Embracing diversity: A look at the multicultural assembly

Image from author.

Throughout the year, Washington High holds various events celebrating school spirit and unity—Spirit Week, Winter Week, Battle of the Classes, and more. This month in particular focuses on unity through the recognition and empowerment of our diverse groups at Washington, as highlighted in This is Us week and the Multicultural Assembly. Featuring performances from Dance Co., the Afghan Student Association, Association of Latin American Students, Martial Arts Club, Filipino Student Union, Taal, and a solo performance from Christina Wong, the multicultural assembly is an event that provides participating students with the chance to represent their culture through artistic expression.

Common aspects between all the performances were the incorporation of cultural clothing and music. Many of these performances dated back years in history; Christina Wong, a senior, describes her performance of traditional Chinese dance to have originated as early as in the Han dynasty, as a form of entertainment in palace courts. Along with their place in history, the performances may also resonate with many cultures—Taal’s dances, for example, “had many different parts of India combined into it,” according to Iha Gadiya, a senior. “We had bhangra representing Punjabi culture, we had kuthu which is a lot more South Indian, we had classical, we had hip-hop… It highlighted the different parts of India and how they unite under Bollywood songs.”

Spanning for approximately an hour, it is evident that the performers put in much time and dedication prior to the assembly. Indeed, both Wong and the members of Taal practiced for the assembly for multiple weeks prior. It has been a memorable experience for both as they appreciated the chance to interact with other performers and connect through their culture. Reflecting on her experience with the assembly over the years, Gadiya finds that “it made [her] realize how diverse Washington was. Being able to see everyone come together displaying their culture and talents, and seeing the progress of how their talent developed, was really interesting and fun.” 

Wong also finds that the performance has given her the opportunity to further connect with her own culture. “I come from multiple cultures,” she explains. “For example, I’m Japanese, Chinese, and also Taiwanese.” She notes that Washington currently does not have a Chinese or Taiwanese club, but she was able to use her solo performance in the assembly as a chance to represent her culture. She adds that her interest in her culture stemmed from childhood, as she “was really fascinated with culture in general. Growing up I watched a lot of period dramas set in those times, and it inspired me to learn about the culture.”

Overall the assembly was effective in doing just that: Giving students the opportunity to learn more about other cultures as well as their own, along with showing pride in who they are and the background they come from. Looking back, Gadiya finds that in this assembly, people “show a different side of who they are; you see people that are prideful of their culture.” Gadiya hopes viewers will take away the importance of respecting and taking pride in these backgrounds. Wong reiterates this sentiment as she expresses the importance of “being certain of yourself and embracing your own culture. Even if other people don’t understand it fully,” she says, “as long as you’re interested in it then that’s all that matters.”

Aaushi Singh is a senior at Washington High School. She was born in New York in the borough of Queens, but moved to Fremont early in life and has lived there ever since. This will be her first year at the Hatchet, where she hopes to cover topics such as art, mental health, and music. Aaushi’s hobbies consist of reading, making art, and writing. Although unsure of her future plans, Aaushi is considering studying architecture or civil engineering.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *