• September 4The Bonfire is on September 20th at the MSMS upper activity area, around 7:30pm.

  • August 24Homecoming Week is from September 17 through 21.

  • July 30Tomorrow’s dress up day is “Green and Gold Day” which is showing your school spirit.

World Language and Culture Night Brings Community Together

Zak Talbot, Reporter

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Alexander Felix (9) shows off his costume while presenting to an onlooking student.

The Manitou Springs High School World Language and Culture Night is a staff organized event where students take on the personalities of a certain person who has been remarkably influential in their respective culture. Students who are enrolled in any language class must participate in this event, as well as other classes such as Calculus or Sociology. Throughout the course of a month, students prepare rough drafts of essays, scribble notes on presentation note cards, glue pictures to poster boards, and some even cook delicious meals that are relevant to the person they are presenting on. Though, as this action-packed night may be stressful to students, it also serves as a middle point for an entire community coming together to learn about the various cultures represented by the students. None of this can be completely understood without knowledge of the setting; it’s a hectic, almost beautifully controlled ‘mess.’

As students sat on the bleachers in the gymnasium preparing for their upcoming cultural songs, family members and community onlookers gathered on the opposite side of the gym, ready to watch the musical performances by amateurs and professionals alike. The students’ songs showed those watching a small part of the culture that they have learned throughout the year in their language class. After the choir and language students did their part, professional musicians reigning from countries all around the world began their performances. Drumming noises usually found in parts of Africa filled the entire gymnasium with its subpar acoustics. After the performances came to an end, students began to set up their projects. Poster boards were lined up, scents of home baked foods had filled the air, and above all, voices of presentations were heard from rooms away.

Not only is World Language and Culture Night meant to showcase the presentations of students, but it also brings a community together to learn and bond over the abundance of information available in one setting. Those who attended, whether they were family members or just interested in the event, socialized with one another while they enjoyed a meal from any of the available food trucks that served food a typical American wouldn’t find at their go-to diner. These foods include Jamaican dishes, Spanish inspired meals, and many others. They also served as a break spot for students to grab a bite to eat and get out of character while they leave the stress of their presentations in the school behind them. World Language and Culture Night comes at a great time in today’s society. It allows students to learn about another culture’s history, as well as understand how a single person have impacted not only their native culture, but the entire world. On this night, students became the teachers and those who have completed their years of education found themselves back in the spot of the learner, eager to learn about the world.

As the night wrapped up, the attendants retreated to their homes while students took a long breath of relief as they had finally completed over a month’s work of writing, cooking, gluing, painting and preparing for anything else they needed to give their best presentations. This years’ World Language and Culture Night was not only a major point in determining the readiness of any student enrolled in a language class, but also to bring a community together to relax and learn about culture. It is a night that people can get a better understanding of how the world around them has been shaped by people from all regions and of various cultures. This year was just the tip of the iceberg for language students and all members of the community. There will be plenty more to look forward too in the future, as the language department plans on continuing this annual event.

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World Language and Culture Night Brings Community Together