From Dartmouth’s cult-like ceremonies, such as the Bonfire and Candlelight ceremony, to its quirky student challenges, like the polar plunge or Lou’s challenge, the College sets itself apart through its unique traditions. However, we cannot ignore the fact that many traditions at the College have not been paid the respect they deserve. Dartmouth stands on Abenaki land, yet for the much of the College’s history, it largely failed to uphold its commitment to Native individuals: Between 1769 and 1969, the College graduated just 19 Native students.
This week, the Mirror profiles one of the most successful commitments to increasing awareness of cultural traditions yet seen at the College: Indigenous Peoples’ month. We also tell the story of the Diwali festival of lights celebration that happened this past weekend and examine Dartmouth’s long tradition of bringing political candidates to campus in the fall before election season.
Whether or not you choose to partake in traditions specifically associated with Dartmouth, or to celebrate traditions associated with your heritage — or if you embrace a mix of both — the fact remains that members of our community, and the world at large, are inextricably linked by tradition. It only makes sense to educate yourself about the concept, and to pay respect to the many traditions that make each and every one of us the unique and vibrant versions of who we are.