Asian heritage assembly


A traditional fan dance is performed to kick off the Asian Heritage Assembly.

Sophie Becker

Whether it’s the sound of stomping from the step team or the rhythms of salsa, students are known to rave over heritage assemblies at WJ.  Every once in a while, classes of the WJ student body are ushered into the auditorium to learn and experience a culture represented at the school. On Thursday, March 15, students were treated to the Asian Heritage Assembly. Clubs like the Middle Eastern Student Union and a martial arts group showed off their skills and customs for the school.

   This year’s assembly included many dance performances in the styles of Bollywood, APro K-Pop and traditional fan dancing.  A student speech about heritage, musical performance, a martial arts presentation and a fashion show of typical Asian styles from all over Asia.
   Senior Shahar Bezherano decided she would use the assembly to share her story about her connection to her homeland of Israel and her decision to join the Israeli Defense Force next year instead of going to college like many of her classmates. Bezherano shared her family’s story at the assembly including her grandmother’s account of the Holocaust and details about her great grandfather, David Ben-Gurion, who was the founding prime minister of the state of Israel in 1948. Shahar explained the importance of her national pride because Israel is a small country with little international support.

   Grace Ge also played an important role in this year’s assembly as one of the coordinators for the whole event. Ge worked along with assembly sponsor Aileen Leung, to plan, organize and set up the acts students remember and love year after year. Ge was not just behind the scenes as she also participated in the Bollywood and APro performances.

   “We started planning as early as the first week of school,” Ge said. “The different performance [teams] practice by themselves and we did progress checks about every month or so.”

   Ge and the other members of the assembly made it a goal to make this year’s assembly more of a well rounded representation of all Asian cultures by including presentations from Southeast Asia and the Middle East.

   “It was rewarding to see that the audience liked what we had prepared,” Ge said. “The energy of the crowd was observably palpable throughout the whole assembly, making performing easier and more enjoyable for those on the stage.”