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International Festival: See the World Locally

Fashion Show of International Festival (Picture taken by Irena Guo)

Dalia Altubuh, Writer

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Hosted by the world language clubs, this year’s International Festival is on Feb. 8 at 6 pm, in the Bob Jones auditorium. What is International Festival, you ask? International Festival, in summary, is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a celebration of the diversity of culture present at Bob Jones through everything from delicious, exotic foods to a fashion and talent show.

Angela Mooney, a world language teacher at Bob Jones, describes how the night is intended to play out. “We start out with food. There’s a lot of mingling and talking and you’ve got people walking around in their various international clothing. After that,  we move into the auditorium and then there’s the international fashion show then the talent show.”

Who doesn’t love free food? Not only are each of the four world language classes hosting their own table of native foods (common ones being bread salad, bratwurst, crepes, nachos, etc.), there will be an additional table of foods from all over the globe. This will give you an opportunity to try mouthwatering foods you may have never even heard of!

In the fashion show, students–even if they are not associated with the world language clubs–will dress up in traditional clothing from any culture they wish to represent. Be it something like the togas of the Romans or the lederhosen of the Germans, the fashion show is an excellent visual representation of cultural diversity and uniqueness.

Then, to kick off the talent show, Taekwondo Club will perform a demonstration of that powerful Korean martial art. Club President Yerim Jeong, explained that they will also dance to K-Pop (Korean pop music) and encouraged people to come out and see them and the other performances on stage. Other dances, songs, skits, and so much more will also be a part of the talent show. The Latin and German Clubs will be doing skits and the French Club will be ending the night with their Can-Can dance. Each foreign language teacher is in charge of a different aspect and/or performance in International Festival. They put their best foot forward and do an amazing job in making it a fun, yet educational night–a difficult combination to make a reality.

When surveyed, people commonly said they regretted not going to International Festival. Most said they are making an effort to come this year and are excited to see what International Festival has to offer.

 “Unfortunately, I didn’t get to go last year,  but just about everyone I’ve talked to is doing something for the International Festival so there’s going to be a lot of different things going on. It should be a lot of fun and I am very excited,” explained junior, Kafui Sakyi-Addo.

“I think it’s going to be a lot of fun,” Chenoa Gentle said. “I’ve never been, so I’m excited. Everyone is just a part of it, and I think that’s really great.”

Ashton Jah stated, “I have never been, but I would love to attend some time in the future. I feel it will be interesting learning about different cultures and how students at Bob Jones are learning those cultures.”

For those surveyed who have gone, a smile lit up their face.

“I was there last year and it was so much fun,” said senior Gracie Poehlman, “Literally everyone should go because even if you are not learning a foreign language, there is something for you there. We’re hoping for a big turnout, because it’s really nice having lots of people come to see the cool things that Bob Jones students are doing whether it’s German and Latin Club doing a skit, French Club doing the Can-Can, various students getting up there and singing their hearts out, or even the Taekwondo Club showing up and kicking butt, there is something for everyone.”

International Festival is not specific to just Bob Jones–everyone is invited. It can truly be an eye-opening experience. Some people who don’t quite understand how others express their beliefs and culture can really benefit from this event. Differences like this are beautiful and make us human- not animals- and it’s something to accept and be grateful for.

Mooney further explained, “We invite the community: teachers are invited, parents are invited, people from Central Office are invited. We usually get a hodgepodge mix. Our goal with the food is obviously so everyone can get a taste of different things they wouldn’t normally eat. With the fashion show, everybody ‘ooo’s and ‘aah’s about the really pretty clothes and we have clothes from all over the world, not just the world languages we teach, so everyone enjoys that part. The talent show is to showcase what our kids can do. They sing, they recite poetry, they may have gladiator battles, there are skits, and then the Can-Can ends the International Festival. It’s vibrant, colorful, and peppy and everyone goes home and says ‘that was so fun!’ Our purpose is to just show the community and bring everybody in.”

All of this costs only $5 to come down and enjoy! You can buy tickets during lunch or at the door. Hope to see you there!

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International Festival: See the World Locally