Francis Lewis Teens Show Off Their Culture at the International Festival
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Crowds gathered at Francis Lewis High School on the night of March 20th to experience the many cultural backgrounds of students at the sold out International Festival. The International Festival showcased many cultures present in our school and allowed students to experience and learn about various nationalities. The festival began with a buffet of international foods, ranging from tofu, greek salad, sushi, various rices, plantain dishes, and many other cultural delicacies. Afterwards, everyone was lead into the auditorium and the party began, as students showcased dances, songs, and performances from around the world.
“It was exhilarating and even though my heart was racing, the audience clapping along really helped me get excited rather than nervous,” said Maria Stathopoulos, who performed in a traditional Greek dance. “[My parents] were really proud, especially because I was wearing a traditional costume. They were happy that I wanted to show my school my culture and bring it out in a way that everyone can enjoy.”
The first performance began with the Korean Drums lead by Ms. Lee, followed by the Ladies of Nu Gamma Psi, who presented a captivating step routine from Egypt. Next was the “Newbie” group from China, who danced to K-pop music and left the crowd cheering. Brinda Raval was up next dancing to upbeat Indian music. The night continued with great joy, exciting and illustrious performances, and ended with the Nu Gamma Psi Brother’s step team representing Africa. All the performers ran up onto the stage and danced to “Shake it Off” by Taylor Swift, leaving the whole crowd dancing and singing. The audience roared with joy after each performance by each performer.
The audience at the International Festival was also full of diverse cultures and ethnicities. This mixture of cultures was clearest when Cong Yi Quian performed Chinese lullabies, as well as the American national anthem. While playing these songs on his harmonica, the audience recognized the songs and joined in by singing.
Brinda Raval, who performed a solo Indian dance in the show, reflected on the diversity of the festival: “You get to learn about the many different cultures and it is very unique to me.”
by Carolyn Acosta, Rachel Prasad, Kiana Williams