A Cultural Celebration Students at Bartlett High Show Ethnicity through Dress, Music

By Miles, Arlene | Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), March 11, 2006 | Go to article overview

A Cultural Celebration Students at Bartlett High Show Ethnicity through Dress, Music


Miles, Arlene, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)


Byline: Arlene Miles Daily Herald Correspondent

Music blared while two teenaged males tried to hit each other with wooden sticks - their respective friends urging them on loudly - while others danced around them noisily. Typical teen party, right?

This one had a twist - an ethnic one - as teens representing India and Pakistan demonstrated their culture at the recent Hawk World international fair at Bartlett High School. The music was Indian in nature, and the dance, called Dandiya, was too.

"It's a traditional dance," said Kinjah Shah, Bartlett senior. "You hit it (the stick) and go around in the circle."

Some students were garbed in the traditional dress of their ancestral homeland.

Staged by Bartlett High School's International Club, the fair allowed students to teach students, parents and community members about the cultures of the world.

"The point is for them (the students) to express themselves and their ethnicity through dress, music, and culture," said Amy Fitzpatrick, International Club sponsor and Bartlett Spanish teacher.

Hawk World featured 12 cultures. In addition to India and Pakistan, other countries represented included Korea, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, China, Fiji, Japan, Germany, Mexico, France and Ireland. The fair took place in the third floor of the school in world language and social studies classrooms.

"I pretty much left it up to the kids running the groups as to what they wanted to do and what they could do," said Fitzpatrick, who noted the groups manning each country averaged about four students apiece.

Some groups kept their displays relatively simple, such as those for France, Fiji and Ireland, sticking primarily with student- generated displays that highlighted geographical, cultural, and linguistic facts about each country. Others focused on traditional items, while others exhibited sheer fun.

Students representing India and Pakistan decided to share a room because of their countries' geographical proximity. The room featured a bounty of food for sale and was decorated with colorful scarves from traditional women's garments, as well as number of ethnic musical instruments. …

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