By Allisen Lichtenstein
On Feb. 27, a medley of smells and sounds from cultures around the world mixed together for one event— International Night. This is the first year that the International Club has merged its efforts with those of the American Sign Language Club, Hebrew Culture Club, Contemporary Music Club, Hispanic Culture Club, African American Culture Club, Dance Club, and Music Club to plan a night to celebrate all the existing cultures at South.
Asian Culture Club, which formerly organized Asian Night, has been collaborating with the International Club to create International Night. Spanish teacher and internship coordinator Ms. Nicole Kinsey, the International Club’s adviser, said, “The fact that the Asian Cultural Club no longer has its own official night has in no way diminished the club’s presence in our school. I am so grateful for and thrilled by how amazing they have been to work with.”
The two groups have been in constant contact with one another and have worked together throughout the process of planning the event. Both the Asian Culture Club and the International Club held tryouts and collectively decided which performances would be in the show.
As a “young” and less-experienced club, the International Club is “grateful for Asian Culture Club’s guidance,” said co-president of International Club, junior Luna Ye.
This year, Principal Susan Elliott has advised the various groups involved to increase the diversity within their performances. Ms. Elliott believes that shifting from “showing cultures” to “teaching cultures” is powerful because this shift allows students to actively “walk in someone else’s shoes.”
Due to this advice, performance leaders have made an “active effort to recruit members of varied descents,” said senior and co-president of the Asian Culture Club May Hlaing. She added that this change was “vital for the progression of the club.”
In past years, the International Club hosted a sit-down dinner in the Upper Cafeteria; this year, however, the club sold various desserts and entrees in the main lobby.
While enjoying tastes from around the world, attendees also participated in karaoke. Students and staff members, even those not involved in the clubs, had the opportunity to perform a song. Though all songs had to be approved for appropriate lyrics, students and staff members were able to pick songs from various cultures.
Though there were some uncertainties about how the changes would affect International Night, Ms. Kinsey said, “There was no doubt that South put on a show!”