Newcomers showcase diversity on National Day

Seniors of 2023 prove Newcomers diversity and display their traditional dress


Courtesy of Eman Youssef, Student Government

Seniors of 2023 on National Day.

After waiting for three years, the seniors of 2023 finally got the chance to celebrate senior week. The week began with “Anything but a backpack day” and ended with “National Day,” in which seniors wore their traditional dress as a way to display their culture and nationality, and our school’s diversity. 

“Today, I’m wearing a long dress with white and blue colors that represent the colors of the flag of my country,” said Dayana Fuentes-Zecena, a senior from El Salvador. “I am very happy and excited to represent my country by wearing a traditional dress,” she added. 

Because of COVID, students from all over the world were isolated and weren’t able to share their cultural identity, experiences,or opinions with anyone. Now that everything is back to normal, students are excited about this opportunity. “My cultural identity is something that my parents instilled in me since I was little,” Fuentes-Zecena said.  “To be able to share my culture with others is to show others who I am, and how my country has a lot of diversity.” 

Newcomers has a diverse student body from many countries, who like to share their native cultures and their country flags. “The importance of National Day is to remember the value that my country has,” Fuentes-Zecena said, and to show the world “who we are and our culture.”

Seniors of Ecuador represent their dress as well as their flag (courtesy of Eman Youssef, Student Government).

On National Day, the school looked so colorful and lively, especially in the hallways where seniors were expressing their culture and identity freely through their outfits. Students asked each other about their clothes and their countries, and made new discoveries about each others’ backgrounds. The teachers and staff members also felt happy seeing the students sharing from their cultures, and it felt like Newcomers was finally getting back its own uniqueness and sense of community that had been missing after the pandemic. 

Winner Ayatato, a senior from Togo, said that Kente, the unique and bright-colored fabric she was wearing, was the traditional fabric used by Togolese people, particularly the Ewes, who are an ethnic group who live in west Africa.  

Ayatato also echoed some of Fuentes-Zecena’s sentiments. “Culture day is about celebrating our country and tradition. It is a pleasure and a great opportunity for me to show others what my country is about,” she said.  “It feels great to be able to represent the diverse mix of African traditions because now people know that there is such a dress and tradition in the world.”