Saratoga’s first Culture Day promotes awareness

December 15, 2010 — by Karthik Sreedhara

To showcase its rich cultural diversity, the school held its first Culture Day on Nov. 19 during lunch.

“The goal of culture day was to recognize and appreciate the diversity on campus,” said leadership student junior Viraj Parmar, who helped organize the event along with the rest of the leadership class.

Juniors Dominic Guercio and Anshu Siripurapu were also part of the group in charge of organizing the logistics of the event.

“It really all came down to the culture clubs and [foreign language] classes,” said Guercio. “They really charged and made the day a success.”

According to Parmar, the Spanish and Indian clubs and the Chinese classes contributed to the event by dressing up in traditional clothing from the culture they were representing. Each group created a station and decorations in the quad that “reflected something special about their culture.” The Indian club also entertained the crowd with a coordinated dance in the quad during lunch.

Junior Cynthia Huang, a student from the Chinese class, thought that the day was a “great chance to learn more about different cultures.” According to Huang, the Chinese booth served food as well as participated in other activities such as calligraphy. She hopes that next year’s Culture Day will be able to represent even more cultures present on campus.

According to Guercio, Culture Day was also organized in response to recent events.

“Recently there had been issues with [cultural understanding] between people at our school as well as the controversy surrounding the Saratoga vs. Los Gatos football game,” said Guercio. “We worked to promote cultural awareness and cultural tolerance between students.”

Guercio had been referring to the Facebook event page that had been created for the rival Los Gatos game, where rivalry caused racist comments to be posted.

Parmar thought the event was an overall success, though with some difficulties. He said that it was hard to coordinate with several different clubs and classes and to get students interested.

“It was supposed to be a fun event, with good food and interesting activities to bring together students of different cultures,” said Parmar. “Hopefully those who attended this year can generate more enthusiasm for next year’s culture day.”

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