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Clubs show global spirit in first-ever Culture Festival

Participants+of+the+festival+play+Chinese+chess%2C+in+which+players%0Acapture+the+opponent%E2%80%99s+king+using+chess+pieces+imprinted+with%0AChinese+characters.
Inaaya Yousuf
Participants of the festival play Chinese chess, in which players capture the opponent’s king using chess pieces imprinted with Chinese characters.

The Culture Festival took place on Feb. 15, showcasing a range of performances, food and activities from diverse cultural clubs, including the American Indo Student Association, Spanish Honor Society, Taiwanese American Student Association, French Honor Society, National Chinese Honor Society and Korean Club.

“Although our school isn’t as diverse as a lot of other schools in the district, we have many students who do represent several cultures,” junior and ASB Intra-District Council  Representative Calvin Zhou said. 

This event was inspired by the 2023 Valentine’s Day Club Market and aimed to show appreciation for the diverse cultures on campus. It also encouraged students who weren’t from a culture that was largely represented to share their own cultural background.

“It was great to see how we showcase the different cultures at Lynbrook,” junior and ASB commissioner Nina Pan said. “This is different from past Community Link events since we’re trying to target a more diverse audience.” 

ASB Community Link began planning for this festival in December 2023 and continued their efforts throughout the school year. The festival was open to the entire community, including parents and younger siblings.

To advertise, Community Link distributed pamphlets and visited Miller Middle School. They also created promotional clips in the monthly PR videos, inviting students to sign up to participate in “Pass the Plate,” where students visit local restaurants and share their culture through food.

“We wanted to create unique styles of promotion by doing something more interactive,” Zhou said. 

Students at the Culture Festival play a traditional Indian game, Carrom Board. Players strike each others’ pieces, competing by “pocketing” them. (Inaaya Yousuf)

The festival showcased 12 clubs, each offering insights into their cultural backgrounds. Many clubs sold traditional foods like kimbap and chow mein, while others hosted activity booths featuring pastimes from their culture such as origami folding.

“National Chinese Honor Society decided to participate because we care a lot about Chinese culture and we wanted to spread its awareness to more people,” senior and NCHS co-President Lyria Zhu said.

NCHS hosted various traditional Chinese cultural games, such as Chinese chess and checkers. Officers set up a booth to teach participants the games’ histories and how to play. Since ancient times, these games have served as a means for civilians to pass time and make meaningful connections.

“We believed that playing these games would offer a culturally enriching experience to the student body,” Zhu said.

FHS presented a glimpse of French culture by selling “pain au chocolat,” a common French breakfast and café food, served alongside thick hot chocolate and whipped cream. As the multicultural event occurred two days after Mardi Gras, a French festival, FHS took this opportunity to set up a booth for students to design themed masks. 

“The cultural festival was a great opportunity to offer an immersive experience of French culture, especially right after Mardi Gras,” senior and FHS secretary Stephanie Li said.

The Korean Club presented itself by serving kimbap, a Korean dish that is made from cooked rice, vegetables and meat, which is then rolled in dried seaweed. It also hosted a booth for paper folding, where students could make “Ddakji,” a paper folded into squares and used to play a game that is won by flipping the other player’s square. 

“People know about Korean culture in terms of K-pop and K-film through the internet, but they don’t get as many chances to experience Korean traditions,” senior and Korean Club President Richard Lim said. “We wanted to use these opportunities to share those little details of Korean culture that go beyond what people see on the surface level.”

Although some students weren’t able to attend the festival, ASB ensured that the student body was still well-represented. They set up booths to represent various cultures, such as selling Baklava, representing a portion of Ukrainian culture.

Aside from clubs’ participating in this year’s festival, many other groups also performed, such as Jalwa who performed various Bollywood Fusion dances. 

“I was fascinated by how everyone was learning about different cultures while exploring their own,” junior Leo Jiang said. “Coming to this festival has helped me expand my worldviews.” 

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About the Contributors
Audrey Sun, Staffer
(she/her) Audrey Sun is a senior and a returning staffer for the Epic. Outside of school, she enjoys playing volleyball, trying out new recipes, and looking for new workouts on YouTube.
Taek Kim, Staffer
(he/him) Taek is currently a junior and is very stoked to be a first-year staffer on the Epic for 2023-24! Aside from journalism, Taek enjoys listening to jazz, yapping about politics, and playing cello during his free time.
Inaaya Yousuf, Staffer
(she/her) Inaaya is a junior and this is her second year as an Epic staff member. Outside of school, she loves reading, writing, and watching Formula 1.

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