Serra HS Multicultural Events


The Catalyst / Jennifer Huang

Serra’s Multicultural Club holds a movie night over Zoom.

The COVID-19 pandemic has not stopped Serra High School’s Multicultural Club from introducing students to other cultures. Since February, the club has held virtual events such as a movie night, cooking class, cultural presentations, and an arts and crafts night. 

Moderated by Serra’s Mandarin and Spanish teacher Yvonne Talavera, the club invites students of all cultures and welcomes Tri-School students to the events as well. 

While celebrating the Chinese Lunar New Year, during February club events have highlighted Chinese culture.  The first event was the movie “Over the Moon”, which reflects the true meaning of family in China. The second event was a Chinese New Year presentation, with information about its origin and an art project. 

“It was inspiring to see students from other schools be involved and share an interest in Chinese culture,” said NDB Tri-School sophomore Hannah Nebres. “Various activities allowed us to feel immersed in Chinese traditions, including sampling mooncakes and decorating fans. After learning Mandarin and understanding its different aspects, it was cool to see how the knowledge we learned played out.”

According to Taishi Matsunaga, the club’s vice president, watching students develop an appreciation for a new culture is fascinating. 

“I personally enjoy hearing stories, learning new dishes, and watching movies about cultures far different from the ones we are used to interacting with,” Matsunaga said. 

Prior to the pandemic, the club would hold gatherings with food or go on cultural immersion trips. According to Serra’s World Language Department Chair Madame Mary Dowden, she would hold many events for Tri-School students. As French teacher and moderator of the Tri-School French Club, Dowden’s club hosted many dining events, such as the French Club Soiree Dinner, quiche tasting, and crepe sales to raise club money. 

 Due to the pandemic, holding these events has been different this year. 

“Being online has definitely affected how we coordinate our events,” said Matsunaga. “As culture is best experienced through tangible means, we’ve carefully planned out what and how to present information so that participants can get the best experience out of our Zoom events.”

Whether in-person or online, students and teachers alike see the benefits of carrying on the traditions that the multicultural opportunities provide. Studying different cultures adds to the academic and overall experience for high school students to engage in the world. 

“It’s at a time when I think that cultural awareness and appreciation is so important, not only in our local community but in the world,” said Talavera. “We all come from such distinct and beautiful, unique and incredible backgrounds, traditions, and customs. We need to be sharing that with our community and with the world.”

Whether a club member or just an interested student, all are welcome to learn more about Serra’s multicultural events by visiting the Serra website. 

After all, according to Dowden, “Culture is what infuses beauty, creativity, meaning, and expression in one’s life.”