Celebrating Multiculturalism: The Mosaic Club

1 min read

Junior Ayla Karadogan started the Mosaic Club this year to celebrate being multicultural, discuss the pressure to identify with one culture, and draw attention to the intersectionality in identity. 

Every summer, Karadogan visits her family in Spain and Turkey. After the pandemic forced a pause on this annual practice, Karadogan questioned her cultural identity. 

Karadogan explained, “I hadn’t gone to Turkey and Spain in two years. When I visited this year I started noticing more and more how I connected with my different cultures and thinking, ‘How do I really fit into that? Am I enough of one side or the other? How do I interact with people of my different cultures? How do they react to me?’”

Karadogan began the Mosaic Club to create a discussion forum for the questions she grappled with. She said, “I wanted to empower people to embrace this duality within themselves. There’s a lot of pressure to conform to and identify with one culture. Since M-A is so diverse, having this intersectionality club embraces these different parts of ourselves. At the Mosaic, we discuss how to navigate being multicultural and avoid feeling like you’re not enough of something.”

The Mosaic Club is discussion-based but often incorporates creative activities. Last week, members wrote down words representing their different cultures on multi-colored Post-it Notes. Karadogan encouraged students to pick words that were as personal as possible, using an example of her grandmother’s handkerchiefs connecting to her Spanish heritage. Then, club members used their Post-it Notes to assemble a mosaic.

While creating the mosaic, members bonded over relatives’ use of WhatsApp, the importance of table manners, and favorite childhood snacks. Students discussed a wide breadth of topics from Turkish dad loafers to generational trauma. At the end of the meeting, students shared their word associations, connecting over their rich multicultural experiences with stories of generational family traditions, cultural customs, and common pastimes.

If you’re interested in joining the Mosaic Club, follow @themosaicatma on Instagram, join the Remind with the code 4fh7d6e, or stop by a biweekly meeting on Thursdays at FlexTime in F-9.

Isabel is a senior at M-A. This is her first year in journalism. She is interested in writing about mental health, culture and student life. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with friends, getting coffee at Philz, and watching Shameless.

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