HHHS Hosts Culture Fair

HHHS students share cultures
By: Todd Martin

Harker Heights High School Communities in Schools hosted a culture fair during lunch Friday to expose the campus to the rich cultural heritage contained within the school’s student body.
Students studied their own cultural background and prepared informational displays representing Mexico, Nepal, Samoa, Africa and Puerto Rico.
Communities in Schools site coordinators Liz Rivera and Dwight Moseley welcomed students and staff members to the fair in the school gym and introduced performances representing the various countries, US territories and continent.
Each table contained traditional items such as artwork and clothing and most offered a taste of a traditional food.
Gathering together in unity and celebrating diversity were the goals of the event, Rivera said.
At the Africa table, three students prepared and served a sour fruit candy native to South Africa. The students performed a song that described suffering and liberation from slavery.
Sophomore Jackia Miller said she has grown up hearing her relatives talk about their native South Africa and she wanted to share portions of the culture with her classmates.
She wore a traditional long, wrap-around skirt and head scarf and bracelets she ordered from an African hand sewer.
The information on the Africa poster detailed the slave trade and the long struggle for freedom, a fight that continues to this day, Miller said.
The three students also wanted to communicate that Africa, an enormous continent of dozens of countries, is not just the war-torn, impoverished land that many westerners think it is.
“South Africa has white sand beaches and beautiful hotels,” Miller said. “Only some parts are poor. Many parts are rich and good to visit.”
Another pair of students, cousins Nasya McGinnis and Molilaauifogia Feleti shared dance, food and information about their native Samoa and Western Samoa, island territories of the US.
According to their research, the flag of American Samoa contains features that tie it to the United States, including the red, white and blue colors and an eagle. The eagle clutches a war club and a ceremonial fly whisk that indicates American guardianship.
The two students, dressed in native clothing, performed a dance, then drew in numerous students – some of Samoan background and others of varying backgrounds – in a traditional dance.
Another participant, Yajaira Velez, came to the high school culture fair from nearby Trimmier Elementary School, where she is the CIS coordinator. She performed native Puerto Rican dances.