International Fair Inspires All

Fiona Zheng, News Editor

Spring 2023 Edition

Science teacher and LEO/AWOD club advisor Mrs. Partap had a vision for bringing back Mepham’s international fair as a way to represent all the diverse cultures in the Mepham community.
The International Fair is a collaboration between A World of Difference Club, Model UN, and the World Language Department. Over 60 students participated, representing 17 countries: Italy, France, Spain, Argentina, China, India, Pakistan, Egypt, Turkey, Venezuela, Ireland, Germany, Israel, Philippines, Guyana, Greece, and Chad. Each country’s table had an informational tri-fold board, items from the country, and a variety of native foods brought and cooked by students and faculty. Several students as well as Mr. Patten prepared performances for the crowd. Mr. Patten played, “When Irish Eyes are Smiling,” on the bagpipes, Sophomore Danya Zaidi recited, “Mai Bach Gayi Ma,” a poem in Urdu, Junior Rachel Benson sang, “Deh Vieni Non-Tardar,” an Italian song by Wolfgang Mozart, and Senior Sahara Partap danced a traditional Bollywood dance from India to a song titled “Chikni Chameli.” Christiana Foufas, Maria Potamousis, Maria Desabado, Georgia Georgoulis, Liana Calderon-Lopez, Ariana Canales, Andrew Zizzo, Vasilios Papoulis, and Ariana Neza performed shortened versions of traditional dances from various regions in Greece.
Around 100 students attended the event along with the faculty and staff. The event was overall a huge success as we were able to see Mepham’s diverse community being represented in one afternoon. Mrs. Partap shared her views on the fair, “The goal of the International Fair was to bring together students from different regions of the world and allow them to share their culture and traditions with their peers, something they don’t get to do often. In my opinion, it was a huge success, with many students appreciating the opportunity to sample foods that they are not normally exposed to, while also learning about other cultures found in their very own community.” The international fair allowed students to not only represent and be proud of their culture but share a part of it with the rest of Mepham’s community. Thanks to everyone’s hard work, the fair had a great turnout. Senior Sarah Kennedy commented, “The performances were so beautiful and uplifting. I felt like I have a new understanding of the diversity we have at Mepham.” Students were able to learn a little more about different cultures. With the help of everyone who participated and attended, the event ended up being a huge success. I hope to see the international fair become an annual event at Mepham and grow into an even bigger event. It was great being able to see the different cultures come to life in a space where it is valued.