Carnaval Celebrates Diversity at CSUN

  • A flamenco dancer performs at Carnaval. Photo by Lee Choo.

  • Students enjoy food at Carnaval on April 7. Photo by Lee Choo.

  • Student participate in a dance at Carnaval on April 7. Photo by Lee Choo.

  • The Plaza Del Sol became a celebration of diversity on April 7. Photo by Lee Choo.

All the colors of the rainbow came out to play on a cloudy and rainy Thursday at the Plaza Del Sol, as California State University, Northridge held its 19th annual Carnaval — a celebration of diversity on campus.

The April 7 event featured flamenco, Brazilian and African dancers and activities including henna tattoos, Chinese calligraphy and tarot card readings, as well as food from cultures around the world.

“CSUN is such a diverse place and as students, we don’t really get to see the background cultures of all these diverse people,” said senior Steven Meraz. “So Carnaval was able to display that for us.”

Past Carnaval celebrations started with a simple potluck-type event. Eventually, the annual program evolved and expanded to include performances and other activities.

This marked the first year that Xiomara Carranza, student CSUN events assistant for lectures and cultures, led the event. Her main goal was to incorporate upbeat and energetic performances that would make students feel lively and have fun, she said. As the performances continued throughout the day, students stopped to gaze and look around — and some even joined in the fun.

“As long as the students are happy,” Carranza said, “it’s a success.”