By Jacqueline Liao
“Welcome to Cultural Heritage Night 2015!” the emcees enthusiastically announced into their microphones. Before long, members of the Music Club and the American Sign Language Club took the stage to perform a rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner,” kicking off a night of cultural celebrations and performances.
The Korean Traditional Fan girls wowed the crowd with the formations they made with their fans; the Indian Techno performers danced to traditional Indian and Bollywood music; the Martial Arts troupe battled each other with Wushu, Taekwondo, and Kumdo techniques; and the Hispanic Culture Club members presented a video expressing their pride in their unique culture. Finally, the night ended with the Chinese Yo-Yo crew taking over the stage to show off their tricks and turns.
“[The] show was very well-done,” said Asian Culture Club co-chair senior Stephen Dong, who also participated in Martial Arts Collaboration, Chinese Lion Dance, and Chinese YoYo for the event. “All the acts looked amazing,” Dong said. “I’m proud to have made so many friends throughout the process of creating the show.”
Though all the performers completed their routines with relative ease, the preparation for the show wasn’t always so easy. Most of the groups prepared for several months, spending hours after school every day for strenuous rehearsals. For the students designated “teachers” of their events, the added pressure of choreographing and coordinating the performances made the preparation even more difficult. The most difficult part? Knowing that “no matter how many times we practice, we can’t be sure that it will be perfect on the day of the show. Accidents always happen,” said junior Vivian Lim, who participated in Chinese Lion Dance.
Dong admits that there were many problems present in the preparation for the show. “In the end, the key things that [I thought would] make or break this show [were] organization, dedication, and leadership.”
Despite the amount of dedication and preparation needed to create Cultural Heritage Night, many students still sign up to perform every year. Some of the more popular acts even have to cut some students who tryout. “I think [the show is] important because it really helps us understand other cultures,” Dong said. “It also teaches students to be leaders and to pass down a legacy and a tradition of their own. It allows them to embrace their culture with friends.”
International Club advisor Ms. Nicole Kinsey said, “I’m very proud of the effort the groups have put into recruiting students from outside their cultural groups and including them in their performances. That kind of sharing makes the show even more beautiful and meaningful.”