Bringing Culture to Hawthorne High School


Lila Kawash and Alyssa Jackler

Monday, May 21 was World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development, so the Hawthorne High School Culture Club decided to have their own culture day on Tuesday, May 22.

The celebration was located in room 222, Mrs. Shaina Strang-Wolf’s room. Once inside room 222, one would find his or herself surrounded by eleven fascinating countries and the smell of amazing food. The countries involved were as follows: Palestine & Syria, Georgia, The Netherlands, Israel, America, The Ukraine, Germany, Brazil, The Dominican Republic, and Ireland. Each of the places listed came with fascinating posters describing the country/area and food!

At the table for Palestine & Syria, one could find zaatar bread, hummus, baba ganoush, and other Middle Eastern delicacies. Sadly, there was no falafel! At the Georgian table you would find Alex Nadirashvili and his mom’s amazing Kartopilanebi (basically mashed potatoes in bread) and cheese-y bread. If the sound of Alex’s mom’s food gets you excited, you might deflate upon hearing this…upon asking, Alex WILL NOT ask his mom to make it for you or give you any recipe or give you his mom’s number!

Beyond the world of mashed potatoes in bread was Israel, where a tasty chocolate cake and bread could be found. Next to Israel was America, where mac and cheese and pizza was being eaten by some Americans. Germany, manned by Michael and Kyleigh Rica, contained pretzels, mini frankfurters, and Fanta. Upon ordering from Germany, a mini German flag was supplied!

Next to Germany was Brazil, manned by the leader of the Culture Club, Laith Matari. At a table to the left of Brazil was The Dominican Republic, where for a ticket, you could get your face painted. And last, but certainly not least, was Ireland, where baked potatoes with cheese, Irish soda bread, and delectable chocolate truffles could be found.

While food was devoured and digested, music from each country could be heard throughout the room. And if a student was lucky enough, he or she would enter the room in time to see one of the many dance performances during the two lunch periods. Caitlin Carone choreographed and performed a great Irish step dance, where onlookers clapped in support. Alex Zawojski performed some freestyle Ukrainian dancing, which did not fail to impress. And lastly, an impromptu trio (Laith Matari, Moe Jawish, and Liana Khair) took the center and danced!

After seeing the amazing dancing, The Clarion dug deep into what the student body thought. Alex Nadirashvilli said, “I really feel immersed in what Hawthorne High School represents.”

Gabby Barbarisi, from the Ireland table, said she enjoyed culture day, and also revealed that she is ¼ Irish! Kyleigh Rica, ½ of the Rica duo involved in the Germany table, said “Guten tag” to all!

Students not a part of the culture club enjoyed the celebration as well, and dare I say, are considering joining the club themselves! Brian Reilly enjoyed his beans from Brazil, and Alex’s mom’s phenomenal cooking. Danielle D’Ascoli enjoyed Alyssa Jackler’s delicious Dutch cookies. While the students and participants in the culture day celebration contributed to the idea that the day was a hit, the numbers also agree! Just look at Alyssa’s cookies, which were practically gone at the end of the night, partially to sales, and partially because Alex could not stop eating them!