Sampling our delicious melting pot
America has always been called a melting pot. From the very moment of its inception, our country has been the destination for those seeking for a way to improve their lot in life. These migrants came from all corners of the world, and they brought with them their different, often conflicting, cultures.
River Valley High School is a prime example of the melting pot America has become. With a population that is 37 percent Caucasian, 27 percent Hispanic and 24 percent Asian Indian, RVHS has abundance of culture to offer.
With such a multitude of cultures at their disposal, students at RVHS have numerous opportunities to explore cultural differences. Yet while a few students take full advantage of these opportunities to advance their knowledge of the wider world, the majority of RVHS students choose not to.
If you were to walk through our school during lunch on any random day, you would quickly notice the many groups. At every corner, students gather into groups, which often consist of teens from the same cultural background. Asian Indians gather in one area, while Mexicans gather in another.
Most students have friends who are from different cultural backgrounds, but they hang out with members of the same cultural group most of the time.
For example, Jose Florez, a RVHS senior, said, "Though I interact with members of all cultural identities, the majority of my interaction occurs with those of Mexican descent."
Harkawal Singh, an RVHS alumnus, saw the need to introduce students to foreign cultures through something besides just classes. With help of RVHS leadership, Harkwal planned RVHS's first cultural fair in 2008. It was to serve two functions: first, to entice students to explore foreign cultures through delicious food; and second, to allow clubs to raise funds for the upcoming school year by selling food.
The event was a great success and since then, RVHS leadership has faithfully held the Cultural Fair every year.
RVHS held this year's Cultural Fair on Sept. 30. Twenty-three clubs participated, which is the highest number so far. With so many clubs participating, cuisines from numerous cultures were present. Each club is allowed to choose to sell food from any culture.
Some countries or cultures present this year included: Punjabi, Mexican, French and Chinese.
Recalling the Cultural Fair, Josh Evans, a senior, said, "There were a lot of samosas."
This year's Cultural Fair turned out to be a tremendous success. Students — like Jovanie Ramos Ramaro, a senior who recently moved to Yuba City — were introduced to exotic cuisines, and every club that participated raised funds for the upcoming year.
Jovanie said, "It was fun. I did not know there were this many exotic dishes out there. I could barely stop myself from eating the delicious samosas. All in all, I'm happy. I tried out food I did not know existed and was introduced to foreign cultures."
Manjinder Singh is a senior at River Valley High School. His column appears every six weeks in Education.