Upcoming Multicultural Week a First for Country Day


Shiva Shyam, Contributor '26

On February 6th, Multicultural Week officially starts at CCDS, and it’s one of the most anticipated celebrations of the school year.  

“Multicultural weeks purpose is to focus on the appreciation of diversity within the Country Day community,” said Katie Wang, a junior at Country Day and an EDI board member. “Multicultural week is important because it helps everybody understand, learn, appreciate and be informed on the diversity, and culture that is around them.”  

This year, Country Day’s approach towards this event took a different path. In past years, CCD hosted one night to celebrate diversity in the community: International Night. “Since I’ve been here, this is the first time it’s been a week instead of one night,” said Katie. “A week will give the Country Day community more time to embrace the rich culture and diversity through students, faculty, and staff. With Country Day’s rich culture, 3 hours is not enough to really take the time and appreciate and learn about the diversity and culture within our school, so we need a week to be able to fulfill that.” 

Multicultural Week, which starts on Feb 6th and ends with the final evening celebration on Feb 9th, includes exciting firsts, such as a new menu change by Sage showcasing cuisines from all over the world. In addition, the Country Day community has many tasters and advisory activities to look forward to. “During the week, there will be affinity groups giving some presentations or organizing advisory activities to get students, staff and faculty more involved,” adds Katie. “During the actual night, I haven’t been given details on who’s going to perform, but I do know that there will be some really good food. In all though, it’ll be a great experience for everyone!” 

In addition to adding days to the celebration, there have been many changes in the preparation for this event, including bringing the student body into the mix. “I think we wanted to make the event more memorable for the students, staff, and faculty and expose them to the variety of cultures around our school. We also wanted the students more involved in organizing the event, so we decided to bring in the affinity groups to educate everyone on the diversity in the Country Day community.”  

The week culminates on Multicultural Night on Thursday the 9th, a night filled with food and entertainment from numerous countries, showcasing cultures from China, the Philippines, Nigeria, India, Latin America, and many more.

“In the past, I have seen a multitude of cultures expressed by students, faculty, staff, and parents of the Country Day community,” said Katie. “The food and the performances that I have seen so far have all been amazing. Each family from different cultures really takes the time and effort when it comes to sharing their food with the community, all made with love and appreciation. The performances that come from both student and faculty are just one of the many highlights of the event.” 

Katie herself performs each year, engaging the audience in elegant Chinese traditional dance. “This year I’m performing a dance called Praise of Mongolia. It tells a story of a tribal leader performing a spiritual dance to praise the Earth in hope for an abundant harvest, away from drought, and famine. My sophomore year I performed a dance called Essence of Smoke which describes memory and time, and how it passes by quickly. To a certain extent, memories are like smoke fading in and out, sometimes just out of reach. It shows that everyone needs to cherish the memories that they have, because they will forever be a part of you.” 

Katie has been dancing for 10 years now, and dances for 8 hours every week. The result? Beautifully graceful dance with a perfect combination of song and movement. “Practice varies for each person on our team, because we are separated into different groups, and each group practices on different days,” said Katie. “Some people also have private lessons to work on their solo or to build up their technique.” 

While Multicultural Night is characterized by great food and entertainment, this celebration is also an important step towards creating a better community. According to a survey completed in 2017 by the National Center for Education Statistics, a staggering 67% of students enrolled in private elementary and secondary schools were white. 11% were Hispanic, 9% were black, 6% were Asian, and the remaining 7% were students that identified as two or more races or that came from different ethnic groups.

“I think multicultural week is important because it helps everybody understand, learn, appreciate, and be informed on the diversity, and culture that is around them,” said Katie. “Diversity is what brings new ideas, and experiences where people can learn from each other.” 

“The reason why we have it every year is because appreciation of culture and diversity is a process and is not something that can happen overnight or just once. You can’t just appreciate something once and then forget about it. Appreciation is a learning and educational process, and is not just a celebration, or a show that happens once, but it is a continuous effort.” 

Well said, Katie. 

Sources: Is There a Lack of Diversity in Private Schools? (usnews.com)