Home Schools A Taste of Cultural Richness at the International Showcase

A Taste of Cultural Richness at the International Showcase

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Students perform the haka, a traditional Maori war dance, at the Saint Francis International Showcase.
Students perform the haka, a traditional Maori war dance, at the Saint Francis International Showcase.
Students perform the haka, a traditional Maori war dance, at the Saint Francis International Showcase.

Culture and diversity at Saint Francis High School were at the forefront of the school’s annual spring International Showcase, in which students proudly celebrate their heritage through music and dance.

Performers willing to learn and embrace a new cultural experience are encouraged to be involved in the student-driven show, which is held over two evenings. The show is sponsored by the International Club, and as a testament to how popular the event is, performers return each year to contribute to it. Students work with each other to learn dance routines or songs, but junior Divya Sundararajan taught herself a Japanese pop song to perform simply because of her interest in the Japanese culture.

“I’ve always been attracted to songs sung in different languages,” she said. “Last year I sang a song in French, but this year I wanted to expand my horizons.”

Students who are involved with the International Showcase say the event is an easy way to introduce audiences to new cultures, and one new act that electrified audience members this year was the haka, a traditional Maori war dance that involves performers chanting in unison, slapping their chests and stamping their feet. Junior Lutoviko Ahoia, who led this performance, enjoyed introducing something new to Saint Francis.

“It was great to see the audience being entertained,” he said.

Other performances from the International Showcase included a Vietnamese dance, a K-pop routine, a Bollywood number and songs sung in Mandarin and Filipino.