Thomas Jefferson

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Cultural Celebration

Posted 04/04/2023 by Kira Kennedy

Over more than 25 countries were represented and shown off during Multicultural Night. photo by Erin Thompson

TJ students hosted a night where everyone could show off their cultures and celebrate who they are.

On March 17th, Thomas Jefferson High School held its first Multicultural Night. The night included different cultures on display through dance performances and a fashion show. There were also resources for non-English speaking families available. The event gave students  an opportunity to break the ice and meet new people.

The night started out around 5:30 and everything took place in the gym. The first performance was the first section of the fashion show, where about 13 countries were represented, and then a drum ensemble was performed by Kusogea Nobi. During all of this, food from different countries was getting ready to be served. “I think the food was one of the best parts of the night, it was so interesting to see all the different types of food that were available… plus it was all delicious!” commented TJ senior Nakaia Berkeley. While the food was being served, TJ senior Khushi Takor performed a traditional Indian dance followed by juniors Karima Adam and Iftu Kassim, who performed Qerro, a form of dance. Once everyone was seated with food, the second section of the fashion show started, where 12 more countries were represented. “It was so cool to see all of the different types of traditional clothes and to see students represent their country proudly,” commented counselor Erin Thompson.

The night concluded with four more performances by more TJ students, a TJ parent, and ELA-S teacher Mateo Rocha. Rocha was able to bring his group, UCA Capoeira, with him where they performed Capoeira, which is Brazilian martial art disguised as a dance. Rocha was also a huge help to making the event as successful as it was, as there were over 200 attendees. Rocha commented, “I did help, but the big bulk of all the planning goes out to the leadership students who put this night on.” These students include senior Lwam Tekle and juniors Delina Abraham, Valerie Delgado, Amina Akbichi, Jocelyn Diaz. They worked on this project for about a month and are hoping to recreate this next year as some of them are juniors. Abraham commented, “The night was a success, the only thing I wish we did is prepare better, but now we know what we are doing for next year.” 

Hopefully as the years go on, Multicultural Night will too. The leadership class discussed the event afterward, and reflected on things that can be done differently in the future. One of the main things brought up was to be able to expand the idea of what culture is to be able to be more inclusive. It was discussed that even something as simple as having pasta on holidays as a way to show your Italian roots can be considered your culture and can be on display during Multicultural night. This night will hopefully continue to add to the positive culture of the Spartan community for years to come and provide students the opportunity to express themselves and their cultures.