The world comes to North­ern Col­le­giate

An­nual MAC Night set for Sar­nia high school

The Observer (Sarnia) - - NEWS - PAUL MOR­DEN pmor­den@postmedia.com

MAC Night, a long-stand­ing cel­e­bra­tion of di­ver­sity at North­ern Col­le­giate, re­turns Thurs­day evening to the Sar­nia high school.

Start­ing at 5 p.m., the cafe­te­ria at the school on Michi­gan Av­enue will be set up with ta­bles of­fer­ing food from around the world for sale, and en­ter­tain­ment is sched­uled to be­gin at 7 p.m. in the gym.

MAC Night is a large an­nual com­mu­nity event that be­gan at the high school in the early 1990s and can at­tract 500 to 600 peo­ple, said Har­min­der Deol, a physics teacher at the school who works with its stu­dent Mul­ti­cul­tural Aware­ness Club.

“En­try is free, but you have to pay for your food as you go along the food booths,” she said.

Stu­dents in the club are in­volved in plan­ning and or­ga­niz­ing MAC Night, in­clud­ing ar­rang­ing for cul­tural clubs and or­ga­ni­za­tions in the com­mu­nity to at­tend and pre­pare and sell food.

“We have a va­ri­ety of foods this year,” Deol said.

“We have East In­dian, we have Chi­nese food, Filipino food, Ital­ian, Caribbean, Ger­man, Span­ish.”

New this year will be a Syr­ian food booth, mark­ing the re­cent ar­rival of stu­dents from that coun­try.

“That is very ex­cit­ing,” Deol said.

The cost of the food is “very nom­i­nal” and gen­er­ally items at the ta­bles run $3 to $5, de­pend­ing on the eater’s ap­petite, she said.

There are also snacks and desserts for lower amounts, in­clud­ing samosas. “That is a favourite,” Deol said. She added a stu­dent DJ at North­ern will be play­ing “beats from around the world” in the cafe­te­ria.

Stu­dents also dec­o­rate the school and dress in cul­tural cos­tume.

MAC Night is one of the large an­nual events at the school, and it has been sup­ported this year by grants from the Sar­nia-Lambton Lo­cal Im­mi­gra­tion Part­ner­ship and the North­ern school coun­cil.

This year’s MAC Night en­ter­tain­ment lineup in­cludes Chi­nese, East In­dian, Filipino and Ir­ish dance groups, a Latin dance les­son and per­for­mances by the school bands.

“We have lots of acts,” Deol said.

“I think it’s go­ing to be amaz­ing.”

The event was cre­ated around the school’s themes of equal­ity, in­clu­sive­ness, di­ver­sity and com­mu­nity.

“We do this at our school to ed­u­cate peo­ple about ap­pre­ci­at­ing other cul­tures and learn­ing from them, and be­ing part of some­thing from around the world,” Deol said.

The school’s Mul­ti­cul­tural Aware­ness Club meets reg­u­larly through the school year, hold­ing ac­tiv­i­ties to learn about cul­tures through cus­toms, food, games, dances and lan­guage.

In Jan­uary, the club or­ga­nized ses­sions of­fer­ing re­lax­ation tech­niques from dif­fer­ent cul­tures, Deol said.

“One was tai chi with green tea and for­tune cook­ies, and an­other one was yoga and In­dian tea, and the kids just loved it,” she said.

“That was near ex­ams, so it re­ally helped ev­ery­one.”

TERRY BRIDGE/THE

Shown in this file photo are North­ern Col­le­giate stu­dents, from left, Shra­vani Shah, Maitri Pa­tel and Hardee Shah, at the 2016 MAC Night event. This year's event, or­ga­nized by the Sar­nia high school's Mul­tic­u­lu­ral Aware­ness Club, is Thurs­day, be­gin­ning at 5 p.m.

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