On a sunny Saturday afternoon, the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (IMSA) came alive with vibrant colors, savory aromas, and the joyous sounds of laughter and celebration. The IMSA Cultural Fiesta, a student-led initiative aimed at celebrating the rich tapestry of global heritages, was a resounding success, leaving attendees with a deeper appreciation for diversity and satisfied palates.
The ethnic fiesta, organized by Devarsh Shah, a bright sophomore at IMSA, brought together students from various ethnic backgrounds to showcase their heritage via delectable cuisines and interesting activities. The event got $2000 in funding, thanks to Devarsh’s original proposal and the famous IMSA Innovation Award, allowing the implementation of this exceptional cultural feast.
The perfume of spices and the expectation of culinary pleasures permeated the air from the moment the doors opened. Students and parents were drawn to the Indian culture booth, where they were presented to a variety of tempting sweets. The savory samosas, crispy pastries packed with spicy potatoes and peas, and the sweet gulab jamun, exquisite syrup-soaked dumplings, were the standouts. To wash it all down, guests sipped refreshing glasses of lassi, a yogurt-based beverage available in a variety of flavors.
The Mexican cultural booth also tempted taste senses with its delectable offerings. The sizzling scent of carne asada, juicy grilled steak seasoned with traditional Mexican spices, couldn’t be ignored by the throng. The bell pepper tacos, which included colorful and tasty bell peppers packed with a variety of fillings, were popular with vegetarians.
When asked about the process of organizing the event, Devarsh Shah replied, “I had to apply for the IMSA Innovation grant to get funding for the event.” Then I had to plan the celebration, and happily, several of my friends offered to assist.” Every detail of the Cultural Fiesta reflected his hard work and dedication, demonstrating the outcome of his visionary leadership.
Reflecting on the success of the event, Devarsh Shah shared his joy, stating, “Attendance-wise, many students enjoyed the cultural delicacies and played many games. The turnout of the Cultural Fiesta was more than 100 students.”
As the festivities concluded, students left with a better knowledge and appreciation for the various heritages represented at IMSA. The Cultural Fiesta left an unforgettable imprint on the school community, inspiring future generations of students to embrace and appreciate the rich diversity that surrounded them.