Blair Ethnic Clubs Enjoy Sharing Their Cultures

The Cambodiam Club recently sponsored an Asian Show. There were dancers, singers, and musicians from Cambodia, Vietnam, China, and India.
By Quyen Nguyen
     Blair High School is a unique school with a lot of different kinds of activities and ethnic clubs for anyone to join.
     According to the school records more than 1,000 international students who were born outside the U.S. go to Blair. Many of those students join ethnic clubs because they want to share their cultures with their friends and staff at Blair.
     In the African Club, the African students want to show their culture and express it in the way they dance. According to Mr. Ngbea, the African Club sponsor, “ We try to show what the motherland in Africa is, the land where we were born and where we lived,” he said. The African students have participated in many dance programs. A few months ago they were in a show for Black history month. According to some of the students who saw the show, the African Club did a wonderful job. The show had a lot of meaning to the audience and for the African students. But it was not easy for the students to get ready for the show. “It took us forever to practice because of the snow days, ” Antonia, the president of the African Club said.
     The show that the African Club participated in was sponsored by a group called “Sankofa.” Sankofa means, “We look back where we come from.” Many of students in Sankofa are African American whose ancestors are from Africa. They look back to Africa and want to know about it. “We try to figure out how to use performances to show the ancestors customs,” said Mrs. Roark, the sponsor of Sankofa. “ It is kind of a challenge for students. It’s just for fun.” Mrs. Roark added that there were about fifty students who were in the Sankofa show.
     The Chinese Club is another ethnic club at Blair. The club does a lot of activities, like watching Chinese movies, raising money for charities, and selling artificial flowers, like on Valentine’s day. Chinese students make the flowers by hand. The Chinese Club also has students who perform at different shows. Mr. Wang is the sponsor of the Chinese Club. “ If you are interested in Chinese Club, we welcome you,” he said.
     Students in the Hispanic Club think of their club as a big family. They have a students who perform in dance shows and they also have a program called Platicas Latinas. They meet often to hear speakers and get advice about college. Spanish-speaking students are welcome. Mrs. Castro, the sponsor, is famous for helping Spanish-speaking students with everything they need. “I have try to be a role model for my students. I am very proud to be a teacher,” she said.
     Because Blair has a lot of Ethiopian students, it also has a large Ethiopian Club. Ethiopian students like to participate and unite together in their club. Their emphasis is on Ethiopian culture including fashion, music, and dances. Annually they produce a big program celebrating significant advances in their history. “We are very pleased to welcome anyone to come join with us to share our culture,” said Surfal Medsenia a sophomore in the club.
     This year the Cambodian Club started again after not existing for many years. Cambodian, Hispanic, and Vietnamese students met every week with Mrs. Natalie Chhuan who is the coordinator of the club and is very knowledgeable of Cambodia dance and shares this with club members. Dr. Sam Ang is their music professor, and Mrs. Sovanny Chun their dance teacher. The students learned a lot about Cambodian dance and music. They sponsored the Asian show this year and presented the things they learned.
      There are other clubs at Blair that we were not able to get information about for this article. The Indian Club, the Muslim Student Association, the Korean Club, the Japanese Club, and the Middle Eastern Dance Club are the ones we know about that we missed. Look for information about them and other ethnic clubs in future issues of Silver International.


© Copyright Silver International Newspaper, Montgomery Blair H.S. 2003 (This page was created by Maria Torres & Quyen Nguyen)