For high school senior, mom, Greenfield cultural event a family tradition

  • Tayaba Hamayun, 17, right, shows off Pakistani styles of clothing with her niece Aliza, 2, during the international fashion show as part of the 22nd annual Taste of World Cultures event, on Tuesday, Mar. 20, 2018 in Greenfield. Recorder Staff/Dan Little

  • Greenfield High School students, faculty, and community members share in an international potluck meal during the 22nd annual Taste of World Cultures event, on Tuesday, Mar. 20, 2018 in Greenfield. Recorder Staff/Dan Little

  • Greenfield High School students, faculty, and community members share in an international potluck meal during the 22nd annual Taste of World Cultures event, on Tuesday, Mar. 20, 2018 in Greenfield. Recorder Staff/Dan Little

  • Various world flags are displayed in the windows of Greenfield High School during the 22nd annual Taste of World Cultures event, on Tuesday, Mar. 20, 2018 in Greenfield. Recorder Staff/Dan Little

  • Members of the World Language Department at Greenfield High School perform the song "We Are the World," during the 22nd annual Taste of World Cultures event, on Tuesday, Mar. 20, 2018 in Greenfield. Recorder Staff/Dan Little

  • Greenfield High School students, faculty, and community members share in an international potluck meal during the 22nd annual Taste of World Cultures event, on Tuesday, Mar. 20, 2018 in Greenfield. Recorder Staff/Dan Little

  • Holly Sears, left, and Brynn Lal, 8, show Indian and Pakistani styles of clothing during the international fashion show as part of the 22nd annual Taste of World Cultures event, on Tuesday, Mar. 20, 2018 in Greenfield. Recorder Staff/Dan Little

Recorder Staff
Published: 3/20/2018 10:37:23 PM

GREENFIELD — As Spanish teacher Tara Cloutier watched local Middle Eastern dance students perform a belly dance routine and then fusion dancers perform Bhangra, Bollywood, step and hip-hop, she couldn’t help but worry whether her son would make it out of baseball practice in time for the event.

“I was so sad he might not get to be here, because this is his last one,” Tara Cloutier said of her son, Colin Cloutier, a Greenfield High School senior.

Dozens of different cultures came together to celebrate with dance, music and food at Greenfield High School Tuesday evening for the 22nd annual Taste of World Cultures event. Cloutier, who teaches at the high school, has been helping to organize this event all of her son’s life.

He made it just in time. As Cloutier’s Spanish class performed “Bajo la Tormenta,” or “dance through the storm” in honor of Puerto Rico as the United States territory recovers from a hurricane, there was Colin, singing alongside his classmates.

“My whole life, I grew up watching the kids do the performances and admiring them, but when I became a freshman and a sophomore, I got that experience,” said Colin, who will be graduating this spring.

Cloutier remembers Colin joining the international fashion show as a small child, wearing a soccer jersey someone gave him. She remembers being worried if the sound of the drummers would scare the young boy. She remembers worrying if he would find something he wanted to eat, “anything a busy mom, a working mom has to do.”

Colin, who is on the Greenfield baseball and football teams, was alongside his mom Tuesday evening, singing songs and dancing just as he has done for the past 18 years.

For Colin, like many of his peers, it’s a special day because you get to celebrate different cultures in a way you don’t normally get to during school.

“You bring together all the cultures of the students around you that you don’t experience normally,” Colin said.

Freshman Wilmary Mercado agreed.

“I like how we all come together and we all share our cultures.”

And her classmate Daniel Lenois, who organized the French class’s dance this year, pointed to the eclectic arrangement of food brought in mostly by families and some local restaurants, comparing the event to a “community meal.”

Students and parents and community members, including School Committee Chairwoman Adrienne Nunez and Secretary Don Alexander, mingled throughout the evening, enjoying the festivities.

After the event wrapped up with a breakdance crew and an international fashion show, Colin hung around for a moment with his mom before heading home after a full day, including practice.

“I know I’m moving forward in my life, but it will always have a special place in my heart,” Collin said of the event.

You can reach
Joshua Solomon at:

jsolomon@recorder.com

413-772-0261, ext. 264




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