Heritage Night 2019 displays an array of cultures


Jude Nanaw

Junior Kaleab Mengistu (Left) and senior Jonathan Assefa (Right) dance on stage as part of the Habesha performance.

Jude Nanaw, Co-Editor in Chief

With a multitude of different countries and various languages represented, AHS has one of the most diverse student bodies among all high schools nationally.

Recently, this incredible diversity was put on display at the annual Heritage Night event on March 8. Every year, Heritage Night takes place in the auditorium following the Just World Festival.

Heritage Night is comprised of two different sections, the fashion show and the performances. The event as a whole required vigorous preparation as students participating had to audition and then practice multiple times in the weeks leading up to the event.

“Our preparation and practice for the Habesha performance definitely took a long time,” senior Ruth Seyoum said. “We had to rehearse everything from the choreography to being in step with the music of our performance as well.”

For the fashion show portion of Heritage Night, there were 11 different countries represented. Participants in the fashion show dressed in cultural attire and displayed it on stage in their own unique way. Countries represented in the fashion show included Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Palestine, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Somalia, South Asia, South Korea and Sudan.

“We were really excited and eager to celebrate our Bengali culture and share it with others as well,” senior Tahid Mamun. “The fashion show was interesting because we had the opportunity to share our culture with the audience while also getting to see the clothing of individuals from other countries.”

After a brief intermission, participants in the performances portion of Heritage Night took the stage. Performances featured elaborate cultural group dances in addition to cultural music as well.

In total, there were 10 different performances presented, each linked to a particular nation or a handful of different countries. Performances included FJLL, Salay Pasion Bolivia USA, African Girls, Somali Girls, Dances of Sierra Leone, Dances of Cameroon, Habeshas, HJPOP! and the Royal Bloods of Africa.

“The whole process in preparing for our Habesha performance was a lot of fun,” senior Abbey Yared said. “Being a part of it all and seeing it come together on stage made it a memorable experience.”

One performance that stood out as it was not a cultural group dance but a rap trio, was the Trifecta group. Featuring senior Idris Dahir and juniors Tarik Darweish and Kaleab Mengistu, Trifecta rapped about the different cultures of the world including clever lines throughout.

“My favorite part of our performance was hearing the crowd roar after we dropped some bar,” Kaleab Mengistu said. “It hyped us up for the next verse to come.”

In the conclusion of the event, all performers from the night were invited back on stage for a rendition of “We are the World.”

“Annandale is the most diverse school in Virginia and because of that Heritage Night was a great experience for all of us who participated,” Mamun said.