A Cultural Celebration
Students and staff enjoyed food, music, art, and dancing during the Multicultural Festival – November 9, 2022
Food, music, and art are great unifiers, connecting people from different backgrounds and experiences. Traditional recipes carefully passed down from one generation to the next can be a source of pride and an expression of cultural identity. Making and sharing those foods is a simple way to celebrate one's heritage with others. It is also one of the ways our students and staff connected and contributed to an authentic celebration at our second annual Multicultural Festival held on October 28th.
The interdisciplinary event included a Multicultural Center featuring many countries and, in the process, a diverse experience of traditions that make each of our students unique. Members of our Multicultural Club presented thoughtfully prepared posters with items and goods from countries and cultures worldwide. Our students and staff enjoyed sampling the tasty offerings at the student-run booths.
If you were open to trying foods from other countries, you might have stopped by one of these booths: African
American Culture by Keyara Jones, an assortment of cornbread muffins. Colombia by Colby Duncan and Ayala Gonzalez, Colombian soda samples. Ecuador by Nico Alvarez-Benincasa, Jacob Selby, and Kylie French, plantain chips. France by Maura Cleary and Madison Maynard, eclairs, and coconut macaroons. Ireland by Zoey Dauderis and Gabrielle Mathis, slices of Irish soda bread. Mexico by Kevin Flores and Natalia Vazquez, sweet pastries. Vietnam by Jackson Doan, spring rolls.
"I was proud to see our students sharing their cultures and traditions with their peers, and the overwhelmingly positive response from the students and staff who visited is what the Multicultural Festival is all about," said Luanne Pehl, Multicultural Club Advisor. "I hope we learn from this experience that there is unity in diversity!"
"I enjoyed speaking with my peers and instructors about Ecuador during the Multicultural Festival. It is a magnificent country," said Kylie French of Upton, a sophomore in Painting & Design Technology. "We discussed food, music, and art. I also shared photos taken while visiting Ecuador. While presenting the poster, I incorporated my experience, memories, and knowledge of Ecuador into the presentation. For example, we offered samples of plantain chips, a popular food snack, that came from having tried them for the first time in Ecuador. The plantains there are prepared in many ways, but I especially loved them fried and served with the main course or as dessert."
In addition to the student-run booths, there were Day of the Dead activities, a visiting artist, dance lessons, and a cultural performance. 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 and Merengue. While GP Vahan, an Armenian artist from the Armenian Museum of America, discussed culture in artwork and assisted students in creating a personalized wheel of eternity. The day also included a cultural performance by Crocodile River Music, which shared the universal influence of African rhythms, melodies, and traditional African outfits.
The interdisciplinary event was a successful collaborative effort supported in part by grants from the Douglas, Hopedale, Millbury, Sutton, Upton, and Uxbridge 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
videographer Jenna Dolber showcasing the event: www.valleytech.k12.ma.us/multiculturalfestival2022.