Cultural Day pep rally appreciates diversity

In order to promote and celebrate diversity, Blue Hawk STUCO hosted the first ever “Cultural Day” pep rally. The pep rally was held on Friday, April 14 in the arena during advisory, and students sat in their designated class sections.

During the event, students and staff members volunteered as flag bearers to represent their country and showcase their culture. The pep rally also featured a variety of performances ranging from a traditional Chinese dance to singing Hindi and Spanish songs.

“I pitched the idea for this event as soon as the second semester started because we finally had time in our schedule to host it,” senior and STUCO historian Ayeesha Shaikh said. “Then, because it was my idea, I started working towards making it happen. I had to get approval from Mr. Mouton regarding the event and a date, book the arena, make and put out flyers with QR codes to sign up to be a flag bearer or a performer, and order decor.”

Planning for the event took two months as it had to be planned logistically. However, a majority of the work was completed in the last month as many flag bearers and performers began to sign up then.

“I made a timed schedule of the Flag Parade, had to narrow down and chose performers, make sure we had enough flag bearers, plan a rehearsal for them so they could hold their flags properly, move the flags to the arena, and had to contact various teachers regarding the music and sound system in the arena,” Shaikh said.

The idea of the Cultural Day pep rally was based on an annual event hosted at Shaikh’s old school in Qatar where they held “International Week” to celebrate the origins of their students and staff as it is an international school.

“I moved here two years ago and missed this event like crazy, so when I saw we had the big flags present on top of the library, I knew we should also have a similar event because our school had diversity worth celebrating,” Shaikh said. “Additionally, I had been asking around and a lot of people wanted a Cultural Day as lots of other American schools have them, so I seized the opportunity to plan one and also incorporated it into the Flag Parade event.”

In addition, students were encouraged to dress up in their cultural attire as a means of celebrating their heritage.

“We wore a traditional Chinese outfit called Hanfu,” freshman Scarlett Ma said. “Each dynasty in China has different clothing styles, and what I wore is from the Tang Dynasty. Hanfu means Han ethnic traditional clothing, there are 56 different ethnicities in China, and Han is the most common and most populous ethnic.”

As a result of how successful the event was, STUCO plans to improve and continue hosting this event every year to celebrate diversity.

“The event went exactly how I planned and even better,” Shaikh said. “Students were all cheering in crowds, waving their miniature flags, and enjoying the different cultural performances. Students dressed up as well, and hopefully more will next year as they’ll be excited for this day to come again.”