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June 4, 2008 > Ardenwood Elementary International Day Celebration

Ardenwood Elementary International Day Celebration

Submitted By Michelle Motoyoshi
Photos By Steve Scherf

Fremont has become a potpourri of cultures and nowhere is this more apparent than at Ardenwood Elementary School's International Day celebration. Each year parents, teachers and students come together to share a slice of their world with one another; the result is a lively show that educates and entertains.

This year's event was no exception. It began with a parade of flags, a tradition started by Principal Paula Rugg and modeled after the march of nations at the Olympics. Students from the primary grades, many dressed in traditional garments, carried paper flags representing their nationalities as they strolled through campus.

Immediately following the parade, fourteen groups from the primary grades (1 - 3) performed traditional songs and dances from around the globe. Thirteen groups from the intermediate grades (4 - 6) performed in a separate show shortly thereafter. The slate of acts included Chinese and Korean martial arts demonstrations, dances from the Philippines, Cameroon, Ireland, Tahiti, and India, and music from Japan and Europe. Two of the acts were multicultural in nature. In "A Folk Medley" a group of students from the primary grades performed songs and dances from Russia and India. Another act, called "Goa Amache," featured music and dance from Goa, a region in India with strong Portuguese influences.

To participate in International Day, the performers had to audition before a panel of three judges. Judges selected acts according to several criteria, including whether the performance showcased a unique aspect of the culture it represents and whether the content was appropriate and interesting for the children. This year 35 groups auditioned for a slot in the primary grades show, while 13 auditioned for the intermediate grades.

Students and parents spent weeks preparing for the show, often spending 2-3 hours rehearsing after school. Their hard work was readily apparent in the energetic and engaging performances and in the vibrant costumes, many handmade by parents. The audience of over 200 parents and students clearly appreciated their efforts.

Ardenwood's International Day was established 21 years ago by a committee of parents and teachers. Today the event continues to thrive because of the dedication of parent and teacher volunteers, in particular Shanthi Satish, coordinator of the event. Mrs. Satish has run the event for the past three years. She said that she took on the responsibility because "I felt this event was a very good opportunity for our Ardenwood children to work together as a group, showcase the rich and varied culture of their native country to their fellow schoolmates, and of course, display their individual talents."

Though Mrs. Satish will not coordinate International Day a fourth time (her children will graduate from Ardenwood this year), she would like to see the event expand to include displays of artifacts and clothing from different cultures as well as booths providing information on the countries represented in the show.

If student and parent enthusiasm is any indication, Mrs. Satish's hope for the event will be realized. As Dorothea Randolph, grandmother of two Ardenwood pupils put it, "We need to give the kids more of this so they can be ready for the world."

Primary Grade participants (1-3)

1America, the Beautiful (Song, USA), Caitlin Pon
2 Hacchevu Kannada Da Deepa (Song, India), Tharini Nagarkar
3 Folk Medley (Dance, Russia and India), Arshi Saxena, Ankita Dharmendran, Bethany Kavalakkatt, Dhruva Gurushanker, Ralphyn Pallikunnath, Salman Ahmed, Shreyas Anil, Shreya Krishnan, Tarunika Kapoor, Viplav Dodeja
4 Love Song (Zither, China), Zoe Loh
5 Itik Itik (Dance, Philippines), Anaelle Dumatol, Jared Osmond, Kimiko Motoyoshi, Leah Robertson, Megan Caren
6 Ras Lila (Dance, India), Ishita Ahuja, Nidhi Kundalia, Nithin Tatikonda, Prachi Kulkarni, Purva Lakhara, Rishi Desai, Sudhanva Bharadwaj, Sulek Ghosh
7 Sonatina - Op 36.3 by Clementi (Piano), Angela Zhao
8 Bend-Skin (Dance, Cameroon), Anisa Benamira-Dod, Brandon Chang, Brittany Chang, Cardine Chou, Fares Kamel, Nufi Pokam, Sami Khan, Thomas Grass
9 Huang Fei-Hong (Kung Fu Martial Art, China), Andrew Chen
10 Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani (Dance, India), Arjun Kshirsagar, Ravish Garg, Joachim Kavalakatt, Pranav Bhushan
11 Keiki Otea (Dance, Tahiti), Savanna Zhang
12 Joyful Spring (Dance, India), Neha Prasad, Niyathi Annamaneni, Omnia Omprakash, Priya Hegde, Priyanka Nagasamudra
13 Mo Li Hua (Song, China), Adeline Jang, Jennifer Guo, Juanna Li, Laura Li, Lori Luo, Melody Chen
14 Kannadi koodum kooty (Dance, India), Bethany Kavalakkatt, Ralphyn Pallikunnath

Intermediate Grades (4-6)

1 America, the Beautiful (Song, USA), Caitlin Pon
2 Swallowtail Jig (Music and Dance, Ireland), April Gong, Ashank Verma, Claire Pei, Divya Madhavan, Eleha Yakubi, Ethan Towner, Isabella Silvestri, Jenesis Isezaki, Julie Liu, Kayley Ho, Lily Au, Marcia Deepti, Max Gong, Michelle Yee, Raneem Siam, Samir Roashan, Sophia Leung, Virginia Xie
3 Kingdom Hearts Introduction (Piano, Japan), Kevin Zhang
4 Do you wanna partner (Dance, India), Ana Mathew, Rebecca Abraham, Shirlene Jessica, Vrunda Shah
5 Harvesting Festival (Zither, China), Diane Zhou
6 Goa Amache (Dance, India and Portugal), Aditya Joshi, Aditya Mehta, Malhar Pendse, Sahil Upadhyay, Vinay Satish, Vishal Satish
7 Largo, Green Sleeves (Guitar), Tejas Priyadarshan
8 Flying Celestial (Dance, China), Chloris Li
9 Hula, (Song and Dance, Hawaii), Apoorva Handigol, Cassandra Bicakci, Neha Bhansali, Nitasha Sharma, Pooja Vasudevan, Shweta kinger, Shivani Patel
10 Saamagaana lolane (Song, India), Lavanya Vijayan
11 Tae Kwon Do Forms Demo (Martial Arts, Korea), Adit Madhavan, Dana Hazem, Divya Madhavan, Haarika Srinath, Rohan Datar, Sorud John Hazem
12 Rangeelo Maro (Dance, India), Aishwariya Muralidharan, Daya Kulkarni, Shivani Ratra, Sonali Singh
13 Chinese Yo-Yo (China), Angela Tolwani, Anil Tolwani, Alyssa Tran, Joshua Ngotiaoco, Karishma Krishnan, Michelle Tam, Priscilla Ng, Timothy Ngotiaoco

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