Tinley Park High School's International Fest Showcases Diversity of Student Body

Tinley Park High School's International Fest Showcases Diversity of Student Body

By: Cody Mroczka, Tinley Junction
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More than 15 cultures were represented at Tinley Park High School’s 2018 International Fest held on Nov. 2. 

Sponsored by the Seekers Diversity Club, the annual event started in 2005 highlights the diverse student body by offering a chance for classmates to represent their cultures through the form of food and entertainment. The nearly three-hour event featured a potluck-style dinner with traditional cuisine from Poland, India, Haiti, Nigeria, and Philippines, to name a few, but also representations from soul food and Cajun cultures. Most of the proceeds from the entry fees went to worldwide humanitarian organizations. 

“I really wanted it to represent our entire student body,” said Selime Baftiri-Ballazhi, French teacher and Seekers Diversity Club sponsor. “We have over 15 countries represented.” 

Following the community style dinner, attendees flocked to the gymnasium to see students perform a range of entertainment skits including native dances, songs, and spoken word performances, all centered around the message of unity. Proceeds from the entry fees went to worldwide humanitarian organizations. 

“That’s really been a message well before the political climate that currently exists,” she said. “We wanted to highlight as many cultures as possible.”