Welcoming North Penn’s first ever Multicultural Celebration

On Friday, March 17th North Penn will be hosting the first-ever Multicultural Celebration, from 6:00 to 9:00 PM, it will be a night filled with food, performances, art & crafts, and more from the various North Penn cultural clubs.

Bengali Cultural Club president and secretary of the Class of 2023, Jamee Islam, is organizing this elaborate event. He wanted to introduce an event that expressed the friendship and diversity that the high school has to offer through the various cultural clubs. Bengali Cultural Club, Indian Cultural Association, African American Awareness Club, Korean American Cultural Society, Vietnamese Cultural Club, and the Korean Dance Club are participating in performances and other activities. Other cultural clubs that have helped with planning include the Japanese Language Club, Muslim Student Association, Jewish Cultural Club, French Language Club, German Language Club, and the Spanish & Latin American Student Association.

“I wanted to do something where we as a North Penn student body could better appreciate each other and feel a greater sense of kinship. I thought appreciating each other’s cultures would be the most beautiful way to achieve that goal,” Islam shared.

Introducing an event of this size has been challenging with the process of organizing and setting up an outline for what is to happen but Islam has had an unfaltering committee behind him that have all played important roles with planning. The committee is composed of senior Olivia Nguyen, junior Vincent Nguyen, senior Emily Shin, senior Fariha Shoyab, and senior Jacob Yin.

“This event has been fully organized by students, so balancing this and our other responsibilities while focusing on this event has been difficult,” Islam stated. “Mr. Mostert and Mr. Evans though have helped us through this process immensely and has guided us through how we should get this event rolling.”

Designed by Brady Lawrence

Olivia Nguyen, co-president of the Vietnamese Club and recreation organizer, is responsible for the planning of cultural arts & crafts, and activities for this event. She also lends a helping hand with planning the fashion show and the layout of the event. She shared how her culture is a major part of her everyday life and that taking the time to honor the traditions of her culture is deeply important to her.

“I am honored to be a part of the Multicultural Celebration. North Penn’s student body is diverse, and I believe it’s important to reflect that through large events such as this,” Nguyen expressed. “This event expands Vietnamese Club’s outreach, allowing individuals to see that our culture transcends what’s written in history books. I am hopeful that this event will provide additional support for Vietnamese Club, but also encourage North Penn to become involved with cultural clubs altogether.”

Vincent Nguyen, vice president of the Vietnamese Club is the leader of the publicity committee for this multicultural occasion. Nguyen and their committee have built up a strong social media presence across various platforms such as Instagram and Tiktok gathering an estimated 4500+ views as well as creating awareness for the event around the school.

“When Jamee first reached out to me and others about organizing this event I immediately knew it was something I wanted to be a part of. It’s important to highlight each and every one of the diverse communities this school has to offer,” Nguyen remarked. “I really love how all the other committee speakers stuck with an optimistic way of handling every roadblock in our way when preparing for this event.”

Emily Shin, president of the Korean Club, member of the Korean Dance Club, and Mini Thon committee member, is the cuisine committee speaker. Shin is responsible for making sure the clubs can express their culture through flavorful food, in addition to that she meets with the other speakers of the committees to coordinate this event.

“Culture plays a great part in what makes each student special so I am excited to have an event at North Penn dedicated to celebrating cultural diversity,” Shin shared. “Although Korean culture has been a big part of my life, I was never able to openly express it until a few years ago. Now, I love to embrace my own culture and I am eager to share it at the Multicultural Celebration.”

Fariha Shoyab is the decoration committee’s speaker as well as a member of Bengali Cultural Club, Amnesty Club, and Muslim Student Association. She described her and her committee’s goal for the decorations to be as if you’re traveling throughout countries and continents expressing as many cultures as possible as well as bridging connections between them. Through the event she hopes that people will learn about the countries and cultures that surround them and how people’s lives differ from each other.

“My culture is important to me because it defines my identity. It gives me different foods, clothing, dances, and celebrations. Although living in America makes it difficult to maintain my cultural roots and remember all of the traditions associated with my culture, I try to do so. It’s something I’m proud of and want to keep for the rest of my life,” Shoyab voiced.

Jacob Yin in addition to being Chinese Club president is in charge of the performance rehearsals for the event. His role is to gather performers and set up rehearsals, ensure the event runs properly, and keep Islam and the other committee speakers updated on progress.

“This event is really special to me because it is a time when all kinds of people can come together and show support for each other’s traditions. I’m excited to give a performance on behalf of Chinese Club (hopefully) and have the audience enjoy. My culture is important to me as oftentimes it forms a basis for connection with other people,” Yin expressed.

As for Islam himself he expressed a deep passion for this event and his own culture and how it makes up his identity as well as makes him feel complete and connected with a community that shares that same identity.

“My culture is a part of me as an individual, but it is also a part of what makes my family, my community, my friends, and my colleagues,” Islam remarked. “This event is important because it allows me, and it allows us as a community in North Penn to appreciate and share a part of our identity. It’s important because it helps us appreciate who we are more, and feel comfortable around each other for who we are.”

More information on this diverse and expressive event can be found on the events Instagram page @npmulticultural. The entrance fee is only five dollars, food fees are separate but proceeds will go towards all the cultural clubs that made this event possible and with those funds there will hopefully be more activities and events to come from the variety cultural clubs!