SHS is the Melting Pot of the community


Sofia Patrone

SHS students sit near the map and conversate about different countries. They talk about where they are from.

Activities for culture day ranged from learning different languages spoken at SHS, trying some of the foods and putting on different clothings and more.

According to the event organizer, EL teacher Amy Peddie, the sole purpose of the Cultures of Southport day was to share the many different cultures and build a stronger sense of community.

The event is student and teacher organized, but the students came up with most of the suggestions and planned out the activities.

It was started due to Peddie’s inspiration from the International Festival held downtown, which included a gigantic map that pedestrians could walk on. Peddie thought it would be fun to host an event similar to the one see saw at SHS since there are many students from different countries in the building already. It was difficult to acquire the maps due to the price, but with the assistance of principal Brian Knight, she was able to make the purchase.

The maps covered the whole IMC and showcased the region of where the students came from. According to Peddie, it is intended to make it easier for the students from other countries to tell their story and journey using the maps.

She was satisfied with the result of the event and really enjoyed dancing with everybody on the map. According to Peddie, a couple hundred of people came, which she thought was good since the area around the IMC had a limited amount of space.

According to Peddie, the school being so diverse is a representation of what the world really is and that people are not landlocked into their own separate countries. She believes learning about others is important in order for people to understand each other.

“The diversity at our school is wonderful and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else,” Peddie said. “It’s what makes my job fun and keeps me employed.”

Freshman Van Lian helped out at one of the booths called “Thanaka”, which is a cosmetic paste made from ground bark. According to him, some of the Burmese and Chin students use it for acne treatment and sun block.

At first, Lian thought that not many people would care enough or be interested enough in other people’s culture to spend their President’s Day holiday and come to the school to learn. His prediction was incorrect because a lot more people showed up than he expected which made him very grateful.

Lian  thought the overall scope was to learn and respect each other’s differences.

“I learned a lot just from five hours and thought the event was very beneficial for my education,” Lian said.

Speech teacher Sara Berghoff also attended the event with her kids. Berghoff has been working at SHS for about ten years and has noticed the increase in students from all over the globe. She enjoys hearing the different languages in the hallway and appreciates the ever growing community.

According to Berghoff, the event is the total opposite of the many depressing news lately and is glad that many of her fellow workers, students and community members came out during the holiday. She thought the event allowed people to learn about the rest of the world, since SHS is a global community, according to Berghoff.

“It’s important to know about the rest of the world,” Berghoff said. “Your entire universe can’t just be three square miles, so I think it’s great to have this opportunity.”