Global CitizenshipDec 26, 2022

updated Nov 20, 2023

Around the World at MHS

ISA tradition celebrates international community

The many cultures of Miss Hall's have been on full display of late, highlighted by Holiday Greetings & Performances hosted by the International Student Alliance.

This year, working closely with Chef Russ and the outstanding MHS Culinary Team, ISA quintupled down on the tradition of students sharing recipes from home, expanding from one big annual banquet to a weeklong extravaganza of foods from around the world. All week, our Dining Room served up global menus representing favorite flavors from home.

Holiday greetings from 27 countries around the world!

Tuesday’s performance spotlighting our global diversity was especially poignant, noted ISA co-Heads Alice Ho ’23 and Fernanda Morais Laroca ’23, because it was back in Centennial Hall for the first time in three years.

“We have both been involved in ISA all four years — as performers, representatives, and now co-Heads,” explained Fer, who helped reimagine the event several times in order to carry on through the COVID-19 pandemic. “It is very emotional for us to have this event back in Centennial, just as we did in our freshman year before COVID. We love being able to celebrate and embrace the diversity in our MHS community.”

The celebration opened with greetings and holiday wishes from 27 countries represented in the Miss Hall’s Community, with students taking a few moments to share holiday greetings and New Year’s wishes in their native languages.

The well wishes were followed by amazing performances, with students singing, dancing, and wearing traditional clothing worn in their countries.

Wel ’24, Viola ’23, Jen ’23, and Annais ’23 performed different Latinx dances such as Bachata, merengue, and reggaetón.

Nico ’23 performed a dance from the Wa minority people in China, wearing traditional clothing.

Assia ’25 sang Daididau, an ancient Kazakh song about the hardships of separation from a loved one.

Leandra ’24 danced “Beksan Parisuko,” a modern rendition of an East Javanese traditional dance that represents the elegance, beauty, and philosophy of the Ancient Indonesian lifestyle.

Belle ’23 and Ivy ’23 danced to “Play,” a song by the Chinese female singer Jolin Tasi, all about the confidence and power of girls.

• Sutra ’24 sang a song about the Bizu, or New Year’s celebration, of the Chakma community in Bangladesh.

• Najma ’24 performed a modern Somali dance and song called Uunsi, which translates to “burn the incense for me.”

• Shirley ’24 performed a piece called “Sailing in the Misty Rain,” depicting the landscape in Jiangnan, an area south of China’s Yangtze River, where Shirley grew up.

• Hyeon ’26 performed the South Korean dance Camellia, telling the story comparing the flower’s life and a human's life, and expressing sadness, happiness, and pain.

• Ploy ’26 and Ing ’26 performed a Thai dance called the Loy Krathong festival, which represents being thankful for the river helping farmers grow their crops. The interactive performance encouraged the audience to get up and dance!

• Alice, Vy ’23, Phuong ’25, Emma ’25, and Alie ’25 closed out the scheduled performances with a Vietnamese Mashup Dance featuring three Vietnamese songs.

• Jena ’23, Aurora ’23, and Sutra ’24 performed two dances — the first a Dandiya, a classical piece representing the true essence of Bengali culture, and the second a pop fusion dance that is often played at weddings.

• Fer and Jacey ’23 then performed Trevo (Tu), a popular Brazilian song, with Fer singing to a guitar accompaniment by Jacey.

The event closed with all the greeters and performers heading to the stage for a final bow and impromptu dance and celebration to one of the 2022 World Cup songs called “Dreamers,” by South Korean singer Jung Kook, featuring Qatari singer Fahad Al Kubaisi. The song was chosen because students like the message about being a dreamer and the timely relevance of international celebration.

Congratulations to all, especially the ISA leadership team — Alice Ho ’23, Fernanda Morais Laroca ’23, Belle He ’23, Vy Nguyen ’23, Iva Knezevic ’24, Najma Yusuf ’24, Assia Rassulkyzy ’25, Emilie Coziol-Desy ’25, Hyeon Jung ’26, and Noya Samara ’26 — and ISA Advisor Tanya Kalischer  for a truly special event, MHS-style!

It is very emotional for us to have this event in Centennial Hall, just as we did in our freshman year before COVID. We love being able to celebrate and embrace the diversity in our MHS community.

ISA co-Head