Cambridge Hosts Its First International Night

Cherise Kim, Editor-in-Chief

A typical evening in the school’s cafeteria resembles a quiet environment of shuttered-up food stations, emptied trash cans and tables folded up along either side of the room.

On Thursday, however, that space will be filled with vibrant music, colorful flags and an array of food from countries all over the globe.

This will be the school’s first ever International Night.

Hosted by the school’s Parent, Teacher, Student Association (PTSA), International Night aims to bring together students, parents, staff and community members in a celebration of the different cultures represented within the student body.

“The idea is to celebrate diversity,” said Claudia Zehnder, who is a co-chair of the event as well as a PTSA member and mother of Bear Witness staff writer Anthony Zehnder.

There will be eight nations represented at International Night: Mexico, Canada, Switzerland, Sweden, Thailand, the United Kingdom, South Africa and Australia.

Presented by Swedish exchange student Abbe Persson, the event will feature a potluck of different dishes from each country, as well as a flag presentation with an accompanying music piece from each country being represented.

The songs are not all traditional music; much of the selection includes contemporary songs such as “Hotline Bling” by Canadian rapper Drake to represent Canada.

During the planning process, the PTSA sought to reach students by not only being conscious of pop culture, but also by incorporating student groups such as the Unity in Diversity club.

“[Members of Unity in Diversity] love the idea, and our role is to encourage our members to sign up for a dish and just come and enjoy the night,” said junior Taylor Simpson, president and founder of the club.

Simpson believes the night will allow students to learn about other cultures in a non-academic setting.

“It’s a little different [from classes such as AP World History] in that an actual student in the school is presenting their country, and you get more of a personal connection in learning about that culture,” she said.

Throughout the night, the PTSA hopes that students and community members will be able to experience different cultures through food, music and dance.

“We do really hope that people will get up and dance, because otherwise it won’t be as much fun,” said Zehnder.

The PTSA now seeks to make this an annual event that will hopefully grow to incorporate even more students.

“I hope students are proud to represent their heritage, and I hope after this year they’ll be encouraged to participate,” said Wheeler.

International Night will be held in the school’s cafeteria Thursday from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM.

From the Cambridge High School Website.
An infographic about International Night.