A Festival Where All are Welcome
Students and staff explored cultures and traditions at the Multicultural Festival – December 20, 2021
In a world where sharing who we are and where we all come from is becoming the cornerstone to truly understanding our perspectives and paths in life, there is no better time to celebrate cultures and traditions. Through music, live performances, and interactive demonstrations, our students and staff contributed to an authentic cultural celebration and learning experiences at our first annual Multicultural Festival held on October 29th.
The interdisciplinary event went beyond the traditional Day of the Dead (Día De Los Muertos) activities this year, expanding the celebration to include many cultures and, in the process, offering a more diverse experience of customs that make each of us unique. It was an ideal opportunity for our diverse community of students to share traditions of their culture or ethnicity with their peers and other school community members through storytelling, food, dance, arts, and customs that make cultures unique.
The festivities offer many cultural components through a combination of interactive student-run booths and cultural performers. There was a Multicultural Center that featured some traditional Day of the Dead activities and thoughtfully prepared presentations and posters on countries, cultures, and traditions. Many of the student presenters are native to the countries they chose to discuss. For example, Yara Alomar, a sophomore in Health Services, is a Palestinian-Jordanian American and is fluent in Arabic. She wanted to share her ancestry and culture with her peers at this event.
"I had an amazing time speaking with my peers and instructors about Jordan and Palestine," said Yara Alomar. "We discussed clothing, food, music, and some pictures of a recent visit to Amman, Jordan. I'm glad that I was able to share a little piece of my home, and me essentially, with others in my school community."
J&L Dance Studio instructors shared a brief history with those who had signed up for a lesson and taught the basic steps to dance Salsa or Bachata. While Chanel Thervil, a Haitian-American artist and educator, discussed culture, art and assisted students in creating a memory mosaic. The day also included a cultural performance by Veronica Robles, an authentic representative of Mexican music and culture. She performed a Dance Journey through Latin America, sharing dance, rhythms, and traditional outfits from Mexico, Peru, and Colombia.
"We are immensely proud of our student participants," said Kerry Baldwin, World Language and Electives Department Team Leader at BVT. "We are thankful to everyone who helped make the Multicultural Festival a success.”
The interdisciplinary event was a successful collaborative effort supported in part by grants from the Douglas, Grafton, Mendon, and Milford Cultural Councils, local agencies supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency.
Join in the celebration and explore the various cultural offerings by viewing a video produced by our student videographers Alexis Vazquez and Abril Sanchez showcasing the event: www.valleytech.k12.ma.us/multiculturalfesitival.