Do You Say "Happy Holidays?"
It started with a single, simple holiday greeting.
“Merry Christmas,” wrote Monika Valecic ’12
in her native Croatian on the white board in the Chase House
dining room before lunch on Saturday, Dec. 6.
Monika Valecic '12
Before long, her cheerful yuletide message had turned into
three dozen artistic holiday renderings in languages from
around the world.
After Valecic scribbled
her message, other students followed with their own until
the whiteboard, which is typically used for posting the
day’s menus, became crowded with holiday
cheers. Finally, Tina Atkinson, a cook in the Chase kitchen,
started handing students colored markers and sheets of paper,
suggesting they make their messages into holiday posters.
She printed out a masthead for the display saying “Holidays
Around the World.”
Now, an array of colorful posters with holiday wishes lines
the aluminum hood above the Chase ovens, stretching across
the expanse of the kitchen.
“Feliz Navidad,” says
one in Spanish. “Mele Malakahiki,” greets another
in Hawaiian. "Sretni
praznici," as it's pronounced in Croatian. Arabic. Turkish.
|Chase staffer Kathy Martins (left), shown with Gina Bendinelli (center) and Gina Hicks, encouraged students to create and hang the posters.
“Everyone was so cheerful about this,” said
Kathy Martins, dining room coordinator in Chase, who encouraged
the kitchen collage. “Everybody kept coming in with
pieces of paper they had drawn these greetings on. All day
long they kept grabbing markers and paper. It turned into
something like Miracle on 42nd St.”
Valecic, who works as a dishwasher in the Chase kitchen,
was delighted to see her simple greeting blossom into a smorgasbord
of holiday wishes from students around the world.
“I wrote the first message because I like to be able
to show something from my culture,” said Valecic, who
attended the United World College in Italy before coming
to Smith. “The spirit of diversity and cultural variety
was always stressed and we were proud of our differences
at United World College. The same spirit is stressed here.
People in Chase kitchen always encourage diversity.”
The proof is in the diverse display of holiday greetings
on the hood over the ovens in Chase kitchen.