By: Alice Nguyen

The Culture Fair could be just like any other school event which occurs during assembly time, but it is not. It is like an artwork: there are those who work on it for days, and those who enjoy it in a fleetingly quick timeframe. Even though it only lasted two hours, it was worth it!

Tremendous effort was put into the preparation for the Culture Fair, thanks to Ms. Carroll, her organizing team, countless students, and staff members. The result was a dazzling success. Musical acts such as the iconic Russian song “Katyusha” and the Brazilian “Dona Maria” group dance generated plenty of laughter and excitement—a perfect opening for more fun to come. A guest dance group performed some African dances along with the many students who joined them on stage. The fashion show featured elaborate costumes from around the world, including Korean hanbok, Vietnamese ao dai, a Japanese kimono, and many others. The highlight of the fair, as always, was the amazing food: Vietnamese cha gio, Russian boortsog, Philippine lumpia, Moroccan tea, Canadian pancakes, Mexican tacos, Albanian baklava, Brazilian coxinha, Taiwanese bubble tea, Chinese noodles, Korean pancakes, Japanese candies, Bulgarian snacks, American cookies, and Italian pasta.

As one of the organizers of the fair, my hope is that it was more than just an event to you, as it was for me. I can still recall quite vividly standing amidst a sea of indistinct chatter of languages, in a room that felt like a mini cut out version of the world. Visiting a booth was like traveling to a different country where I was immediately welcomed. Indeed, the fair’s significance surpassed the parameters of our school community alone. Here are the young generations of Morocco, Vietnam, Korea, Italy, Albania, Taiwan, Mexico, Russia, Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Uzbek, Japan, China, Brazil, Philippines, Bulgaria, Canada, America—all united, unafraid to open our doors and welcome others. There are the differences we have, the history we do not share, the languages we cannot comprehend, and they all are beautiful together. The fair, as I experienced it, was a call for global unity, open barriers, and universal acceptance of all races, ethnicities, nationalities, and cultures.