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A Celebration of Cultures

Students and staff enjoy the Multicultural Festival – November 6, 2023 

Understanding other cultures and traditions helps open our minds to diverse viewpoints and gain a broader perspective. Traditional foods, dance, music, and art can be a source of pride and an expression of cultural identity. Sharing those traditions is a fun way to celebrate one's heritage with others. It is one of the many ways our students and staff contributed to an authentic celebration at its third annual Multicultural Festival.

The interdisciplinary event held at BVT on October 27th included a Multicultural Center featuring student-run booths representing many countries and, in the process, diverse traditions that make each of the students unique. Members of our Multicultural Club prepared posters and shared items and goods from countries and cultures around the world. The students and staff browsed the booths and sampled other cultures' traditions, languages, and arts, all without using their passports. 

"The festival is an exciting event. Our students teach about their culture with pride, while those attending benefit from learning about other cultures through food, dance, and music," said Kerry Baldwin, World Language Instructor. "We are proud of the hard work our student presenters put into their presentations and are grateful for their willingness to share. It makes for a very special day!" 

If you were open to trying foods from other countries, you might have stopped by one of these booths: Costa Rica by Jacob Cahill for a serving of Gallo Pinto (Costa Rican Beans and Rice); Multicultural Club for a sample of Arroz Con Gandules (Puerto Rican Rice with Pigeon Peas), or Tembleque (a coconut dessert pudding from Puerto Rico); Finland by Haley Bilodeau, Lusikkaleivat which is a Finnish teaspoon cookie.

"I enjoyed speaking with my peers and instructors about Puerto Rico during the Multicultural Festival,” said Autumn Gromelski of Northbridge, a sophomore in Culinary Arts. “We discussed food, music, and art,” said Yaritza Ayala of Uxbridge, a sophomore in Culinary Arts. "Autumn and I prepared and offered samples of pulled pork with plantains, a popular food in Puerto Rico." 

In addition to the student-run booths, there were traditional "Día de Los Muertos" activities, a visiting artist, dance lessons, and a cultural workshop. The instructors from Dance Fitness Collaboration were teaching Salsa or Zumba to those who had signed up. Sabato Visconti, a new media artist and photographer, spoke about how his Brazilian heritage influenced his art and assisted students in glitch photography. There was also a cultural workshop with instructors from Monano who presented the history of Peruvian drumming and encouraged active participation in playing the drums.

The interdisciplinary event was a successful collaborative effort supported in part by grants from the Douglas, Hopedale, Mendon, Northbridge, Upton, and Uxbridge Cultural Councils, local agencies supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency.