Ingredients in the Melting Pot

Photo Credit: Joya Groban

Photo Credit: Joya Groban

Maya Klinenberg, Staff Writer

  When you think of the date February 14, you’re all thinking Valentine’s Day, right? Wrong! It’s Multicultural Day, the day that students with colorful cultural backgrounds can get together and learn about other ethnicities with the help of food, singing, and dancing.

  As the students filed into the Pavillion, most headed straight towards the culture booths. Each booth represented a different country, headed by two students of that ethnic background. Mariko Kamazuka (12), representing Japan, said, “I wanted to participate because I am proud of my heritage and wanted to share it with everyone. To prepare my booth, I looked up pictures online that represented Japan and also wrote down the information I knew already.” Perri Godfrey (12) of Italy, agreed with Kamazuka, saying, “Representing my culture is very important to me. Me and my partner even took a trip to Italy over the summer. In order to prepare, I got together with my partner and thought of what clothes and food we needed. I mainly focused on the people.” Kariene Milet (12) from Israel, also commented that everything at her booth was from her home. She continued,  “I wanted other people to see my culture because most of them don’t know much about it.”

  After students settled down from exploring the booths, everyone took a seat as the fashion show began. The models walked onto the stage wearing cultural attire as the announcer described the garments along with their names. Eunice Hong (12) explained, “I didn’t like how the explanations were too long, because it started to lose me. But I loved the Indian outfits! They were so vibrant.” One of the models, Nadia Saleh (12) said, “I’m wearing what’s called an abaya. It’s the most traditional clothing for Lebanese women.”

  The performances followed the fashion show which featured singing, dancing, and exotic instruments. Xavier Lofton (12) commented, “The belly dancers were the best!” The belly dancers included Ayman Khattak (11) and Kailah Gallegos (11) from Pakistan. They danced to the song “Ya tabtab” by Nancy Arjam. Arizton Pamplona (12), accompanied by friends, sang and played the ukulele to the Hawaiian song “Hene Hen Kou Aka.” Pamplona said, “I’ve been performing at Multicultural Day for the last two years, so it’s kind of tradition to come back. It took about two weeks to prepare.”

  One representative from each history class participated in the final stage of Multicultural Day—the geography competition. The winner of this year’s geography test was Alfred Milan (11) representing Mr. Comparsi’s class. Milan said excitedly, “This is my second time participating in the Geography Test, but my first time winning. I studied by using the internet as well as printed maps my teacher gave me. I also used the map in the back of my planner.”

  The event was a great success as Instagram and Facebook fled with pictures and posts with Multicultural Day tags. Rather than expressing love to one another on this day of chocolates and flowers, students expressed love for their heritage instead.