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In the afternoon, after classes on the 23rd and 24th July 2008, the students, teachers and staff at ELS Petaling Jaya all gathered together in the Language Technology Centre for the much-anticipated “Cultural Exchange Competition” they had all worked hard for. Each class had spent some good hours preparing for a 5-minute performance portraying a particular culture of a country, or a mix of cultures from different countries. The students from each class worked really hard together, and had a great time sharing ideas, preparing costumes and props, and practicing to some really exciting and exotic cultural music. Days before the actual two-day event, music could be heard along the corridors of each floor as the students and their respective SEC teachers practiced for their shows.


All in all, there were 18 classes altogether, including our wonderful group of young Yemeni students who joined us this July session for the ELS English Adventure Camp. On the first day of the competition, right after their classes ended at 3.30pm, the students of levels 100 to 103, and the English Adventure Camp students performed their numbers. The level 104 to the 109 students presented their bits on the second day. The students were very supportive of each other’s performances despite it being a competition and everyone cheered for each other in such good spirit. We were all entertained by a fusion of interesting cultural shows, which included traditional dances, songs, skits, and mini-presentations from different countries and cultures.


The fifth place consolation prize went to an impressively synchronized, pretty and intricate Korean Fan Dance by the 104A students while the fourth place consolation prize went to the 107A students, who confidently strutted the “catwalk” in a very entertaining Cultural Fashion Show. The third place went to the bold and lively Maori Warrior Dance by the 105B students. Dressed in warrior costumes they danced and pranced about happily, each dancer carrying a New Zealand “poi”, an instrument commonly used in the dance. The first runner up was the beautiful Hawaiian Dance performance by the 109 students, who made a great effort to learn and choreograph the dance besides spending hours stitching up real coconut leaves and flowers for their dance skirts. The 108A students who performed the traditional Djiboutian dance swept the first prize and they were without a doubt the favourite among the crowd who cheered and swayed to the catchy and lively beat of drums and music. The students, dressed in complete traditional Djiboutian outfit, danced to a very vibrant Djiboutian tune as the audience clapped along to the music. The judges had a hard time deciding on the winners, and of course, all the winners, from the first to the fifth place, were awarded prizes for their excellent performances.


All in all, everyone had a great time and experience, learning from each other and sharing their cultures. We look forward to more fun and enriching events like this in the future!