West High Multicultural Day 2019


Courtesy of Mariam Rizkalla

Mariam Rizkalla, Staff Writer

  Friday, February 15th, marked West High School’s 2019 annual Multicultural day. Unlike previous years, this assembly was held at the Performing Arts Center, and was, for the first time, an optional assembly.

  The diverse collection of performances demonstrated in this assembly was quite fascinating, and exposed students to foreign cultural practices and activities.

  The purpose of this event was to embrace the diversity of our students and admire the unique heritages that West High School is proud to comprise.

  Hosted by Marin Casey(12), the assembly compiled eight distinctive performances, starting with Filipino tinikling and ending with Korean Nanta.

  The first performance, Filipino tinikling, portrayed the National Dance of the Philippines. According to Culture Trip, the origin of this artistic dance can be traced back to the Spanish occupation of the Philippines.

  This dance, which is performed using two bamboo sticks that are each 6-12 feet long, has widely diffused all over the world, particularly to the United States.

  Transitioning to a different part of the world, the second performance presented a unique image of South Asian wedding traditions. It portrayed a distinct variety of South Asian wedding dances and folk clothing that students were previously unfamiliar with. This was directly followed by the Korean bushey shum fan dance.

  Bushey shum is a traditional form of Korean fan dance that uses large, colorfully-painted, blossom-themed fans, and is used by Koreans in many celebrations.

  Shifting to the opposite side of the globe, next up was Spanish club representative, Niccolo Esquivalzeta-Sohn(12), performing “Un Poco Loco” from the popular Disney film, Coco. Having lived in Mexico for nine years, Niccolo presented the song with a charismatic charm that lit the stage and captured the audience’s cheer.

  Next up was the cultural lion dance, which was performed by the Taiwanese-Chinese American Association. Throughout this performance, dancers mimic a lion’s movements to bring good luck and fortune.

  There are unique folk attires associated with the dance as well. For the ladies, they were wearing a traditional chinese dress called the Cheongsam, which was very popular in China from 1912-1949. For the men, they were wearing a Chinese suit called the Tangzhuang, which is a traditional and modern attire for Chinese men.

  Speaking of clothing, next up was the French fashion show, presented by West High School’s French club. Models presented a variety of modern fashion pieces like jeans, sweaters, scarves, suits, and berets, that formerly originated in France and spread across the globe.
  While students thoroughly enjoyed the stellar performance, some expected more originality. Lauren La Rue(10), an inherently French sophomore, expressed her opinion saying, “I thought the fashion show was [not] the best. It was less distinctive than I had imagined it to be, but the models certainly did an outstanding job, considering that they had to provide their own clothes. I really liked the idea and thought the presentation was well-structured and lovely.”

  Immediately following the French fashion show was the Indian fashion show, brought by the Association of South Asians. India is famous for many unique pieces of clothing which differ from southern to northern India. The folk dresses presented by the models were the Kurta, the Lehenga, the Anarkali, and the Saree.

  Last but not least, for the final performance, Korean club performed Nanta, traditional korean drumming. The beats and rhythms used in Nanta are derived from several Korean drum styles which use drums of different pitches and formations.

  Fascinated by the multicultural day assembly, Saumya Swati(9), a strong-spirited freshman, said, “Everyone presented their cultures in an amazing way, and the student hosting it did a stellar job. I had [not] experienced any similar events in middle school. As a freshman, this assembly was very different from the types of events I attended before, which made it even more special. I thoroughly enjoyed every part of it and I [am] thrilled for all the upcoming events.”

  Due to West High School’s extensive diversity, there will always be a significant importance for these kinds of events. In a mixed society like ours, we should constantly come together to recognize and embrace other unique cultures. That being said, West High School’s 2019 multicultural day was, undoubtedly, a huge success, and Warriors look forward to experiencing similar events in the future where they will be encouraged to come together as one.