By Victoria Liu, Greenwich High School class of 2023
On April 20, more than 300 students, parents, and staff members attended Greenwich High School’s first annual International Night, which celebrated the many cultures and backgrounds of GHS students. The event was organized by the language honor societies at GHS.
Many volunteers brought in dishes of their country’s cuisine; inside GHS’s student center, tables were piled high with over 70 trays of food from all over the world.
Along with great food were great performances: Franco Villanueva from Western Middle School and Lilian Chiroque, a Freshman at SUNY Purchase, who danced “Marinera,” a typical dance from Peru; a dance group “El Ballet Folflorico Acuarelas de Perú de New York,” directed by Mrs. Aurora Cardenas; and a string quartet composed of GHS’s Divya Shenoy, Melisa Bayram, Charles Andrew Miranda, and Benjamin Gruenbaum.
International Night was a testament to GHS’s commitment to promoting diversity awareness and culture. Charles Andrew Miranda, Co-President and Director of Procedures at SHS, credits the inspiration behind International Night to the similar tradition at Western Middle School.
“The inspiration came from the Western [Middle School] version of the event… I always loved when that time came around as it helped expose me to different cultures and traditions. We hoped to recreate and scale this WMS tradition here at GHS, utilizing the resources of our numerous language societies (which contain a cumulative membership of ~300 students) and other cultural clubs.”
The event, which was initially hindered by the pandemic, marks the beginning of what will hopefully become a GHS tradition.
Sahar Shakib, who helped facilitate the entertainment, also shared her thoughts on the event: “I had a lot of fun working on planning this event. Although it was kind of difficult because we’ve never undertaken something so large-scale before, I really think it was worth it. We had a much better turnout than any of us expected, and I got a lot of my friends to come.”
Reflecting on the night, Miranda says: “It definitely meant a lot for me as this was exactly what we envisioned: a night where we can all share our cultures through the most powerful medium, food. I want to thank everyone who brought dishes in. Without them, this wouldn’t have been possible. I also want to thank Sra. [Maria Sol] Yika, who worked tremendously hard with all of the administrative tasks and coordinating the entertainment.”