Every spring, New Hampton School takes a day to celebrate our diversity of heritage, culture, and perspective. International Night is a highlight of the spring, full of energy, enthusiasm, bright colors and cuisine. But International Night is only the tip of the iceberg when we think globally about our school and our values.
We live in a global community. Every day, our classes, our residential life, our athletic events, and our arts programs are enriched by a diversity of cultures and perspectives shared among our students and faculty. While we embrace our international community every day, and it helps us learn and grow, we appreciate the opportunity provided by International Night to learn more about the culture, heritage, and traditions of our international students, in particular.
Much planning goes into International Night, starting as soon as students return from the winter break in January. Once students and faculty plan the menu and evening performances, they need to then gather ingredients for cooking, scale recipes with the dining staff to feed the whole school, and acquire costumes and traditional dress for performances.
In the days immediately leading up to International Night the energy and enthusiasm from students was palpable. Domestic and international students worked side by side over the weekend preparing food, signage, decorations, and rehearsing their performance. On Monday, students spent free time working alongside the dining staff to cook meals and prepare the dining hall. When dinner finally arrived, there was a crowd waiting outside the dining hall, eager to browse the selection of food, enthusiastically served by their peers.
Dinner was delicious with many food options from around the world. Everything from main course dishes to desserts and drinks reflected the countries our students represent. Each selection was displayed with the flag of origin, name of the item, and the student responsible for preparation to answer questions and describe the dish. Highlights included Brazilian beef, sushi, pork schnitzel, fried rice, empanadas, Thai iced tea, Chinese almond cookies and the ever popular, crepes.
The second half of the evening was the International Night Performance in the theatre. The performance featured both international and domestic students and highlighted music and dance from seven different countries. Emcee's Torre Davey and Leo Liang kept the audience on their toes with witty commentary and humorous introductions to each piece. The performance started with students and faculty from each of the countries represented by the community marching into the theater to a vibrant "Can’t Stop The Feeling" by Justin Timberlake.
Courageous students and a supportive audience celebrated each performance, some entirely traditional and others a mix of pop culture from around the world. Congratulations to all the students and faculty who participated in an inspiring evening, and thank you for contributing to our global community.
You can view more photos from the event on Flickr.