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The Student News Site of Palo Alto High School

The Paly Voice

The Student News Site of Palo Alto High School

The Paly Voice

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Theater-focused ‘International Night’ to celebrate cultural diversity

Anna Feng
Students took pride in sharing their cultures during last year’s International Night, hosted by Palo Alto High School’s Associated Student Body. This year’s International Night, this time arranged by Paly’s theater program, will take place at 7 p.m. tomorrow in the Performing Arts Center. According to senior Athya Paramesh, who organized the event, students are welcome to participate either as a performer or an attendee. “We wanted it to be open to people from theater, but also beyond theater,” Paramesh said. “We got some great [sign-up] responses, so I’m excited.”

Stories will be shared and cultural arts showcased during International Night, taking place 7 p.m. tomorrow in Palo Alto High School’s Performing Arts Center. While the Associated Student Body also hosted an International Night last year, featuring cultural foods, this one will be the first hosted by Paly’s theater program, focusing more on the performative elements and visual arts.

According to event organizer and senior Athya Paramesh, the night will consist of a number of cultural performances, followed by a potluck reception.

“International Night is going to be a collection of student and community member performances,” Paramesh said. “There’ll be songs, dances, presentations [and] videos. The prompt for the performances was artistic expressions of culture, whether it is a person’s native language or a traditional dance, or if they just want to share a certain practice or quality that’s important to them.”

One performer will be senior Samuya Kundu, who said she looks forward to dancing in front of her peers.

“I’m super excited to showcase my art form to my friends and teachers,” Kundu said. “I will be doing Bharatanatyam, which is an Indian classical dance form. I’m doing two dance pieces — one in an Indian language and one in an English song, ‘Scars to Your Beautiful.’”

According to Paramesh, the event was created to encourage acceptance of cultural diversity across campus.

“It’s really important to talk about culture and celebrate it,” Paramesh said. “We have such a vast variety of languages and people from all different backgrounds here. I hope that people in the audience will see the performances and be inspired to take pride in who they are.”

Besides engaging in their own cultures, attendees will also get the opportunity to learn more about their peers’ backgrounds. According to theater teacher Sarah Thermond, many every student has a unique story to tell and it is important to share them.

“Some of our students are presenting art forms that they have learned not only from family and community, but also from growing up or living in countries outside of the U.S.,” Thermond said.

Thermond said another purpose of the International Night is to help expand the reach of Paly’s theater program.

“This event is a great way to invite the community into our ongoing effort to spotlight arts from a wider variety of traditions than English-speaking theater,” Thermond said. “It’s really exciting to start a new tradition of showcases, where students can share their passions, beyond the script[ed] shows that we [the theater program] do.”

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About the Contributors
Kristine Lin
Kristine Lin, Managing Editor
Kristine Lin (Class of 2025) joined The Paly Voice her sophomore year. Outside of journalism, she enjoys going on scenic hikes, taking road trips, and traveling to new places.
Anna Feng
Anna Feng, Senior Staff Writer
Anna Feng (Class of 2024) joined The Voice her sophomore year. Outside of journalism, she enjoys volunteering, listening to podcasts and spending time outdoors.

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    Spencer Wu-ChinMar 1, 2024 at 8:22 am

    Thank you for this informative update Paly Voice!!