Nationality Rooms decorate for the holidays in preparation for open house


Image via Pittwire

The tree in the Norwegian nationality room is decorated with traditional items like the country’s flag as well as mushrooms, gnomes and treat baskets.

By Punya Bhasin, News Editor

Decorative oranges, paper lanterns and flower garlands now adorn the nationality rooms, after committees representing most of Pitt’s 31 nationality rooms gathered together before Thanksgiving break to decorate the historic rooms for the holidays. 

For example, the Indian Room is decorated with flowers along with orange and white garlands to celebrate Diwali, the festival of colors. Meanwhile, firecrackers and decorative oranges adorn the Chinese Room to commemorate the Lunar New Year. Each of the rooms — except for the Turkish Room — was decorated for the holidays according to their respective cultures. 

“We light up firecrackers to scare evil spirits during the new year. All the writing on the wall is a greeting to the people who come in to visit your home. The oranges mean we hope to have a lucky, prosperity-filled new year,” Shellie Yeung, the committee chair of the Chinese Room, told Pittwire

Committee members’ decorations will be displayed at the Nationality Room’s annual holiday open house, hosted by the Nationality and Heritage Rooms Committees. The open house will be held in person at the Cathedral of Learning after a two-year hiatus on Dec. 4, from noon to 4 p.m. 

The open house will feature a variety of activities for guests to enjoy, including calligraphy demonstrations in the Commons Room and lessons on how to make Chinese knots hosted by the Chinese Room Committee.

Guided tours of the Nationality Rooms started Friday, where guests can see the holiday decorations. Guests must register at least four days in advance to receive a slot. Interactive online tours are also available for people who can’t travel to Pittsburgh.