Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Take a dip in a cultural melting pot at DHS

From page A1 | March 06, 2014 |

Check it out

What: Davis High School World Language Fair

When: Noon-3:30 p.m. Saturday

Where: South Gym and Quad, Davis High School, 315 W. 14th St.

Admission: Free

Once a year, the Davis High School campus opens its doors and transforms into a melting pot of diverse cultures with the annual World Language Fair.

Held in the South Gym and on the campus Quad from noon to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, March 8, the event features several language booths, international cuisine, ethnic dances and music and a soccer skills challenge.

Teacher Janice Candelario has been planning her fair booth for weeks. Her Spanish language booth will feature home-made quesadillas and a craft called “ojo de Dios” (God’s eye), a yarn weaving on wood. Candelario especially anticipates the performance by a student-run mariachi band, a type of folk music originating in Mexico.

“I’m excited for the performances because I love watching people dance and sing. It’s a great opportunity for students who are very interested in languages to participate in school and see all the other cultures and what they’re doing,” Candelario said.

Candelario lists this fair as the perfect opportunity for elementary or junior high school students to visit the high school and see what taking a higher-level language class is like. Current Blue Devils may take a rare moment to leave their classrooms to observe the different languages offered at DHS and how they differ from their own.

As Candelario noted, many Spanish students will flock to the French or German booths to see a different aspect of European culture.

“It is great to bring language to the spotlight and celebrate the cultural diversity of DHS,” she said.

Some see the occasion as a chance to experience the sights and learn about various cultures in preparation for future trips abroad. Freshman Benjamin Hoffner-Brodsky hopes to connect with people from different backgrounds and store up knowledge about assorted customs before he travels around the world.

“I would say I’m going to the event because I get to meet new people and learn about some places that I want to travel to while working on improving my language skills,” Hoffner-Brodsky said. “Also, I can’t wait for the food.”

Many language teachers are offering extra credit to attend Saturday’s event. One of the arts and crafts opportunities provided is a miniature passport that can be stamped at each booth representing a different country. Senior Daniel Zhu’s principal incentive was the free points for attendance, but he also looks forward to the music and cuisine.

“The activities of the World Language and Culture Fair do look pretty exciting, and the food is always worth it,” Zhu said.

Junior Jennifer Park said she wants to learn more about French history and practice her French language skills.

“I want to experience all the rituals and learn more about the traditional dances, songs, the history,” Park said. “I want to go to France, so this will really prepare me for the future.”

Learning about cultures outside the classroom is an invaluable opportunity, one that junior Jonathan Desideri is unwilling to miss. Although he is also visiting the booths for the fun and games, he values the learning experience above all else.

“It’s important to learn about other backgrounds and see these things first-hand,” Desideri said. “Watching these cultural performances is so much better than just reading about them.”

Among the agenda of activities are taiko drumming, Chinese traditional dances, Japanese origami crafts, French crepe making, German poetry and a Chinese character-writing demonstration.

If arts and crafts are not one’s cup of tea, the event planners have thought of that, too. Appealing to the athletic students, a soccer skills contest will be help, proving who can juggle, throw and kick the farthest. Freshman Chris Johnson explains that these games are his primary reason for going.

“Connecting with different cultures and understanding how they interact with one another is really helpful, but I’m also mainly going for the soccer tournament,” Johnson said. “It’s going to be really awesome.”

With so many aspects, the World Language Fair can appeal to almost anyone. And here’s a major bonus: It’s free.


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