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International Night showcases Spartan diversity

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International Night showcases Spartan diversity

he Hispanic Heritage Club performs their dance sequence, titled “El Sabor Latino.”

he Hispanic Heritage Club performs their dance sequence, titled “El Sabor Latino.”

Christina Manibusan

he Hispanic Heritage Club performs their dance sequence, titled “El Sabor Latino.”

Christina Manibusan

Christina Manibusan

he Hispanic Heritage Club performs their dance sequence, titled “El Sabor Latino.”

Christina Manibusan, Page One Editor

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International Night is an event held annually each school year in order to celebrate and recognize the different cultures that comprise the student body at WS.
This year, there were performances that represented Europe, Asia, and Africa. The event was held for a special purpose. The money raised from the ticket sales contributed towards a scholarship for a senior in the Hispanic Heritage Club.
“We typically raise about 500 dollars at the event, and we partner up with the Hispanic Leadership Alliance, who matches that amount,” said Hispanic Heritage Club sponsor Mary Dailey.
The event kicked off with fashion shows that were conducted by members of the Ethiopian and Eritrean Club, the Hispanic Heritage Club, the Muslim Student Association, and the Asian American Club. Students from each group dressed up in traditional clothes from their representative country and strutted the runway down the stage.
“To represent the differences [in dress] both normalizes that form of dress and shows the audience that their culture is represented and welcome,” said senior Sarah Strohecker, who walked in the fashion show for the Hispanic Heritage Club.
Throughout the night, there were also performances of numerous songs and dances that originated from the traditions of other countries. One such presentation featured Kankouran West African drumming and an accompanying dance, which was performed by members of the Folas group.
“The performance signified the indigenous ways of West African drumming,” said junior Sekou Deas, who was a drummer in the performance. “These drums are used to call down the ancestors and it is also used for communication, like from one village to another.”
Another performer that graced the stage was junior Easton Boynton, who sang the French love song, “La Vie En Rose” and played the guitar to accompany it. Halfway through the song, she switched from singing in French to English so that the audience could understand the lyrics and meaning of the song.
“I think that it’s amazing that even though it’s in a different language, we can all connect with the notion of love,” said Boynton. “My favorite part of the song is ‘c’est lui pour moi, moi pour lui dans la vie,’ which means ‘it’s me for you and you for me in life.’”
The night ended with a medley of dances from the students of the Hispanic Heritage Club. They performed several different social dances common to most Hispanic cultures, such as the bachata, merengue, samba, and the salsa, all of which are commonly used in quinceañeras.
In between and after performances, the audience was often on their feet and roaring with approval, which was a testament to the wide support the Spartan community had for the performers.
“On this night, everyone can showcase where they’re from, which makes them who they are,” said Boynton. “It was a wonderful feeling to cheer for someone and for someone to cheer for you and who you truly are.”
The hope for many of the performers was that the Spartan community would walk away with new knowledge of the different cultures and how they celebrate and express themselves. The audience had the opportunity to gain a broadened view of the people and the world around them by starting with the students in their own backyard.
“For the school, I think that it is really important to have International Night because we have such a diverse student body and very rarely do we get the opportunity to showcase our ethnicity and heritage with pride,” said Strohecker.

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International Night showcases Spartan diversity