas traditions. “Walking down the streets there is the Australian equivalent to seeing the Macy’s Christmas displays in New...

Read More
Halloween DIY: Costume Edition
Oct29

Halloween DIY: Costume Edition

Who needs to buy one of those expensive, cheaply-made costumes from a big box store when you can make a DIY costume? As college students, we don’t have much money to spend on Halloween costumes. So, why not make one yourself from clothing articles you already have. Here are some helpful tips for making a costume that is sure to be a hit. Be inspired by your favorite TV shows and movies. Are you a Frozen fan? Then maybe you could dress up as Anna or Elsa. Or do you like Despicable me? Dress like a minion. It is easy and cute. Star Wars fan? Dress like Princess Leia or Darth Vader. For example, if you want to be Leia, find a white dress, make a grey utility belt using gray paper and a Sharpie, and role your hair in Leila’s signature side buns. Go to Walmart Walmart has plenty of character themed t-shirts like Batman or Superman that you could easily add pants or a skirt to creat a one-of-a-kind costume. Make sure you pick a costume you have time to make. It would be a shame to pick a costume that you do not have time to make depending on how close Halloween is. Find a few friends to help Don’t make your costume alone. Grab a few friends and make a night out of it. Look at what you have in your closet Sometimes you can make a costume with what you have already without having to purchase anything. One year I dressed up as Miss America. I used one of my old formal dresses, borrowed a fake crown from my little sister, made a sash from some ribbon lying around, and voila! It’s okay if you can’t sew There are many different ways to make a costume without knowing how to sew. You can even buy fabric glue from a craft store or Walmart at a minimal cost. Be modest You can have a cute costume without sacrificing your modesty. Making your own costume allows you to have control over how low your neckline is or the length of a skirt. Combine costume ideas If you can’t decide between two costumes, combine them. If you’re stuck between dressing up as Hannah Montana or a zombie, be Zombie Hannah Montana. Be Creative Don’t just go with the cookie-cutter costume that is the latest hit this year. Pick something you really want to be, and think outside of the...

Read More
Halloween festivites hit Central Texas
Oct29

Halloween festivites hit Central Texas

By Taylor McMaude and Lauren Lum Halloween: a holiday full of candy, costumes, the occasional scare, and pumpkin-flavored everything. This year the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor and the Central Texas area are bringing back old traditions and starting new ones as the Halloween season rolls around again. Scare Walk This year the American Marketing Association brought a new Halloween event to campus called the Scare Walk. It took place on Tuesday, Oct. 27 from 8 to 10 p.m. “The Scare Walk is an event that we started because we felt like there was a need for something scary to happen on campus during Halloween,” senior marketing major Kelli Durham said. The Scare Walk was a fresh take on a haunted house as it occurred outside in the woods on the trails of Peacock Ranch. As students and members of the community arrived at the gates of Peacock Ranch they were greeted by AMA members ready to drive them to the trails. Organization members then told guests a scary story before they traveled down the trail. Costumed creatures jumped out at the participants as the walk progressed. Although the event was a fundraiser for the AMA, their goal is for it to become a Halloween staple for UMHB students. “My hope is that it becomes an annual event and that we build on it every year until it becomes a big thing like Stunt Night or Homecoming,” Durham said. Halloween Headquarters The 3rd Annual Halloween Headquarters is returning to Presser Hall this Friday, October 30 from 7 p.m. to 12 a.m. The event, put on by Kappa Kappa Psi, the National Honorary Band Service Fraternity, includes a carnival in the Presser Courtyard and a haunted house inside of Presser Hall. The event is free and open to students and community members of all ages. “The biggest goal is for the community and the students to have a great time. We want to make sure that they stay safe on Halloween and provide alternative ways of having fun,” said sophomore music education major Ashley Wallace who is co-directing the event. The carnival portion of the event will feature games, pumpkin painting, free food, and more. The haunted house will be set up on the second through fifth floors of Presser Hall. The second floor is intended for younger audiences and the third through fifth floors are scarier and aimed to entertain older participants. “[Halloween Headquarters] is where we give back to the community. It is a joint service and social project that we do to give children and adults alike a fun environment for their Halloween festivities,” Wallace said. Candy Run...

