by Sophia Chok ’20
Brooklyn Tech is the largest high school in America, and there’s no doubt that diversity is one of its strongest aspects. To celebrate, Tech puts on a cultural showcase every year. As of last year, the culture show became the culture fair. Mr. Kaelin wanted to educate students about the different cultures that were getting lost in the previous format. With great response from the student body last year, the fair returns. It was held on March 22, 2017 from 4 pm to 6 pm in the cafeteria.
A cultural showcase is nothing new at Tech. For over twenty years, there was either an assembly or exhibition. Previously, the culture show allowed students to perform dances from different cultures. The show didn’t actually allow the students to learn more about a certain culture besides its dances, which was the main factor that led to the change.
The fair began with participating clubs displaying panels, each explaining the mission of the club, important holidays celebrated by its people, daily foods and pastime activities in their booths. The booths also include games, prizes and food.
In the Korean Student Association (KSA) booth, they had brought traditional games such as sets of Konggi and Yutnori. Konggi is a game that can be played alone or in a group with 5 colorful jacks. Before colorful jacks were implemented, small stone pebbles were used. Yutnori is board game with 4 sticks with different markings to use as the dice of the game. The objective is to return to the starting point and the sticks determine how far a player moves throughout the board. Winners received free Korean face sheet masks or posters. This was the first year KSA participated in the culture fair. KSA’s vice president, Yadviga Tischenko ‘18 said the club wanted to “broaden the image of Korea and share its heritage with others.”
Meanwhile, Vietnamese Student Association (VSA) sold spring rolls to raise money for a non-profit organization: Vietnam Children’s Fund (VSF). VSF uses the donated money from corporations and individuals to build schools in the most remote and desolate areas of Vietnam. In 20 years, VSF has built over 51 schools in 20 years. The organization’s basic structure for a school now costs $200,000, including maintenance.
Later on, performances were held at the center. The performers had a wide range of talents. MIST started the show segment with a song sung by four male students with different harmonizing vocal ranges. After, a group of girls in onesies danced to TWICE’s “Cheer Up”. Following were the STEP teams—Lady Dragons and Organized Chaos—that performed separate unique and vibrant routines that shook the audience. Similarly, another unique dance was a traditional Japanese fan dance to call the Sun God Amaterasu. The Breakdancing Club then performed their president’s self-choreographed routine. Lastly, the Dragon Boat Club performed the lion dance, a traditional dance usually performed at important occasions in Chinese culture like weddings and Chinese New Year. The dance included drums, gongs, cymbals and a lion costume. The dance ended the performance portion of the Culture Fair with a bang!
Although the culture fair ended at 6pm, many students stayed late to look at the booths and play games. Overall, the fair ended with positive results, and the culture fair will return next year even better.