From bongos and sombreros to eggrolls and saris, Moraine Park Technical College was transformed into a colorful and vibrant international showcase of cultural traditions at the annual Multicultural Day celebration, held April 13 on Moraine Park’s Fond du Lac campus. Moraine Park students, staff, community members and students from area schools celebrated in the enriching cultural experience.
Sponsored by the College’s Multicultural Club, Student Senate, Diversity Relations and Human Resources Systems at Moraine Park, the event is held every year to promote diversity and learning on campus.
“This event is a wonderful opportunity for students in Moraine Park’s multicultural club to perform alongside each other and the guest entertainment,” said William Green, Diversity Relations Associate and Multicultural Club advisor. “The students really enjoy the opportunity to showcase their cultures in this way.”
The festivities began with a parade of international attire, followed by a fashion show of garments from various cultural backgrounds. Representing the country of Chile in the fashion show was Lucia Dowling, a retired high school Spanish teacher from Lomira. She explained that the poncho she wore was from the south of Chile, where the temperatures drop significantly compared to the rest of the country. Dowling volunteers every year at the event.
Capoeira Batuque is a Brazilian martial arts form that includes dance, music and acrobatics. A talented group from Milwaukee demonstrated the art of Capoeira through song and dance to the rhythm of the berimbaua (single-stringed instrument) and the beat of the batuque (drum). They also talked about the history, dress and instruments that are a part of their performance.
Students from a World Music class at UW-Fond du Lac came to enjoy the day and learn about new forms of music through the different cultures. “This was an interesting event,” said Karen Engel, from UW-Fond du Lac. “It was helpful for our class to hear the different types of music and see how they differ across cultures.”
Moraine Park students represented their varied cultural heritages through a Philippine song selection, hip-hop salsa and Ghanaian dance routines, and other multicultural presentations.
Several booths displayed cultural artifacts throughout the event, including items from Mexico, Ghana, South Africa, Poland, the UK, Columbia, the Philippines, Jamaica, Japan, China, the Hmong culture, Cuba, Brazil and Germany.
A global buffet was served featuring food from around the world. Moraine Park’s Culinary Arts Club put the buffet together, working with the Multicultural Club to plan the diverse menu. “It was really nice to see two very different Moraine Park student clubs collaborating for this event,” said Green.
For more information about Multicultural Day, contact William Green at 920-924-6355.