Forget Paris, London, New York, and Tokyo. The latest hub for international culture is located right on the border of Hurst and North Richland Hills. And I’m not talking about the NRH2O Family Water Park, although its Purplepalooza water slide attracts people from every walk of life.
Northeast Campus was the site for this international meeting of minds, foods, and dance steps. Booths featuring facts, photos, and flavors from around the world lined the sidewalks by the giant chessboard outside of the Student Center, and the main stage set up nearby featured a steady stream of artists, singers, and dancers, as well as a fashion show featuring traditional clothing representing more than a dozen countries.
Audience participation was encouraged after the performers presented their art, and many of the spectators were invited to learn salsa steps or Bollywood choreography. The Trinity High School Polynesian Dance Team even held an impromptu hula contest. Members of the J.K. Wong Kung Fu Tai Chi Academy displayed their prowess at Shaolin Kung Fu, including sword and spear demonstrations. However, no one from the audience was invited to try out the swords, for obvious liability reasons.
The martial artists also treated spectators to a traditional Chinese drum performance, featuring a playful dragon that wandered the festival grounds and interacted with attendees, many of whom were understandably startled when they turned around to discover that a dragon had sneaked up behind them.
The sunny afternoon, packed with music, dancing and laughter, served as a gentle reminder that it’s our similarities that bring us together, and it’s our differences that make it fun.