Read More
Fall into fashion with these helpful tips
Oct29

Fall into fashion with these helpful tips

By Jasmin Ortiz With the smell of pumpkin spice in the air, sweater season is quickly approaching us. And although it seems the cooler weather won’t be here to stay until November, it’s never too early to break out your fall fashions. With the impending fall weather just around the corner, an interesting phenomenon is occurring – the attack of the flannels. All around the school, flannels are being sported on top of leggings, dark wash jeans, and accompanied by beanies or boots. “I think my fall fashion, personally, is much cuter than my summer and spring fashion,” sophomore psychology major Savannah Lawrence said. “I like long sleeves and boots and leggings.” Simple, clean, and stylish; the outfits of fall seem to just come together more naturally than those of other seasons. “I like fall fashion because I like flannels and I like scarves and I like boots,” freshman psychology major Kaelyn Searle said. Flannel is not only a signature staple of fall, but it can be both dressed up and dressed down. If you want to sport some flannel, here are some things to remember: For Girls A comfy look can be accomplished by wearing an oversized flannel shirt with a pair of leggings that are covered by the flannel shirt. Pair it with flats or booties. This simple look not only gives you an option to be in public in what feels as comfy as pajamas, but with a messy bun and a nice scarf or necklace, you can dress it up for a classy look. For Guys You can never go wrong with a large flannel shirt paired with a beanie and some comfy loose-fitting jeans. This look works by being cute and comfortable and classic fall. Ultimately, fall fashion is a chance for you to make a statement. Fashion is more than just clothes. It is a reflection of who we are underneath, who we hope to become, and where we have been. When you choose your outfit in the morning (or any time) what you wear makes a statement about who you are. A big T-shirt and running shorts, says you simply are just laid back or perhaps don’t necessarily find it too important, a dress and heels might mean you’re trying to impress future employers, and a flannel shirt and tights might mean that are you are excited to wear an iconic fall outfit. Fashion is a reflection, one that we are allowed and able to dictate as we wish. So this fall, I dare you, reflect and represent who and what you want to be. That is what all fashion is about,...

Read More
Faculty art inspires students
Sep01

Faculty art inspires students

Professors of the College of Visual Arts have a chance to show off their talents through the 2015 Faculty Art Exhibition. The exhibit opened Monday in the art gallery of the Baugh Center for the Visual Arts and features works of 10 professors. The department holds a faculty exhibit every other year, but this year’s exhibit serves a dual purpose as the department is a candidate to receive accreditation from the National Association for Schools of Art and Design. “We’re having a sight visit team come and they’re interested in seeing both the student art and faculty art, so we’ll have both displayed all over the building,” said Department Chairperson Hershall Seals. The exhibit is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Sept. 17. A reception will be held Thursday from 5 to 6:30 p.m. and is open to the public. The exhibit offers a wide variety of media including: painting, drawing, ceramics, sculpting and graphic design. Seals said this opportunity allows professors to put concepts they’ve taught their students into practice. “This exhibit displays for the student that their teachers know what they’re talking about, and shows a variety of art practices,” he said. “We have a range of two and three dimensional work in the gallery, and it brings legitimacy to what we preach and practice in the studios and the classrooms.” The gallery is a way for professors to serve as inspiration for their students outside of a traditional classroom setting. “The teachers are role models for our students, and this display is a visual way that we can communicate to our students what we’re all about as creative people,” Seals said. Professor John Hancock has a series of mixed-media pieces on display that combine painting and printmaking. He believes it’s important for art professors to practice what they preach. “I like to put my money where my mouth is and let them know that I’m not just a teacher, but an artist,” he said. “I make art without purpose or reason, other than I make art, and they should make art too because that’s what an artist does.” Seals said Hancock’s work allows the viewer to find meaning in what they see. “They are works of art that are intended to be confrontational,” Seals said. “It’s highly charged with the possibility of interpretation. Anybody can imagine what they want to from his work and it tells a lot about the person that’s imagining what they see.” The work of Professor Ted Barnes on display include paintings that were inspired by his travels. “I have made trips to Egypt, Rome, Israel and the Canary...

Read More
Cru For Life brings awareness through diaper drive
Apr15

Cru For Life brings awareness through diaper drive

Hope Pregnancy Centers serves Central Texas by offering compassion, accurate information and practical help to men and women facing unplanned pregnancies and past abortions.   “We want to help them in any way possible,” Junior Christian Studies major and Cru for Life officer Mike Perry said, referring to the group’s dedication to bolster relations with other ministries and to promote pro-life causes.   To serve an immediate need of Hope Pregnancy Centers, Cru for Life held a Diaper Drive from March 23 to 27.   “All the donations from the Diaper Drive went to Hope Pregnancy Center in Temple, TX,” Junior Psychology major Cru for Life President and Rachel Booth said.   “The center’s director was very thankful when we delivered the baby items. Pregnancy centers rely on the donations and support of others, so we are always looking for ways to serve them, especially since they provide such incredible resources for mothers, fathers, and their babies.”   Cru for Life received several diaper donations and nearly $300 in donations, which they used to buy infant supplies at Walmart.   The gifts served to meet more than a physical need Perry added.   He said the infant supplies will help break some ill-seeded beliefs about the pro-life cause.   “Hope took all of the diapers and items that we collected and is giving them to families and mothers within their first year of pregnancy that are in need of help. This is a crucial part of the pro-life movement, as the popular opinion is that pro-lifers don’t care for the women after they have the baby, but Hope and Cru for Life are looking to break that false stigma,” Perry said.   Today, the group heads to the Temple center to help plant flowers for its garden, “and we encourage all students to join us.” Booth added.   The Temple center is located at 2010 W. Avenue H.   “This semester has been awesome for Cru for Life. It’s been wonderful to connect with Hope and learn more about their ministry,” Booth said.   There’s more to come from Cru for Life this semester, though, as the work continues to spread their message.   “On April 28 at 7 p.m. in Shannon Commons, Cru for Life will be hosting a guest speaker named Arland Nichols, who is the founding president of John Paul II Foundation for Life and Family. He will be speaking to our group about birth control and Plan B,” Booth said.   As the world’s mentality is constantly bombarded with a pro-choice message, a talk on the issues is welcomed by a group seeking change.  ...

Read More