A recap of Culture Night 2021

Shantel Sanchez

We got the chance to catch up with Ms. Gamboa about Culture Night 2021. Culture Night is a festival by the World Language department that highlights cultures from all around the world, including France and Mexico. Watch the video interview above to hear more about this event!

I interviewed the teachers on this campus who were the ones that made Culture Night happen. The theme for Culture Night was for “Día de Los Muertos” also known as the “Day of the Dead.” As Mrs. Czech described, it’s a day when Mexico celebrates life and when our deceased loved ones come to visit us and enjoy a meal together. Celebrating life is an expression to show love and respect for the dead; it’s a day when you honor the dead and celebrate your life.

My first interview was with Mrs. Czech who has been teaching for about 17 years in Spanish 1, 2, and 3 at Buena Park High School. An interesting fact she had told me was that she was born in the U.S.A. but her family culture was mainly Mexican culture. She told me that her cultural identity is rooted in Mexico. She had lived there for a couple of years and went to school there as well, so she would identify her family culture as Mexican culture. “Altares represents respect and remembrance of those who passed away, the music brings joy to the heart, the dancing is important, it’s part of the culture, the food is a form of a cultural expression and pride,” she said. “Skulls represent a criticism to the people of Mexico who think who are of European descent but not and for those who pretend to be rich, but they are not, but more than anything it’s a way of laughing at the idea of death. In other words the skull is a spirit, Mexico does not see the death as something sad, instead, they see it as a celebration of life.”

In relation to the specific activities the class did to prepare for Culture Night she said, “My class made Huichol art (originated with the indigenous group called Huichol of several Mexicoś states), Ojós de Dios (each color represents a child’s age), and portraits (a scene that represents each students´ culture). All are made with colorful yarn.”

I also interviewed Mrs. Salcido who teaches Spanish 1 for native speakers and Spanish 2. She has taught for 5 years at Buena Park High School in her 8 years of her teaching career. Her native country is a mixture; she was born here but lived in Mexico for some time as well. She had said that she and her husband are trying to reclaim their culture, so they can pass it on to their children. Mrs. Salcido’s class also did a variety of activities to prepare for Culture Night. She said, “My class helped me with the ofrenda and helped me a lot with mainly all the flowers you saw at Culture Night.” 

All these teachers did a wonderful job for Culture Night. The teachers at this school do more than what they have to do, including preparing for events like Culture Night.