Marshall students share traditions, experiences during pumpkin decorating event

Decorating pumpkins when Halloween is fast approaching is not a new experience, but for some students, this October will be their first time to join activities like pumpkin decorating and celebrate spooky season, said an international student. 

“We don’t celebrate Halloween in my country,” said Ahmed Elhoseiny, a Marshall University student originally from Egypt. “We celebrate other holidays, such as Christmas, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, but I know Halloween by media.”

The Buddy System organized a pumpkin decorating event on Oct. 8 in the INTO Center Lobby with the goal to connect more students on campus, including international students, according to Rebecca Harrah, president of Buddy System.

“We try to get them involved in the community on Marshall’s campus,” Harrah said. “For us to share a little bit of our tradition and maybe get them to share their tradition with us, so we can learn more about different cultures and stuff.”

The Buddy System provided pumpkins and paints for students to decorate for free. Elhoseiny said the group gave him a warm welcome, and he enjoyed his first-time decorating a pumpkin.

“This is my first time to see this group, but I think they’re very friendly,” Elhoseiny said. “I’m very bad at painting, but it was very fun and interesting to do this with the group.” 

Sequoia Ware, a new member of the Buddy System, said this was also her first experience to join in on activity with international friends. 

“Where I’m from is a very small community, so there’s not a lot of diversity,” Ware said. “I’m not very artistic, but it’s fun just to sit around with the group of people and do something. I think it’s cool that we are in this area where the international (students) can come and join us. Like Ahmed, he didn’t even celebrate Halloween, but he’s still here to paint pumpkins.”

Harrah said the goal of the club is to help students get connected so that they have a friend to accompany them to events or activities both on campus and in Huntington. Harrah said activities like pumpkin painting can help the club reach out to more students, and the hope is that more students will get to know and join it. 

“Whether we have one or we have 10, or whatever comes, it’s a successful event,” Harrah said.

Information on the Buddy System and its upcoming events can be found on HerdLink.

Phuong Anh Do can be contacted at [email protected].