“The beauty of the world lies in the diversity of its people”- Unknown
The diversity of Dominican’s school community is an important feature of life on Walmsley. To celebrate this diversity, the DHS Multicultural Club hosted its annual Multicultural Festival on Mar. 14 to showcase and celebrate the culture and backgrounds of the students. With performances by both students and guests, this popular event filled the Sr. Ambrose Reggio Gym with the songs, dances and languages of different cultures from across the globe.
This year, the student-organized festival included thirty participants from all grade levels. Performances ranged from a fashion show of traditional dresses from ten countries to vocal performances and poetry. Additionally, two guest dancers from Crescent Lotus Dance Studio in New Orleans performed Arabian dances.
“The students played a big part in organizing the festival this year,” said Mr. Randy Duplantis, club moderator “I’m really proud of them for stepping up and taking ownership of such a successful event this year.”
Each year, students perform at Multicultural Festival to share their cultural backgrounds. “We encourage students to embrace their own culture,” said junior Amanda Bolden, president of the Multicultural Club. Bolden also stressed the importance of exposing DHS students to a variety of cultures.
During the festival, students enjoyed a fashion show of fifteen students who strutted through the SARG in colorful dresses and garments. The authentic costumes represented countries such as Vietnam, China, Spain, Colombia, Mexico, Ankara and Western Africa.
The event traveled from Africa to Europe as eighth grader Isabella Bagnetto performed a traditional Irish step dance while wearing an Irish dress and shoes called ghillies. Representing the Far East, eighth graders Nicole Tran, Emma Plaisance and Samantha Phillips performed a traditional Chinese lion dance featuring a homemade dragon costume.
Special guests from Crescent Lotus Dance Studio transported the SARG to the Middle East as they performed traditional belly dances, featuring a cane called an assaya and small hand cymbals called zills.
Back in Europe, French students freshman Alexandra Amato, sophomore Sydney Raymond, and junior Myriel Green performed an original short story in French called “L’Histoire De Jerry Broyer.” The story, written for a creative writing contest at the French Convention, tells the adventures of a grave robber who robs a cemetery in New Orleans. The story “was inspired by several images of New Orleans,” according to Raymond.
Though the festival features many cultures from around the world, senior Holly Fraychineaud represented a culture in society that people often misunderstand. Fraychineaud sang “Rise Up” by Andra Day in American Sign Language, a language that gives a voice to the population of Americans who are unable to use their own voices to communicate. “A lot of people think that deaf people aren’t as capable and that their deafness is a disability,” said Fraychineaud. “Almost one hundred percent of deaf people will prove them wrong. Deaf people can do anything a hearing person can, except hear.”
The Multicultural Festival serves to educate students and promote the beauty and diversity of the cultures at Dominican. “The Multicultural Club has extended my previous knowledge of other cultures and has stumped common misconceptions about them,” said Bolden. “It is a way of learning about cultures different from my own in a fun and interesting way. We should all have the desire to learn about our differences because that is what makes us all so unique.”
– Natalie Rodriguez-Ema