Cultural festival planned to raise awareness

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Junior Matt Forster, senior Marissa Locke and sophomore Sarah Spore paint the flags that will be displayed at the cultural festival during a National Art Honor Society meeting. A number of school clubs, including National Honor Society and Spanish National Honor Society are also working together to organize the culture fest.

Kayla Yi, Photographer

On Nov. 15, students of Blue Valley Southwest will be able to travel around the globe without even packing a suitcase.

Though there is a diverse mixture of cultures, customs and religions at Southwest, few people fully understand what it means to be culturally diverse. In an effort to raise cultural awareness, Southwest’s Diversity Leadership Council has planned a cultural festival.

The festival will be held at 4:30 p.m. in the Southwest gym. Along with ethnic foods from My Big Fat Greek Restaurant, 14805 W 119th St. Olathe, KS 66062, and Mi Ranchito, 8550 W 151st St. Overland Park, KS 66223, the culture fest will also feature performances by seniors Sam Johnson and Aswathi Pradeep.There will also be 13 stalls, each representing a different country.

The cultural festival is the result of a number of different school clubs including: Spanish National Honor Society, French Club and National Art Honors Society. However, the school’s diversity leadership council has been planing this event since September.

“I was a part of DLC (Diversity Leadership Council) at (Blue Valley) West and Mrs. Dixon was the sponsor there,” senior Swini Tummala said, “A lot of students transferred here [to Southwest] from West, so we wanted to continue with the club.”

Even though the culture fest celebrates different cultures from around the world, the diversity leadership council also focuses on the community in Johnson County. Tickets cost $3 at the door, but students can save $1 if they bring a canned good for Harvesters.

“Everyone thinks that we live in the JoCo bubble, that everyone is white and rich,” Tummala said. “People don’t always see the diversity here at Southwest or fully understand it but we want people to accept other cultures and see that it’s cool to be different.”