This year’s International Club dedicated March 15 to celebrate the student body’s diversity and beauty in cultures at International Night, after a two-year hiatus.
“Americans often forget the world around them so [it’s] great to celebrate these cultures and to remember that we’re not the only ones here,” says junior Thesse Hines who attended International Night.
The evening began with open table displays to explore cultural games and arts and crafts, as well as a tasting of different countries’ cuisines like stuffed grape leaves from Palestine, yuca frita from Cuba, and himbasha from Ethiopia and Eritrea.
Junior Byron Perez, who also attended International Night, expressed that his favorite part of the evening was the food. “The things I would usually try are Mexican, Chinese, or American foods… so it’s good to try something [new] out,” he says.
International Night then transitioned to “ASL Around the World”, a presentation on the diversity of sign language in other countries. After the presentation was a fashion show showcasing styles from various countries like China, Vietnam, Nigeria, and Bangladesh to name a few. The evening also featured student performances representing their country’s dance, songs, and music.
International Club began preparations in January, brainstorming different ways to fundraise and what activities to hold during the event. It had been two years since the last International Night and co-president of the club, junior Milcah Habteselasie, expressed her eagerness in bringing it back. “Me and my friends gathered up some people and we decided to redo it,” says Habteselasie. “I thought since I was excited to start it, I wanted to be some form of a leader in it.”
Fellow co-president junior Kadiatou Camara expresses why she was inspired to lead with Habteselasie. “From what I have seen from the club in the past, it seemed like something I’d be interested in doing,” she says. “I wanted to be part of something bigger . . . and I wanted my voice to be heard.”
International Club is student-based with the two co-presidents and its club members overseeing the planning of International Night with the help of club sponsors Laura Fisher, Anita Thomas, and Vanessa Hawkins.
While planning for International Night, Ms. Hawkins expressed her excitement to see the final celebration. “When you’re planning an event you have so many moving parts that you really can’t see how it will all look,” she says. “I just want[ed] to see how it w[ould] all be that night.”
Ms. Fisher expressed the importance of being able to celebrate International Night with the student body. “[It’s] an event that displays the best of what we are, just to highlight our differences in a way that’s really a celebration,” she says. “Everybody plays an important part of the Blake community… I just think it’s a good learning opportunity and it’s fun.”