St. Raymond’s Academy holds international festival

St. Raymond’s Academy holds international festival
Students participate in an international festival at St. Raymond's Academy on Thursday, February 16.
Photo by Kirsten Sanchez

It was the uniting of all nations on Friday, February 17 in the auditorium at St. Raymond’s Academy.

The school held its annual international festival, which students celebrated in the classrooms as well as with an assembly, that students, faculty and parents were invited to attend.

From first period until 10:30 a.m. the students presented slide shows and videos they created on their countries of origin which included presentations on Guyana, The Gambia, India, Tanzania, Vietnam, and Ghana.

The students decorated each classroom and transformed the academy cafeteria into a pavilion featuring art, artifacts, maps and displays from each country.

Some of the countries represented included Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Albania, Bangladesh, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, and West Indies.

Danielle Martinez, a junior, said , “I think it is great to learn about different cultures we didn’t know about before,” she said. “It shows us different things that are out there that we may never have known about.”

At 11 a.m., the students headed to the auditorium for an international pageant, where students pretended to be pageant contestants from various countries.

The celebration started with a procession, led by the school band during which participants paraded through the aisles waving a colorful variety of flags from all over the world.

Following the procession, each pageant contestant was brought onto the stage, where MC Johnnie Lee Fielder, a student at the academy, asked questions about each contestant’s culture.

After giving a history lesson about food, music, or the attire they were wearing, the girls performed a typical dance common in the culture they were representing.

The international festival at the academy goes back at least 25 years.

Back then, the activity included the Parade of Flags and a pageant of students representing countries from around the world.

It celebrated the school’s sense of oneness and its rich, diverse history.

Ms. Roig, moderator of the Spanish Club, coordinated this year’s activities. Roig is also an alumna of the Academy and was part of the tradition when she attended school St. Raymond’s.

As the celebration came to a close principal Sr. Mary Ann D’Antonio said she hoped students understood the message behind the day’s festivities.

“I hope all of you got the message of what is to be one,” she said.

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