Last night the Hebrew Club held its final event of the semester: a game night complete with bagels! Hebrew scrabble has been a halmark of the Hebrew club events since I have been involved with it, and my love for scrabble in English has easily translated to a love of the Hebrew version. Even when I was in the early stages of learning Hebrew, I was surprised at how many words I was able to put together. Even if they were short little words, being able to recognize the letters and connect them to create a word validated the fact that I was truly picking up the Hebrew language. After all, being able to utilize a language in real-life contexts is the most important aspect of learning. Now, having completed almost three semesters of Hebrew, I find myself even more astonished at how many words I am able to think up with the scrabble tiles. Playing with other Hebrew students in a friendly, relaxed environment makes it seem like we are just a casual group of friends playing a game together, rather than students using it purely as an educational experience. The best part is that it ends up being a great combination of fun and learning. And of course, when you have a bagel to nosh on, it makes Hebrew word building even more of a blast.
The international bazaar held on the South Oval was an amazingly vibrant gathering of people with different heritages from around the globe. Tables were set up by region or specific country, and showcased elements of the languages, foods, and crafts from these places. Walking up to each table, I had the feeling that I had traveled a great distance and was arriving in a new place; each country has such a unique character, and the organizers of the event did an incredible job in setting up the bazaar in such a way as to let these personalities shine through. I was particularly fascinated by the students who were offering to write people’s names in Persian characters, as it reminded me of my own zeal in showing my friends how their names look in Hebrew characters. There is something beautiful about seeing your own name represented in a different way. I think actually being able to visualize how one’s name would look to people of another culture also creates a sense of interconnection among those who come from diverse backgrounds.