FHS World Language Dept. invites public to inaugural World Culture Day Nov. 2

Farragut High School’s World Language Department is inviting everyone in the community and school to attend its inaugural World Culture Day.

The event, which will take place from 6 to 9 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 2, in FHS Commons, celebrates the school’s diversity, said Allison Maldonado, FHS World Language Department chairwoman and Spanish teacher.

“This is about bringing all the world cultures together in one place to have a celebration,” she said.

“Farragut High School has a nice, rich, diverse population, and we have students from all over the world or descendants of people from all over the world, and we wanted to honor that,” Maldonado added.

World Language faculty members came up with World Culture Day.

“I’m very excited, said Inshira Bediako, Spanish Honor Society president. “When we come to school, we all act the same culturally. You don’t see the other side of kids that have these different cultures, so [the event] is like going to different cultures without leaving your home.”

“Kids love getting free food and experiencing different cultures,” said Sam Cowell, German Club president.

“Like the German Club hosted an Oktoberfest recently. People loved to come here and try brats and pretzels, traditional German food, drinks.

“It’s a really good experience to get people involved in after-school activities, too,” he added. “They definitely enjoy the foreign culture aspect.”

“I’m really excited, mainly because of everyone else being excited makes me excited,” said Catey Biefeldt, French Honor Society president and vice president of French Club. “I think when you talk to someone in class and become their friend, you don’t necessarily know their background.

“It’s really cool that, like, [a Columbian student] is going to be dancing [a traditional dance],” she added.

The event will feature food from different countries and entertainment, such as dance and music from multiple countries. Attendees may hear drums and watch salsa or Mexican folkloric dancing.

“And with Australia, I think we have every continent represented — except Antarctica,” said Ryan Linger, German language teacher. “If we could find a penguin, I think we could have every continent represented.”

“We will have culture tables and arts and crafts tables for the little ones,” Maldonado said.

“And then we have a McFarragut Café, which will have teas and coffees and stuff and desserts. Everything’s free,” she added.

“We have some rice coming from West Africa, and we have some baklava coming. We have different Indian dishes and we have some Chinese dishes, Filipino food, German food, Polish food — pierogies — some crepes and some macarons, hopefully,” Bediako said.

Attendees also will have a chance to try yerba mate, a South American beverage primarily consumed in Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay.

Also featured will be different types of teas and espressos, Maldonado said.

Attendees also can enjoy dressing in foreign attire for a photo booth.

“We’re thinking positively toward the future because we do want to make this a regular thing,” Linger said.

“World Culture Day is open to the public,” Maldonado said.

“We encourage especially elementary and middle school kids to come. We want to get all the families involved,” she added.

A student-driven event, “I think one of the things we’re most excited about with this is we wanted a chance for the students to show off although [the faculty] sort of activated the idea, so much of this is coming from our own students,” Maldonado said.

“I think we really want to emphasize its you guys [referred to students] who are driving this. You are the ones really creating this,” she added.

“We’ve talked about doing this for years, even before [Linger] came here, and now we’re seeing it come to fruition and I really love that.”

FHS teaches Spanish, German, Latin, French and Russian.

“And, we have a gentleman from West High School who’s teaching Arabic,” Maldonado said.