Arab/Latino Cultural Day: Celebrating our Award-Winning Diversity

Arab and Latino Culture Day was a unique experience showcasing what makes different cultures distinctive. From dance, music, food, and informative tri folders, participants got to learn about Arab, Latino, and even French culture.

“Attendees were able to look at the vibrancy and fluidity of Latino culture,” Organizer and Senior Emily Herrera said. “From the brightly colored pinatas to the mariachi band playing, it made me proud to showcase the liveliness of the Latino culture.”

“I believe what they learn about is they had the chance to be exposed to the main features of any culture, whether that’s music, dance, food, etc.,” Organizer and Teacher Rasha Elomeri said. “They also got to hear the Spanish, Arabic, and French languages.”

Students joined in with a Dabke troupe performing the dance from the Arabic culture having its origins in the Levantine area. Mariachi music from the Mexican culture was also featured. The food consisted of mostly Arabic dishes and drinks such as a traditional hibiscus tea called Karkadi which holds similar qualities to the Hispanic hibiscus tea known as Jamaica. The rice, a staple food in both Arabic and Hispanic cultures “had a nice buttery flavor to it,” said Malak. Chicken and beef kebabs tasted of seasonings, such as cumin. A salad called Tabouli, which tastes mostly of citrus, demonstrated how most Middle Eastern salads are full of lemony and salty flavors.

Decorations and tri-folders highlighted the differences and similarities between the three cultures. Decorations such as an old-style Arab living room design made its appearance as well as flags that represented the Hispanic and Arab countries of the world. The posters and folders talked about how Arabic culture influenced Spanish and later on the diverse Hispanic culture. The posters had inspirational quotes with translations in Arabic, English, French, and Spanish. 

In the end, it was all worth it because the City of Bell presented the festival with an award for showcasing the beauty and diversity of Bell. The award is a proclamation that honored the hard work that organizers put into the gathering.