By Emily Aguilar
Eastvale – Because of its diverse alumni, Eleanor Roosevelt High School ensures that each student is given the opportunity to embrace not only the cultures of others, but that of their own as well. This environment has allowed cultures to blend with one another like peaches and cream, unifying ERHS into a strong student body.
In order to pay homage to these various cultures, ERHS’s prominent club, CSF (California Scholarship Federation), held its bi-annual Culture Night festival on Dec. 4.
Culture Night is a show meant to represent students’ traditional cultural practices through artistic performances. Before 6 p.m., the Mustang Theater was filled with supportive family and friends who wanted to see their loved ones represent their culture.
The evening began with a slideshow of students speaking about their cultures and giving the audience a preview of their performances. Following this introduction, the fun began. The performances in dance ranged from Folkloric, to the Chinese Ribbon Dance, to Polynesian and American jazz; and songs were performed from Korea and the Philippines.
Among the performances, one of the most memorable was the Bhangra Dance, which electrified the audience with its upbeat tempo and passionate movement. After captivating the audience with his group, one of the dancers, Shukan Patel stated, “I feel as if the audience was able to feel the energy and pride of the Indian culture through the fast-paced, coordinated moves to traditional music. I feel as if this performance allowed for the audience to experience the Punjabi festival of Vaisakhi’s (Harvest Festival) joy through our dance performance.”
Before the evening ended, CSF Coordinator, Frank Mata, went on stage and spoke to the audience about how working at ERHS as an AP Language and Composition teacher has introduced him to stupendous students. He expressed his admiration toward his students, because in spite of their stress with college and grades, they never fail to lose touch with who they are.
“I am proud of them – they’re not just students at that point. They become respectable young men and women who make it their privilege to pay homage to their culture in this all too foreign land,” Mata said.
After his small speech, Mata invited all of the performers on stage to sing Bill Withers’ famous song, “Lean On Me.” Captivated by the unification of their friends and children, the audience joined in and become a single voice, giving an appropriate ending to the evening.