Worldly Wonders: Exploring Cultures at International Night

With the annual International Night passing last week, the community is introduced to a new world of cultures by the students of HHS.
Madame Stanley’s French classes perform the accent dance with their music idol Madame T during International Night at Herrin High School. The students are so thankful to have met her!
Madame Stanley’s French classes perform the accent dance with their music idol Madame T during International Night at Herrin High School. The students are so thankful to have met her!
Photography, Ashlyn Sims

Which booth would you like to visit first, the booth with Edith Piaf melodies playing or the booth with fresh mangoes to try? At International Night, the choice is yours. With cultures from around the world in one place, the community is free to learn and grow through each exhibit and booth offered at Herrin High School. 

International Night is a fun-filled event that combines all of the languages offered at Herrin High School into one night with interesting booths and a lot of activities. Each foreign language student makes a booth to present that night along with a game and some sort of prize.

However, the build-up leading to International Night is the most important for the students. Language students have to do intense research about their topics and even present their projects in class or that night to their teacher. 

Spanish student Brennan Jeralds (9) thinks “[learning] all the different things about the language and culture” was his favorite part of the event. 

While the event is centered around the students and their projects, the community has a fun time getting to come together and explore different parts of the world. 

French student Caden Green (11) stresses how International Night teaches the community about the importance of languages and “[stimulates] people to learn other languages”. 

The night itself has many activities including silent auctions, music provided by French students and the HHS chorus, and different food or drink options. 

International Night introduced a lot of students to Madame T, a French class celebrity who creates the songs Mrs. Stanley has been teaching since the beginning. Madame T visited French students earlier that day and exchanged words that inspired students to continue their French journey.

Alisa Eggemeyer (12) exclaims how “Madame T has been a figure [the French students] have learned about, but it was a very cool experience”. 

Along with tasty treats, each booth has a different fun activity for the students to participate in. To win one of the delectable desserts, a game must be played that correlates with the respectable subject of the booth. 

Italian student Allie Hancock (12) danced the night away at Eggemeyer’s Edith Piaf exhibit. 

The most important part, however, is the booths the students make to present to the public. Each booth has a different topic the student researched and has each student’s creativity embedded within the board. 

Spanish student Mason King (10) loves “seeing everyone’s boards” and finds it fun how much everyone knows about their individual topic. 

Since every language at Herrin High School is represented, there is a variety of subjects explored. 

Hancock is one of the few Italian students, but she likes how Italian also gets featured along with the more popular languages. She says that “Italian is a way to connect with the older generation in town” thanks to the Italian culture in Herrin. 

Speaking of older traditions and traditional languages, Mrs. Stanley was the original teacher behind International Night. She wanted a way to draw attention to the languages HHS has to offer, and she did it spectacularly. 

Mrs. Stanley explains how Herrin “does not have a lot of cultural exchange” but International Night reminds everyone that “there is a great big world out there, and International Night is a taste of it”. 

With it being Mrs. Stanley’s last International Night, the turnout was amazing. Herrin High School is looking forward to many more International Nights in the future with the new language teachers making their mark on the Herrin High School annual tradition.

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