LIVINGSTON, NJ - On Wednesday, Collins Elementary School hosted its annual Multicultural Night. The event provided an opportunity for attendees to expand their cultural boundaries and get a glimpse of the diversity available within the Livingston community.

To kick off the night, students from various cultural backgrounds exhibited their customs through fashion and dance performances.  14 different countries were represented as students flaunted customary garments while walking across the auditorium stage.

Farah Nasivoccia, Andres Lopez, and Edward Lopez showed their pride in Peru by participating in both the fashion show and traditional dance performances. Other performances consisted of two Russian gymnastics routines, a Chinese Yangee dance, an Indian Bharata Natyam classical dance, and a Peruvian folk dance known as “El Condor Pasa.”

Following the dance performances, the rest of the night took place in the cafeteria, which was divided up by stations representing countries. Each “country” displayed its culture through various cuisines. The parent volunteers at each station displayed posters highlighting distinguishing aspects of their cultures so as to differentiate from the 23 others in the room.

Talia, a volunteer at the Israel display area said that it is important to represent various parts of the world.  

She added, “I am proud to be an American, but the country is a melting pot of cultures, so it is important to connect with other families who can teach us about their cultures.”

Annie, a first-time volunteer for the Indian cultural display said, “As a native of India, I am happy to share my background and customs with others.”

Alicia, a student in 4th grade said she also enjoyed her time at Multicultural Night.  

“I loved sampling all the different foods, especially the Indian food,” she said.

Reesa, a 5th grader, agreed saying that the food is her favorite part as well.  

“The Mexican food is my favorite,” she added.

Collins parent Liz Lopez, who chaired the event, said she has been organizing Multicultural Night for ten years.  

She said, “It is amazing how many countries have been added to our long list of multicultural participants since I began volunteering at the event. I love all aspects of the cultural presentations.”

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