On Thursday, March 24th, the Morris Hills cafeteria was completely unrecognizable to anyone who simply eats lunch there. It had been transformed into a large dining area for the Multicultural Dinner, with many different cultures represented at different booths, including American, Mexican, Caribbean, Italian, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Nigerian, Chinese, Indian, and many others. Students, teachers, and volunteers were dressed in clothing representing their cultures and ethnicities. Each booth was beautifully decorated with flags, posters, balloons, and other artwork.
The aromas of all the different cuisines from around the world filled the cafeteria that night, and each booth had something different to offer. The Spanish Club served delicious quesadillas, and the French Club served tasty crepes. Other notable dishes included mouthwatering sushi, noodles, dumplings, samosas, and the very-popular walking tacos.
While the great variety of food played an integral role in the Multicultural Dinner, it was not the only aspect of the night that taught students about different cultures. There were also many booths with different activities to shed light on important parts of their cultures. These included Chinese calligraphy, zodiac tattoos, and Rangoli portraits.
In addition, the night was filled with other events and demonstrations to show the students a glimpse of a different culture. Indu Vaddiparti and Akhila Annadanam utilized thier singing talent to bring the students into the world of traditional Indian music. Gisela Orama and Bryan Cadavos also used their beautiful voices to give students an insight into Filipino music. To give the night a modern feeling, Mahika Sethi stunned the audience with her Bollywood dancing skills. Later in the night, Ms. Stevenson, the German teacher, demonstrated German folk dance to the students, many of whom joined on her on the dance floor. This was definitely a highlight of the evening as it showed how students from many different cultures can appreciate each other’s backgrounds and traditions with just a little bit of exposure. At the end of the night, the students gathered for an exhilarating game of musical chairs, and a prize was awarded to the winner as well the best-dressed and the one with the best dish.
Farah Khan, a member of ERASE Club who was very involved in the planning of the Multicultural Dinner, said, “The reason behind it is so we can learn about different cultures from all around the world, which brings us together. My favorite part is always the performances because you can watch the different cultural dances, songs, and other amazing things. Most importantly, every step you take at the Multicultural Dinner will give you an amazing experience.”
Ms. Wagner, who also attended the event and worked with the Spanish Club, also loves the event and what it represents. She said, “This dinner gives everyone the opportunity to try foods from other cultures that they may have never tried before and experience the customs and practices of others. It is amazing to see how much diversity is present within Morris Hills, and how excited students are to share their cultures with one another. I especially loved watching the performances of the students. It is amazing to me that students are strong enough to put themselves on display in front of their peers (and teachers) and share something that is so meaningful to them. I know it is something that I would never be able to do! I hope that the Multicultural Dinner continues as a tradition at Morris Hills so that students can continue to learn about others and share their own cultures.”
From the decorations to the food to the prizes and the huge turnout, the Multicultural Dinner was a success! All the attendees left the event with a smile on their face and a new perspective. Thank you to everyone who made this amazing night possible!