Commentary: The Multicultural Show offers a 30-minute trip around the world

Reporter Jodee Capati provides an inside look at what it was like being a part of a multicultural performance.

Jodee Capati, Lead Writer

Now that senior year is here, I often find myself reflecting. I reflect on the values HEHS instills in its students. I think about how much S.O.A.R. has taught me. A prime demonstration of what we have learned via S.O.A.R. took place recently during the Multicultural Show on February 28.

The A in S.O.A.R. is accepting differences and, to be honest, differences can mean anything. A difference, in opinion, can be in the form of likes and dislikes or ethnicity. Let’s talk about diversity, though. According to the HEHS website, 70% of our school population possesses an ethnicity other than Caucasian, making HEHS the most diverse community in District 211.

Celebrating this diversity, HEHS hosted its own Multicultural Show, which brought together a multitude of acts representing different cultures. I had the good fortune to be a part of the show. Tinikling is a Filipino dance that involves bamboo poles that are beat and slid by two people as other people dance between them. It imitates the movements of a tikling bird, who dodges bamboo traps set by Filipino farmers on vast rice fields. Now, I’m no expert. Yet, I bet some students and staff witnessed the dance for the first time.

One of the main reasons I participated in the show was to be a part of sharing my culture with the HEHS community. The show became a chance for me and the other 10 students to showcase our culture even if we’re far away from our home country. I’m definitely sure that this is also a reason for the other presenters as well.

While practicing for a month in the classrooms, I not only would hear our own song playing. I also could hear other students playing music or practicing dance steps, so that they, too, could share their cultures with the HEHS community.

I heard members of the HEHS Black Students United, including Ambree Dawson, Dinah Washington, and Jaelen Barrett practice their rendition of Maya Angelou’s “Still I Rise” poem. Members of the Latinos Unidos club also practiced their mix of the “Bachata” and “Merengue” dance from Dominican Republic and “Salsa” from Cuba. Andrea Hernandez performed a beautiful cover of a Venezuelan song, and Khushi Patel and Fawzaan brought to life their Bollywood dance.

On the actual day of the performance, my peers and I cheered on the “African dance” by Adedoyin Oladipo, Ololade Odutola, Bisola Bello, and Itunu Imade. Sarah Park’s API dance crew also came back for more from last year as they performed more K-pop songs.

Walking through the hallways of our school, I’ve heard many conversations in different languages. Some that are easily identifiable, yet others I seem to lack knowledge of. I’m one of them. I’m the girl who speaks fluent Tagalog to my other Filipinos. I’m the girl who represented my country, along with 10 other of my peers, in front of the whole school. That was me, and I take pride in that. Pinoy ako!