Second annual Culture Week wraps up


Photograph by Gracie Lancaster.

Gracie Lancaster, Staff Writer

This week, Tualatin High School (TuHS) had its second Around the World Culture Week. Starting on Mar. 13, 2023, the TuHS affinity groups Tualatin Black Student Union (BSU), Muslim and Arab Society (MAS), Asian Conversation, Tualatin MEChA and Tualatin Pacific Islanders provided opportunities for students to learn about different cultures within our school. 

Seniors Awatif Al-hawani and Tiffany Dang helped plan this event. They are the president and co-founder of MAS and the vice president of Asian Conversation, respectively. Al-hawani and Dang also played an important role in planning the first-ever Culture Week during the 2021-2022 school year. 

In an interview with The Wolf, Dang shared, 

“We wanted to have an annual week to share the different cultures we have at school and to bring awareness to everyone’s different backgrounds and cultures. After doing last year’s event, personally for me, I learned so much about different countries. I even learned some Arabic from Awatif.”

Al-hawani agreed that bringing Culture Week back for a second year was important.

“Last year, Culture Week was something that took place for the first time in Tualatin High School history, so there were many challenges we faced and had to navigate to get everyone to come together for this beautiful event,” Al-hawani said. “This year, however, everyone besides just me and Tiffany, who planned this event last year with Jayanna Robertson and Ms. Rice, is enthusiastically putting in larger efforts to make it a grander event. There will still be booths, performances and food, but better. We are beyond proud and overjoyed at how we established this event last year and we won’t taste that first-time sweetness again, but we look forward to many more Culture Weeks in the future of Tualatin High. It’s definitely a bittersweet feeling.”

Throughout the week, affinity groups hosted several events and performances for all students to enjoy. Each day of the week, a different affinity group had the spotlight. Performances, food and music showcased each day were all shared from particular groups.

Although there was lots of excitement surrounding the showcased special activities, students also had the chance to browse the cultural booths set up in the commons. Students were given a paper “passport” that could be stamped by different groups when visiting their booths. Students with completed passports had the opportunity to win a Dutch Bros gift card.

Culture Week is an exciting opportunity to bring people together.

“Culture Week, to me, is something special that brings everyone together. It doesn’t matter the race, ethnicity, or nationality. Culture Week is a week that we can all enjoy and share our differences in a beautiful way,” Dang shared.

Al-hawani agreed. 

“It is quite obvious that our school places emphasis on many activities, such as sports and music, but we felt the need to turn the spotlight more on the affinity groups within our school,” Al-hawani said. “Learning more about the different identities and cultures within our school and bringing those out through performances and food and music was the best form to do it. Learning about the backgrounds of the people you see every day will build compassion and tolerance, especially in a school setting.”

If you haven’t had an opportunity to visit Culture Week booths or watch performances yet, you still have time. Not only can you visit next year; you can visit today during lunch to learn more about different countries and their cultures!