GPS Students Take A Tour Of Nations

Monday, November 6, 2017

More than 600 GPS students traveled to seven different countries—from the comfort of their seats in Frierson Theatre. It’s all because the IMPACT series featured a Culture Fair, with girls presenting the unique attributes of a myriad cultures. 

India, South Africa, Pakistan, Scotland, Kazakhstan, Philippines, and France were each represented with an educational presentation given by students with a connection to the country. Most included typical customs of the represented culture, such as language, food, and holidays. 

In the opening presentation, Anya Parambath explained the “dazzling contrast” of the Indian culture with a breakdown of the various languages, religions, holidays, foods, and other cultural components. “India is a country of unity in diversity,” Ms. Parambath said. Astha Sinha and Ruchika Rathi followed with a Bollywood dance. 

Sisters Nicola and Andrea van der Merwe stepped onto the stage next to discuss the misconceptions of South Africa. “Wild animals do not roam the streets,” said Nicola van der Merwe. The sisters presented some fun facts about the country, including how Africa is home to Bloukrans, the world’s highest bridge for bungee jumping, and that the national anthem is sung in six different languages. 

Following South Africa was another segment designed to dispel some misconceptions, this time from Pakistan—with a comedic twist. Through a dialogue, Meher Memon, Amal Ali, Khadija Aslam, and Ameera Bhatti keyed the tagline “Oh, wait!” to demonstrate to students what might be surprising about Pakistani culture. Thanks to these four girls, GPS students now know the redundancy of saying “chai tea.” 

In contrast, Ashley-Rose Lynn shared how some stereotypes of Scotland are actually quite true. “When you think of Scotland, you probably think kilt. Well, you’re right,” Ashley said, as the crowd laughed. One fact the girls found most intriguing about Scotland was that the national animal is the unicorn. Ashley finished her presentation by inviting two volunteers on stage for a Just Dance 2.0 in which the duo were challenged to follow along with a video of a Scottish dancer in exchange for a prize of some Scottish shortbread. 

Speaking of food, Alina Poston discussed the origin of apples during her presentation on Kazakhstan, her birth country. For many, a very profound take away from Alina’s presentation are the statistics around adoption in Kazakhstan; currently Americans cannot adopt from there and only 10 percent of orphans will be adopted. She also shared the country’s flag, superstitions, and greetings. 

Tatiana Poggi, Margaret Lim, and Mia Bertani represented the Philippines with a traditional dance, and Phoebe Mills sang a song in French. 

Special thanks to Poggi and Maddox McIntire for hosting the Culture Fair. Also thanks to Mrs. Jackson and Mr. Glass for organizing and tech work.

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