DID (First Annual Culture Night)


Tersa Bitew

Eaglecrest High School recently hosted Culture Night on Wednesday April 24 held form 6:00-8:00 P.M. in the Theater Auditorium. This event helped people get to know their peers better. It originally started after Jallenae Abraham, was looking for ideas about her senior project. She was involved in International Studies and she then came up with the idea of culture night.

Although culture night was held for a project, it meant much more to Abraham, for her it was also a way to express many different backgrounds and ethnicities that we have from our school. She says, “Well it was something I’ve always wanted to do, since freshman year. I’ve noticed that at Eaglecrest, we’ve had a diverse student body, but we are always so focused on being one Raptor family, that we never take time to appreciate different cultures and backgrounds that students come from. I wanted a way that would unite us all to come and celebrate our different backgrounds.”

In order for students to hear about the event, Abraham began to ask students and friends from different backgrounds at Eaglecrest to participate. Abraham reached out to her friends at her church to help her with her Ethiopian performance.

Culture Night was hosted by Caleb Sewell and Grace Benskin where they hosted the portrayal of the different backgrounds of students from EHS. The event was very festive and artistic, there were many dances and cultural clothing that were represented throughout the night.

Hinton explains, “Even with some technical problems, the students were so professional in their performances. I was so amazed to see how Grace and Caleb handled all of that confusion.”

At the beginning of the night a wide variety refreshments were provided for guests. There were also dishes from Ethiopia : bread, injera, and “wet” stews were included there. These were cooked by Abraham’s mother. However, other restaurants catered foods like Tata’s Burritos, Jim ‘N Nick’s Bar-B-Q, bundt cakes, and Chick fil-A were also available.

Songs and melodies from around the globe bursted through the speakers along with the chanting crowd. Dances were performed by the Ethiopians, West African, Hawaiian, Russian, Hip Hop club, and the Mariachi Band performed.

Throughout the months, the performers constantly practiced, picked out music, and choreographed so that their groups were  prepared for their performances. It was exhilarating for many of the dancers performing, they were nervous, and yet excited all at once. There were so many achievements for each dancer.

Ginaifer Mensah, a performer in the West African Dance, says “The highlight for me about my group was that it was so funny how we went to so many practices, but the fact that my group thought that we were doing so bad. During practice we did really horrible, and like we were not really serious about it, but then we went on to stage and we actually had everything together. Our dance was actually really good and went a lot better than planned. We didn’t think that we could accomplish that, so it went really well.”

Cultural Night helped create a new bond for students that shared the same ethnicity or continent. It established a new family and love for one another through similar cultures and traditions.

Even people from the audience really enjoyed and related to the event, Norma Sanchez explains, “I do think culture is important because people have to be educated on what other cultures are like. I also like seeing my friends, and I never really knew how their culture was until they showed it. EHS should do another culture night.”

“The turnout for the show was very unexpected, many more people came more than expected” Abraham said. She continued, “It was very successful, a lot of people seem to enjoy it and learn a lot about each other from it, so I think it’s something to look forward to.”

Hinton also thinks this event will also continue in the future,  “Yes! This was such a hit! I really believe we had amazing support from the students who came and participated, from the community for their donations, and to everyone who attended. It was a lot of work to make it all happen, but I think it could be even better in the future.”