Travel the World in One Night at HSE International Festival

Writer  /  Janet C. Striebel

There are many authentic dishes to taste from about 30 different countries.

The World Connections Club (WCC) at Hamilton Southeastern High School is hosting its Seventh Annual International Festival on Friday, March 27 at 7 p.m. There will be a talent show featuring various cultural stage performances in the Leonard Auditorium followed by food, music and fun in the Annex Cafeteria. There will be samples of homemade authentic dishes featuring 30 different countries.

“The International Festival is all about integrating cultures,” says Rachael Downham, International Night coordinator and vice president of World Connections Club. “We put on this event at the end of the school year to show what all students, including those involved with foreign exchange and ENL (English as a New Language) have learned and shared throughout the year. Our school is so diverse. About one out of every five students is from another culture.”

The talent show will feature performances of different ethnicities and some of the entertainers come back each year like the group of Bollywood Dancers, who wear sparkling colorful costumes. HSE Spanish teacher, Vickie Lazaga, also performs a different Latino dance each year.

Avani Singh, senior, and Bollywood Dancer, has been instrumental in coordinating International Night for the past four years.

Individuals, families, groups and organizations are all welcome to set up a booth to share with the HSE community a display of their culture through food, games, photos and artifacts.

“Some people might be reluctant to try different foods,” says Alison Eling, secretary of WCC and International Night publicity chair. “I was too when I went to the International Night the first time, but I think people will be pleasantly surprised at the great authentic taste from different countries. It’s not like anything we typically have in America, and it’s fun to learn about the different countries through food.”

The cafeteria will be brightly decorated with lanterns and streamers, while booths will be set up around the perimeter of the room with tables and seating in the center allowing for conversation. Some of the represented countries include Syria, the Philippines, Egypt, Belgium, Australia and many more.

The WCC welcomes all to join in on this spectacular evening of sights and sounds from around the world.

Please contact Rachael Downham at to sign up for a booth. For more information, contact Vickie Lazaga at

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