Cinco de Mayo

International Student & Scholar Services is pleased to partner with WHISK and students in the Nutrition, Food Science & Packaging program at SJSU. This blog was written by senior Nutrition students Charles Chang, Annie Chen, Joanna Chen, and Soo Jung Shin.

Are you interested in a Cinco de Mayo cooking demonstration? Join WHISK and SJSU Faculty in Residence on Monday, May 3, 2021 at 7:00 PM (PT) and learn how to make watermelon agua fresca, aguachile, and a vegan ceviche! Click here to join.

History: What is Cinco De Mayo?

Cinco de Mayo means fifth of May in Spanish language, literally. This day is celebrated annually in the United States. One popular misconception is that

Cinco de Mayo Celebration Photo – Kevork Djansezian/AP

this holiday is Mexican Independence Day; however, it is not! The Mexican Independence day is on September 10, 1810. Cinco De Mayo observes and celebrates the victory of the Mexican army over France in the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. There are differences as to how Cinco de Mayo is celebrated in US and in Mexico. Although this is a small holiday in Mexico, Cinco de Mayo is celebrated in the United States across the nation, with celebrations and parades in places with large populations of people of Mexican heritage. So, what happened at the city of Puebla, Mexico? Continue Reading…

Golden Week in Japan

There are 4 national holidays from the end of April to the beginning of May that are near in days with one another. Because these holidays are close in days and with weekends there are many companies who allow employees to take time off, sometimes creating a whole week of vacation which is called Golden Week. Golden Week is the longest week of vacation and travel in Japan during the year. Because of this, there are many families who travel within and outside of Japan. It is said that there are many tourist from other countries who try to avoid traveling to Japan during Golden Week because of the crowds and traveling delays.

Photo by Kumiko Shimizu on Unsplash

The 4 national holidays are:

April 29 Showa Day

This is the birthday of former Emperor Showa (Hirohito) who was the Emperor of Japan during Wold War II.

May 3 Constitution Day

On May 3, 1947, The new post war constitution was put into effect. This day is to honor the ratification of the constitution.

May 4 Greenery Day 

Greenery Day is dedicated to the environment and nature because past Emperor Showa loved nature. He was said to love the flowers, trees, and would take walks. He saw the importance of preserving the environment and created this day to bring awareness to the importance.

May 5 Children’s Day

This day is for families think/pray for the future and health of kids. It is also a known as a day to wish successful future of young boys. There is a Boy’s Festival where families with young boys hang carp streamers and flags to wish them strength and future success.

While it can be busy and lots of travelers during this Golden Week period, it is also very fun. Because many people have this time off, there are also many outdoor festivals, flower parks and cultural celebrations that can differ based on the different areas. Golden Week is a time that many people look forward to, to travel, relax, and to have fun!!

Dumplings of the World

International Student & Scholar Services is pleased to partner with WHISK and students in the Nutrition, Food Science & Packaging program at SJSU. This blog was written by Shannon Vo, a senior nutrition student and WHISK Ambassador.

Dumplings of the World

Sharing good food with others is a way to bring people together, and there are certain foods that are so universally appealing they transcend geographical and cultural boundaries. One dish that seems to be loved by people across the globe is the dumpling. Practically every country, region, or culture has their own different version of the dish. A dumpling, in the broadest definition, is a dish made with small pieces of dough. These pieces could be either filled or unfilled, sweet or savory, served with or in different sauces, soups, and ingredients, and cooked by a variety of techniques.

Dumplings exist in lots of shapes and forms, throughout different cultures. Image from

There are countless dumpling dishes and recipes that exist; learn about just a few of them and how to make them below. These dumplings come from four different continents. Continue Reading…

Culture in the Global Workplace

Globalization and advances in technology have increased interconnectivity across the world. You may find yourself working on a diverse global team, interacting with people virtually across time zones and cultures. These colleagues may have beliefs, values, and a communication style that is different from your own. So, what does it take to adapt to and succeed in a global, multicultural workplace? Sarika Pruthi, Ph.D., will explore this very question in her upcoming talk, The Role of Culture in Global Workplaces: The Case of Start-Up Firms on Thursday, April 15, 2021 from 7:00-8:00 PM (PT). Continue Reading…

2021 Photo Contest Winners

The Global Spartan Photo Contest is an annual event that coincides with our Global Spartan Month festivities. Each year, we ask San Jose State University students to share their unique cultural perspective through photos and short narrative. Photos could be taken anywhere in the world (including the U.S.) and must be accompanied by a brief description that responds to the questions: What aspect of culture does this photo represent? Why is this photo important to me? 

The Global Spartan Month Planning Committee selects the winner of the Most Impactful Narrative prize and also determines our set of finalists. Finalists then have their photographs and narratives posted on our Instagram and Facebook pages, where our first, second, and third place Fan Favorite winners are determined by the public.

Thank you to everyone who submitted a photo entry and to all those who voted. Congratulations to all our finalists and a special congratulations to our winners! 

Winner: Most Impactful Narrative

Thi (Blue) Nguyen, MA Journalism & Mass Communication

Gregory Johnson–A decade doesn’t ease the pain. (San Jose, CA)

“Gregory Johnson’s death is a controversial topic, especially in SJSU community. I took this photo at a protest on October 10, 2020, where Gregory’s mother shared why she believed her son was killed as a result of racism, objecting to the police’s conclusion that he suicided. After 12 years, the pain is still in her eyes. This is how I learn about the real agony of racism, and also, about sympathy.”

Fan Favorite: First Place

Aadesh Sharma, MS Industrial Engineering 

Famous Dagduseth Ganesh Temple Pune (Pune, India) 

“This photo was clicked during the Ganesh Chaturthi, one of the widely celebrated hindu festival in India. This is culturally important for me because it teaches us how we should come together and help each other in need. During the tough Covid times we all are connected to each other through praying Lord Ganesha helping to fight this pandemic. With the blessings of God our life will be normal again.”

Fan Favorite: 2nd Place

Rachael Allen, BS Biochemistry

Queen’s Life Guard Ceremony (London, England) 

“For many centuries horses have been an essential part of England’s majesty in warfare and royal and state occasions. This photo represents how a country can keep the rich history of its past while celebrating its heritage and reminding all of its accomplishments, but also recognizing its injustices. This photo is important to me because I believe that the history of the past should not be lost.”

Fan Favorite: 3rd Place

Juwon (Kelly) Lee, BA Graphic Design

Welcome to Korea (South Korea) 

“Lotte World Tower is the tallest building in South Korea and the fifth tallest in the world with 123 floors. People can find the aspects of Korean food and fashion, as well as the beautiful nightlife of Korea inside of the tower. This tower has gained a reputation as one of Korea’s most frequently visited tourist places and it also became a symbol of the country’s economic advancement.”