Language Day fest celebrates cultures

Students filled Gorton Quad on March 9 for the 17th annual Language Day Festival to celebrate and promote linguistic and cultural diversity.

“A phenomenal amount of people have been participating all day,” Associated Students President Beto Vasquez said.

The entertainment was a non-stop whirlwind of dancing, singing and fashion shows displaying the dress of many different cultures. Lena Baklenova said she enjoyed making the Russian folk-style costumes and crowns.

“The purpose of the program is culture,” professor Rosie Sandoval said. “We also want to show that what makes this campus is the diversity.”

Sandoval led the ceremonies while urging the crowd to participate in one of many group dances, including “El Caballo Dorado,” a Latin line dance.

Brother and sister duo Yosvani Ceides and Belinda Ceides danced fervently to the Cuban song “Cubaton.”

“Part of learning Spanish is doing things like this, activities for learning the language,” said Steve Sopha, a former City College student who sang “De Mariachi,” by Antonio Banderas.

Evidence of the popularity of the talent competition was shown when Sopha finished and the crowd cheered “Otra!”, a cry for an encore.

Yosvani Ceides and Alejandra Bernal danced in the talent competition. Bernal wore a bright purple dress with a large skirt that flipped and waved about the dance floor when she performed.

The talent contest was judged on the intensity of crowd applause, and Sandoval heard a tie between Bernal and Ceides. This tie led to a dance-off between the two, which ended with Ceides saying that Bernal should win.

Bernal won a $25 San Diego Community College District gift card, good at any of the shops on the three campuses in the district.

In addition to all the dancing and singing entertainment there was a Lotteria for prizes hosted by the Spanish 215 class. The Spanish Club sponsored a booth and gave away free cookies, chips and sodas to the crowd.

Bright, multi-colored flowers could be made at the arts and crafts booth hosted by Spanish 101. Students Stephanie Miguel and Moe Barbakh helped other students make flowers.

“I like helping out people a lot,” Miguel said. “I like doing the arts and crafts stuff. The instructor taught me how.”

Seven different language clubs were represented at the event.
In the Russian booth, student Nathan Rivera educated other students on aspects of Russian culture.

“We’re taking Russian as a language,” Rivera said. “We have to immerse ourselves in it. We want to represent it.”

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Language Day fest celebrates cultures