Cultural celebration sheds light on diversity

It was Sept. 15, the day of the Culture in the Community Celebration. In front of the Community Center was a wave of the flags of 27 different countries. Many DVHS student volunteers also showed up to help visitors participate in activities such as the Chalk Art Showcase in front of the building. At least 2,000 people of all ages arrived to celebrate the various cultures and traditions integrated in the diverse population of San Ramon. City officials, including Mayor Bill Clarkson and City Manager Joe Gorton, were present to experience the liveliness of the event.

A variety of native performers, including dancers and musicians, were eager to share their unique display of their countries’ cultures and entertainment.

The Russian Drama Club performed with Skazka dancers and singers. In addition, several cultural booths were organized inside and outside the building where people displayed their cultural objects including Indian saris, hats, pottery including Chinese porcelain, posters describing geography, model buildings and weapons, books and toys.

On the cement near the entrance, DVHS student volunteers showcased a variety of art displays in San Ramon.

“I chose to come here to help celebrate the 150 years through the Chalk Art Walk and showcase the culture of San Ramon through art,” DVHS student volunteer Jonathan Chen said.

Besides the cultural performances occurring in the Fountain Room, Event Chair Vanessa Berastain, who was dressed in her native Peruvian outfit, organized activities that interested children and youth and encouraged them to learn about the diverse cultures in San Ramon.

This included the crafts and games for young children in the Terrace Room. The free draw integrated foreign cultures as it was done on traditional Mexican paper. Children received passports with an objective to locate different places such as the various cultural booths in order to receive a prize.

On the field behind City Hall, a handful of youth from the San Ramon Cricket Academy organized a cricket demonstration to display the rules and enjoyment of a sport that is more popular in foreign nations.

“I want people to know how diverse San Ramon is and interact with people from different cultures. People can learn from each other because San Ramon is a very welcoming town,” Berastain said.

Occurring approximately a month after the 150th Birthday Party, the Culture in the Community Celebration gave San Ramon residents of all ages an opportunity to witness the flags, cultural booths, dances, musical performances and various outfits of countries in South America, Asia, North America and Europe. These cultures have been present in San Ramon for almost 150 years.

However, this event was the most prominent event of the year in which the cultures of 27 different nations were displayed at the same place and time.

“It’s important we understand that San Ramon is not only diverse but inclusive because it has tremendous cultures, and I think that it’s important that we celebrate it,” Gorton said.