International Night showcases global community, promotes acceptance

The Indonesian dance was one of the most popular acts of the night. Performers moved in a way that portrayed a wave, and dressed in Indonesian formal wear. Photo by Tomas Castro.

By Elea Levin

In addition to showcasing the community’s many different cultures, this year’s International Night included an underlying message about the importance of diversity and acceptance.

International Night took place March 9, with an assembly the following day highlighting some of the event’s top acts. The night began with a buffet in the cafeteria, where students prepared traditional, home-cooked food from a variety of countries. Local restaurants also donated some of their most popular dishes to the event.

The event then moved to the auditorium for the night’s performances, including a total of 17 acts in addition to a fashion show. Students strutted across the stage wearing their own cultures’ unique clothing; the show featured fashions from 30 different countries.

Among the 17 performances, a few crowd favorites included a traditional Indonesian “Dance of a Thousand Hands,” an Australian folk song and a Korean pop hip-hop dance.

“My favorite act was the Korean pop dancers because the songs were really fun to listen to and I wouldn’t have heard them otherwise,” sophomore Aarushi Malhotra said. “The dancers were so talented and the girls had such good energy on stage.”

The entire night was organized by the International Club, which is made up of students from a wide variety of countries, in part because of the many embassies located close to Whitman. International Night provides students the opportunity to unite and recognize the community’s variety of cultures.

“International Night is a way to celebrate the community that’s here because some people take it for granted that there are kids from all over the world here at this school,” International Club member Luca Pedrazzini said. “I don’t think there are many schools like that.”

In addition to educating the school about the various cultures in the community, International Night allows students from other nations to celebrate their heritage in a way that can be difficult to do on a daily basis.

“International Night is important because it’s hard for international students to display their own culture in everyday life,” said Laura Klemola Tango, club vice president and International Night Assistant Director. “It’s a way to show the school our country and our ways.”