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International club hosts cultural heritage festival

International club hosts cultural heritage festival

On Tuesday, April 30th, the Southwest International Club hosted a cultural heritage festival during both lunches. Posters around the lunchroom shared facts about dozens of countries, including foods, geography, history, and important celebrations. Students served a large variety of foods from cuisines around the world, including Somali, Polish, Chinese, French, Turkish, Mexican, and Polynesian. Foods served included sambusas, croissants, and chicken tamales. On stage, there were two acts that performed. Two Latino students danced to a couple of songs, and then a group of Somali students took the stage for a performance. Throughout lunch, music from around the world played throughout the Commons, which was adorned with the flags of many countries. Another cool aspect of the day was that small stickers with the flags of every country were provided. Students and teachers could wear the flags of countries that represented them in some way.

It was a great chance for Southwest students to see the many cultures represented at the school. International club advisor Ms. Platikanova said, “It’s important for us to see how we are united with celebrations and also to celebrate the identities, history, and heritage and to respect it. And to know that we are different but we celebrate everybody”. Elika Vahhaji, one of the club’s leaders, said the goal of the club is to “create an inclusive environment where people from different ethnicities and nationalities can come together and learn more about each other’s backgrounds.”


While the International Club and Ms. Platikanova were the main organizers, many Southwest clubs were involved in the event, including the Black Student Union, Somali Student Association, and Asian Student Union, according to Vahhaji.

Ms. Platikanova also talked about having it during lunch rather than as an after-school event. “[Having it during lunch] then it’s for the whole school, and then everyone is here. If it’s after school, some kids will be busy with sports or family events, so it’s good to be done during the school day [so that] everyone can participate”, she said.

This was the second year of the event. Many things about the event were similar, but a lot of the foods were different, as were the performances. Additionally, Platikanova pointed out that “last year more kids were invited to dance, this year kids were sitting and watching the dances, [and last year] we had more kids wearing ethnic clothes.” Hopefully, next year there will be a bit more participation from students who are not directly involved. Overall, the event was a success and offered a great opportunity for Southwest students.

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About the Contributor
Tate Tritabaugh
Tate Tritabaugh, News Editor
Tate is a sophomore and in his second year with the Navigator, working as a staff writer.  You can find Tate biking, making ice cream, watching sports, reffing soccer games, and traveling. He also enjoys playing in Southwest’s band and listening to music.

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