International Night Dishes Up New Perspectives from All Around the World

Amy Tran, Associate Editor

Special recognition for new American citizens, numerous cultural performances, Honduran food samples and Henna booths were all among the variety of cultural highlights at this year’s City of Rockville’s International Night Nov. 18.

“We always want to host this right before the holidays to unify the community and show how at the end of the day, we’re all similar and share the same culture,” community center supervisor Yvette Yeboah-Schools said. “Rockville is growing so much in diversity, so why not get together and celebrate that?”

In past years, the Lincoln Park Community Center hosted this event, but due to rising audience numbers, the event venue was moved to the F. Scott Fitzgerald Theatre for the first time.The board of community center supervisors preferred the idea of the stage and more lighting than hosting it in a gym. Approximately 400 people attended the event.

“Among the Mayor and Council’s priority initiatives is the city’s commitment to reach out to its diverse community members and encourage them – you – to take part. What makes us different makes us great,” as written on the event handout. “Respect for each other’s differences makes us strong. Your involvement makes a better Rockville.”

Sponsored Honduran catering, such as tamales and pupusas, were provided. There were a total of 11 performances, including but not limited to traditional African dance, a Chinese youth choir, a south Indian classical singer and a performance from RHSa�� Asian American Club.

Anyone who wanted to perform had the ability to email Yeboah-Schools prior to the Oct. 14 deadline.
Due to a last minute decision to join, RHSa�� Asian American club’s dance team performed last year’s RHS International Day performance, with a few changes to it. The dance was a combination of several Asian dance cultures, with the majority of songs in the Korean Pop (KPOP) genre. The dance team welcomed everyone, regardless of any dance background.

“We changed it up a bit so it would be more convenient for the club officers to teach the new members,” Asian American club secretary Annie Tran said. “Plus with the older members who already knew the dance, they would be able to be more confident and relaxed about performing a dance they already mastered.”

Free admission, free parking and the event itself were all organized by The City of Rockville Community Centers, with the help of Croydon Creek Nature Center, Rockville Civic Center and Public Information and Community Engagement Division. Their sponsors were Montgomery College, Patient First, Antojitos Restaurant and Wegmans.

“We wanted to unite the community and share the differences,” Yeboah-Schools said. “But we also wanted to embrace the similarities.”