Different But the Same, Celebrating Culture

by Nolan James – Copy Editor

Kentlake hosted its third annual Culture Night on Thursday, Jan 11, and, like last year, it proved rather successful. While there was lower attendance and less booths represented, Culture Night was a fun event with plenty of activities and food. And it was all free, too, so that everyone has the chance to experience others’ cultures.

There were a lot of stands representing a plethora of cultures, from the Pacific Islands to Cambodia. Each booth had different activities and/or food. Cambodia features a guessing game with melon candy. In the game, there are different spots, each with a picture on it, and you place the candy on one of the spots. The attendant rolls a couple of dice, and if they show the picture you put the candy on, you get the candy. They also had fried rice there to sample.

Cambodia wasn’t the only country with fried rice; Vietnam had different rice, as well as a game. In the game, roughly translated to “cover eyes and catch goat,” in which everyone stands in a circle and one person is blindfolded. That person tries to catch someone, and once they do they have to guess their gender and then name. The attendant, Mai Le, mentioned how it was interesting to learn some of the similarities between her culture and some of the others. “Culture Night today is really fun. I learned a lot of things about other cultures, and some of the cultures have similar games but a different story,” said Le.

One of the other cultures she was talking about seemed to have been Germany. The attendant for Germany, staff member Christina Bovee, mentioned the similarities. “I think it’s interesting because you have different people, different experiences, and you can share those experiences,” said Bovee, mentioning that she talked to Le and found out their cultures have similar lantern festivals. The Germany booth contained a lot of information of the country, which Bovee grew up in.

Throughout the night, there were different performances/activities featured in the middle of the commons. Le’s Vietnamese blindfolded tag was the last of them. The orchestra played at 6:30, and the Pacific Islanders performed a dance at 7:20, followed by the band playing at 7:30.

The Pacific Islanders had a very full booth. They had a lot of traditional food. The food there was Musibi, pajipopo, coco rice, lumpia, pineapples, chop suey, guava cake and bananas. One of the attendants, Kyra McFarland, seemed to enjoy the festival. “I like being able to share my culture with everyone and share out food because it is a big part of our culture,” she said. She also mentioned that they should have it on a day with less activities, as there was a wrestling game going on in the Gymnasium.

Another booth with a lot of activities was Japan. It was their first year participating, and the Japanese teacher, Kei Tsukamaki, said about Culture Night that “it’s a great way for students to share part of their identity that maybe we wouldn’t see otherwise.” She also mentioned that “it would be great to see more students be able to come and enjoy the event.” Japan featured traditional basket-making, origami-making, and the rice food onigiri.

There were a lot more cultures beside that. The Bahamas featured a fishing game, where the prize was Twizzlers, and Mexico featured a game and Mexican food. If you want to experience Culture Night for yourself, you’ll have to go next year. Culture Night wasn’t as big as last year, which was a bit disappointing because it’s a great event. Hopefully it can be made a bigger event next year, and attendance can be higher. Those of us who attended seemed to enjoy the event a lot. The food was good, and the cultures were interesting to hear about. It’s one of the best traditions we have at Kentlake, and we can only hope it will continue to be a tradition here for years to come.

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