This past week, M-A Leadership hosted its annual International Week. They invited all of the M-A culture clubs to celebrate their heritage and traditions at a vibrant event on the Green. Each day was dedicated to celebrating different cultures. Rain or shine, M-A students still showed up to the Green every day during lunch to support the clubs.
Senior Simone McCreary, one of the organizers of the event, said, “The reason we started this is because culture is so beautiful, and when we have these performances or food, everyone can appreciate their cultures together. It really brings our community and school together. It’s a celebration of joy and coming together to appreciate something that is really cool.”
Monday – Latinx Cultures
For Latinx Cultures Day, students crowded around the stage on the green to watch the Baile Folklorico club dance. Students could enjoy the music and performance while they ate their lunch and sat with friends.
Senior Ariana Rangel, a club member of the Latinos Unidos Menlo-Atherton Club (LUMA), said, “We prepared fresas y crema, which is strawberries and cream. I think we all like the food and stuff here, but international week also changes the way people look at us at school. It shows others our culture and lets them understand a little bit more.”
Freshman Nora Acosta, a member of the Baile Folklorico Club, said, “International Week helps represent every culture and allows everybody to feel empowered. Honduras isn’t normally represented at this school, so using this week to show things about it makes my club feel more empowered.”
Tuesday – African Cultures
Many students crowded around the Black Student Union (BSU) table, curious about what they were selling. Their fried oreos and cookies were extremely popular, selling out within ten minutes.
Freshman Eboni Freeman, the social media manager for the BSU, said, “I think International Week helps the community bring people together. To be able to serve food and have a conversation while you’re doing that, it’s like saying ‘This is what we are’ and to bond over that is really cool to me. I love bonding over food, and that’s what my family does at home.”
Wednesday – All Cultures
Junior Sarah Judas, the social media and outreach manager of the Jewish Student Union (JSU), said, “I think that it’s really important that it helps all the different types of communities and different groups that we have on campus, and that it shows everybody’s unique heritage and what is important to them.”
Senior Parsa Zaheri, co-president of the MEGOS Club, said, “Each food has a strong connection to different regions in a culture. Some of the Persian cookies that we brought are most commonly eaten in a specific part of Iran, and falafels are common in certain Middle Eastern countries. It is really cool to bring food in order to represent different places from a country.”
Thursday – Asian Cultures
Senior and president of the Queer Asian Voices Club Rae Ruiz said, “International Week exposes everybody to a bunch of different cultures all at once. Every table you go to is a different culture, which is really great. I think it acknowledges that there are people of color at this school, and it doesn’t just ignore that. It puts us out there.”
Senior James Hoddie, a member of the Asian Culture Club, said, “When you see our classes, sometimes they don’t feel that diverse. When you see this line for boba, there are a lot of people from different cultures coming together.”
Despite the rain, M-A students are still lining up to buy boba and waffle fries from the M-A Asian Culture Club. Everything sold out within five minutes, with club members having to organize the overwhelming crowd of boba-hungry students.
Junior Wilona Chen, a member of the Chinese Culture Club, said, “Life at M-A is really normal, and we don’t see a lot of people showing off their cultures. When we do have this week, we get to see a multitude of different cultures. It builds community, and it’s cool to see all of them bring food or music. Seeing our food sell out is pretty amazing.”
Friday – Pacific Islander Cultures
With another day of rain, the Pacific Islander Club also had to improvise. Luckily, they were able to fit everything under the covering of the D-Wing.
“We brought some of our cultural wear that we wear on special occasions, and posters with facts about different islands. We did it to tell everybody about our culture, and they can see and learn about the stuff we wear and do. I never thought that people would be interested, but seeing people right now looking at what we brought and reading it is really nice,” said Junior Luisa Mainsela, a member of the Pacific Islander Club.