The Multicultural Night presented by Hockinson Heights Elementary School held on April 20 was a resounding success. Event organizers welcomed around 1,000 attendees for an evening of activities designed to showcase the traditions, music, art, and cuisines of cultures thriving around the world.
Each grade level at HHES spent the school year learning about a different continent. Students created art and music inspired by their respective regions as well as diving into the geography, poetic works, and stories regarding their continent. These studies came together to form the basis of Multicultural Night.
Attendees enjoyed the Journey of Taiko and Anavai O Te Ora Dance Group performances. The Journey of Taiko performance highlighted the history of taiko, a range of Japanese percussion instruments, in Japan and the United States. The roots of taiko date back to 2,000 years ago! Students and families filled the HHES music room to partake in the Anavai O Te Ora Dance Group’s interactive experience. There, they learned about Polynesian culture through dance and music.
HHES music teachers Megan Miles and Rebekka Ramirez led students and families in several folk songs. Guests sang and danced to “Obwisana” from Ghana, an Iroquois lullaby called “Ho Ho Watanay,” Australia’s “Heel and Toe Polka,” and “Carnavalito” from Argentina. Attendees enjoyed international snacks and tasted herbs from around the world afterward.
The Multicultural Night also featured an artifact museum. Many of these pieces were shared from our Hockinson community members’ travels abroad and family treasures. Attendees strolled through the Multicultural Night art exhibit and marveled at artwork created by our transitional kindergarten through fifth-grade students. These pieces were inspired by art originating from the continent that students in their grade level studied this year.
Guests listened to literary works from around the world in the poetry room. Attendees enjoyed an original poem written by a third-grade duo and other student poetry readings. Mrs. Miles performed a poem about teaching music and Mr. Cookson led his French students in sharing a French story in its native language.
Mrs. Miles believes events like this are important for our students to recognize and appreciate the world around them. “It allows us to recognize, share and appreciate our heritage and the diverse cultures we have traveled to and come from,” she said.
Thank you to those who attended and volunteered to run this event. Special thanks to HHES teachers Megan Miles, Rebekka Ramirez, Hollie Rose, Cheyanne Schlalos, Brooke Hieter, Michelle Perry, and Nancy O'Neill for making the Multicultural Night possible.