Groton students gather for a Cultural Day filled with festivities, food, and fun

Cultural Day returned to the Circle on January 13, as students celebrated their homelands and heritage with an evening of festivities, food, and fun.

The Sackett Forum was filled with tables representing countries from around the world, each showing off local trivia, cuisine, games, attire, and more. Students who answered questions or performed challenges got a stamp in their Cultural Day “passport.” 

Henna hand painting was available on the forum steps, and music rang throughout the room all evening. Music faculty member and saxophonist Kenji Kikuchi opened the evening with a jazz ensemble performance. Student performers throughout the evening included Sara Agrawal ’25, Brittany Deng ’24, Afrika Gaye ’24, Natchavee Kosolpisit ’26, Ebunoluwa Lawore ’24, Jiyoon Lee ’27, and Luisa Petricioli ’24.

Groton Cultural Day is a joint effort by the Student Activities Committee and the Diversity and Inclusion Group, along with various other campus cultural groups, with the guidance of Director of Student Activities Tim LeRoy and World Language Department Head and ICAP (International Community Advising Program) Advisor Rebecca Stanton.

“Two of the ICAP prefects were listening to the performers,” said Ms. Stanton. “I went up and stood next to them and one said, ‘Madame, this is great. Everyone is so happy!’”

The event began in 2017, an outcropping of the institutional Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) work that began two years prior. After COVID precautions canceled the event in 2021 and 2022, it returned live and in person in 2023. 

Ms. Stanton said the event stands as a special way Groton’s international students can celebrate their backgrounds alongside American students remembering their ancestry.

“We’re all in this bubble of the United States of America,” she said, “and this is a time when you can step away from that and share the joy of who you are, where you come from, your food, your clothes, your music, your language.”

The evening concluded with a performance by the Boston Bollywood dance group. After celebrating (albeit an abbreviated) “Bollywood Through the Decades,” the dancers invited Groton students to learn their own moves. 

“Everybody was dancing—boys, girls, athletes, artists—and everybody was having fun,” said Ms. Stanton. “That was the magic of the night: It really brings everyone together.”