Exchange students perform traditional dance

By Sofia Papadopoulos and Hanna Kimball


Exchange students performing a traditional dance. Photo by FRC Team 1676, The Pascack Pi-oneers

Team1676 (YouTube)

The Choice School exchange students visiting Pascack Hills performed a traditional Indian presentation for the Pascack Pi-oneers robotics team on Fri., Jan 20.

This experience was an opportunity for the Pi-oneers to develop a new understanding for the Indian culture.

Senior Aslana Soobzokov said, “It was a beautiful experience for everyone here to connect and share cultures, and overall just get to know one another even more.”

The exchange students were able to share the cultures of many parts of India.

Exchange student Maria Charles said, “The second dance you saw, the dandiya dance, that is what is done in Gujarat, the northwestern part, and is usually done during the festival called Navaratri, using the top and skirt to dance.”

Outfits are another tradition the students showed the Pi-oneers.

Charles said, “I am wearing a blouse and skirt that is mainly used in our part of the country, which is Kerala, and this is a pavada which is mostly worn in the southwest.”

Sophomore Lily Drennan said, “I thought [the dance performance] was very interesting and I really enjoyed it. I thought it was very traditional and it was all authentic.”

Pi-oneers were also able to learn how the exchange felt about their culture compared to Hills.

Nikita Lal said, “I was brought up watching American TV shows and American animations and things like that, so I never actually felt proud about my culture. But it was when I started to travel and I actually started learning about different cultures and I understood how rich my culture was and…not I take a lot of pride in saying that I am a Keralite and that I’m an Indian because…we are an incredible country!”

Junior Shannon Stemper said, “I was really proud of all of them because they put a lot of effort and a lot of work in this and it really helped us to feel a part of the Indian culture.”

The performance was a valuable experience for both the Pascack Pi-oneers and exchange students.

Gopika Nair said, “We love festivals and we love celebrating; we are such happy people! And it’s not just like one religious group, there’s so many religions, so many cultures coming together- it’s such a welcoming country.”