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Student newspaper of Strath Haven High School

Panther Press

Student newspaper of Strath Haven High School

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PHOTOS, VIDEO: Strath Haven celebrates cultural diversity with vibrant International performances

Students presented their diverse cultures to the Haven community through singing, dancing, speech, and food.

UPDATED April 19, 12:35 p.m.

In a whirlwind of vivid dances, and songs, student performers showcased their culture on the evening of April 15 in the George H. Slick Auditorium. 

The 45-minute performance offered glimpses of different cultures and was presented to students and staff.

“It’s really cool to see people perform songs and dances,” senior Aditi Halpe, co-coordinator of International Day said.

Cultures from countries in South Asia, East Asia, and Africa, and in Jamaica, Ireland, Sephardic cultures, and Latin America were presented in the performance. 

“We have a big variety of culture and global community right here in Strath Haven,” Halpe said.

The planning of International Day began in the winter months of the 2023-2024 school year. 

“We started putting together preliminary plans and getting together an idea of what applications are involved,” Halpe said.

During March, interest forms for International Day were sent out to the student body, and rehearsals began shortly after.

“We all came to practice, and in the end, it all came together today,” senior Martha Mboowa, a Dance Team member said.

Haven’s International cultural celebrations are more than just a presentation to the Strath Haven High School student body.

“Strath Haven is a special place because it has a type of community where people that like to engage in different things can all come together and be friends,” senior Oyindamola Songonuga, Dance Team International Day choreographer, said.

After the International Day evening performance, many of the performers felt accomplished, and achievements flowed.

“I’m so proud of everyone,” Halpe said. “Today is where people really put forward their best foot and got their acts out.”

After the performance, tables lined the third-floor lobby, filled with cultural foods. ‘The fair’ started the previous year to further engage the district in International Day. 

“The fair emerged as a way for people to showcase food,” Halpe said. “Also cultural items, clothing, and just get everyone in the community out here.”

Students and families packed the lobby as they all tried the different cultural foods.

“[The food] shows how we are all so diverse and unique and that we can all come together and share as one community,” sophomore Gordon Morris, a student audience member, said.

On the morning of Friday, April 19, International Day held their assembly to present to the student body. Two assemblies were held during a morning assembly schedule. 

“It went amazing,” senior and coordinator Anyae Poindexter said. “This was really good, and I’m proud of this.”

One difference between the day performance and the night performance was the addition of a fashion show.

“It was a good way for people who didn’t want to perform to still be part of the assembly in some way,” Poindexter said.

Performers for the fashion show organized the segment during the week of the event.

“Everyone came together and chose a different song and they all had different outfits from different cultures,” Poindexter said. “I think it all went really well.”

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About the Contributor
Matthew Ramirez '26
Matthew Ramirez '26, Social Media Editor
Matthew Ramirez is a sophomore and a member of the Haven Yearbook. Matthew enjoys photography, art, and listening to music.
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