The AHS International Festival!

On April 9, Key Club, the Equity Team, and Peak Positivity hosted the International Festival to celebrate the incredible diversity of Apex High School. Thirty-one different cultures were represented with a total of forty-three different booths and five outstanding performances. AHS students spent months planning and prepping for this event, and everyone involved should be extremely proud of their work and for putting on such a successful event!

The auxiliary gym was packed with excited students and staff, and you could feel the energy and cheer throughout the room. Everyone got to walk around and explore all of the cool booths, try food, play games, make crafts, take pictures, and learn about new cultures. You could walk a loop around the gym and feel like you had traveled the globe, and the performances by our incredibly talented students took the entire experience to the next level. Aida Martinez Calzado sang “Blanco y Negro”, Yasmeen Aburamadan performed a Palestinian dance, there were fun performances by a Mexican dance group and a Bollywood dance group, and the AHS jump rope club put on a spectacular routine!

An event as outstanding as this one definitely required immense planning and preparation. Seniors Ali Roberts and Arushi Bhatia led the planning committee for the event, and explained what went into prepping the festival. Roberts detailed, “I came up the idea before this school year even started, and I got together with Arushi, and we planned an idea of when we wanted to do it, who we wanted to get involved, what teacher would help us, and things like that. We definitely had some issues with planning, but we got through the setbacks.”

Both Bhatia and Roberts were blown away by the amount of involvement and support for the event; Bhatia explaining, “I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of people who wanted to be involved. At first I was scared because, for me, I’m super passionate about my culture, and I love talking about it and sharing it with other people, but I was scared that a lot of people wouldn’t feel comfortable doing that. Growing up, I wasn’t proud of being Indian, and I wanted to blend in. I wanted to have a name that a substitute teacher wouldn’t have to be like “I’m gonna butcher this.” I think recently over the last couple years I’ve grown to not only accept it but to embrace it and love it. Because of that, I was scared that other people might not be there yet with their culture and wouldn’t want to share it, so I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of people who did want to.” Roberts detailed, “We are one. We’re all coming together like a salad bowl, melting pot, or whatever you want to call it and embracing each other and bringing each other up, and that’s what this event was all about. It makes Apex unique how everyone was so willing to come together for such an exciting event. That’s what I really hoped for from the start because we have so much diversity and so much culture, and I felt like we could come together as a school, and it’s really exciting to see everyone unified.”

This event truly does encompass the character and incredible community here at Apex High School. Bhatia summed this up perfectly, saying, “We have so many different countries and cultures represented in the student body, and not even all of them were represented at the International Festival. I think it speaks a lot about not only the fact that we’re diverse, because a lot of schools are diverse, but that we embrace it. We’re embracing it, we’re celebrating it, and that’s what makes Apex special.”

Hopefully you got the chance to attend the festival and enjoyed the event. Everyone involved did a tremendous job, so a huge thank you and job well done to all of those who performed, hosted booths, decorated, and planned the festival!

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