University of Pittsburgh
November 29, 2001

Pitt Nationality Rooms' Dec. 2 Holiday Open House to Feature Decorated Rooms, Ethnic Entertainment, and a Food and Craft Bazaar

Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH––The University of Pittsburgh Nationality Rooms' Holiday Open House will feature entertainers in native costume, ethnic food, craft demonstrations, and tours of the 26 Nationality Rooms from noon until 4 p.m. Sunday in the Cathedral of Learning Commons Room, Oakland. Admission is free.

Each year the rooms are decorated to reflect ethnic holiday customs, including Kwanza, Chinese New Year, Hanukah, India's Diwali (festival of lights), and the Japanese Kadomatsu (a good luck omen for the New Year). Ethnic entertainment will include the Chinese Lion Dance, Grecian line dancing, Filipino Tinikling, and, new this year, the Swiss "A Call to Mass," complete with cowbells, singing, and yodeling. The performances begin at noon and will run at 15-minute intervals throughout the afternoon.

Tables will be filled with ethnic foods and crafts for visitors to purchase. Food tables will feature Polish, Indian, Greek, Czechoslovak, Japanese, Ukrainian, Austrian, German, Syrian, Lebanese, Chinese, and Italian delicacies. Crafts will include spinning, bobbin lace-making, origami, and Polish cut-paper ornaments.

For more than 40 years, the Nationality Rooms have been decorated by area residents who form the Nationality Rooms Committees. Student volunteer guides in national dress adapt their daily presentations to include descriptions of the many holiday traditions celebrated throughout the world.

Tours of the transformed rooms run through Dec. 30. The rooms will open at

9:30 a.m., with the last tour at 2:30 p.m., Mondays-Saturdays; on Sundays, they will open at 11 a.m., with the last tour at 2:30 p.m. From Dec. 26 through 30, the rooms will be open at 11 a.m., with the last tour at 2:30 p.m. The rooms are closed on Dec. 24, 25, 31, and Jan. 1.

Admission is $3 for adults, $2 for senior citizens, and 50 cents for children ages eight to 18. For more information, call 412/624-6000.