Cultural Fair Celebrates Diversity


Jerry Qiao ’22

French Club served crêpes to the community during the Cultural Fair last Sunday.

On Sunday, February 23, the Student Center overflowed with tables highlighting the cultures of students from all over the world.
The annual Cultural Fair was organized by St. Luke’s Society, one of the school’s service societies, and LinkAge, a multi-cultural student club. The fair served as an opportunity for students to celebrate the wide range of diversity and culture at the school. Over 25 booths, run by students and clubs, shared cultures and customs from their homes.
LinkAge has hosted the Cultural Fair on its own annually until last year, when it partnered with St. Luke’s in order to reach the wider community. Planning for the Cultural Fair began a few months ago with organizing the clubs and students who will participate, scheduling live performances, and advertising the event to the local community.
Since St. Luke’s has joined the planning team, there has been a greater amount of advertisement to and participation from surrounding towns. Anne Seaman ’20, co-head of St. Luke’s, said, “It is very special that we get to share our broad ranges of cultures with the local community in hopes of educating them and creating bonds.”
Each country represented at the fair displayed its common games, food and drinks, currency, books, and flags. De Colores, the Latinx and Hispanic affinity group on campus, decorated their table in an array of colors and served empanadas. Hillel, the Jewish faith club, gave out chocolate coins and homemade potato latkes while playing traditional Jewish music.
In addition to the tables, the fair featured an arrangement of student performances. Lavina Ngo ’21 played Vietnamese music on the dan tranh, a traditional Vietnamese instrument. In addition to a Step Team routine, Ha Trang Tran ’22 and Stella Ren ’22 performed a Chinese hip hop dance. In addition, the school also brought in a traditional henna artist, who taught students about Indian culture while drawing henna tattoos on their hands.
Reka Ladanyi ’22 has represented Hungary at the Cultural Fair for two years. Her table included signature dishes, the Hungarian flag, maps, and photos of historical monuments. Ladanyi said, “The Cultural Fair is an opportunity for students from different backgrounds to come together and share the things that make their culture special. [The fair] is really important, especially at a diverse place like Hotchkiss.”
In auditorium tomorrow, LinkAge will hold the annual Culture Spotlight Talk, a presentation by a few international students highlighting their cultures and hometowns. Amy Ionescu ’21 represented Bulgaria at the Cultural Fair and will be speaking at the Spotlight Talk. Ionescu said, “I feel like I am not fully connected to my hometown at Hotchkiss, but through the Cultural Fair and Spotlight Talk, I am gaining a closer connection to my culture.”
With international students making up over 21 percent of the student body, the school will continue to hold events highlighting and celebrating cultures, such as monthly Millerton multi-cultural hours hosted by St. Luke’s, as well as weekly club and affinity group meetings.