Young observer: early April edition

April is “Celebrating Diversity Month”. At my diverse high school, we recently celebrated an annual event called the International Food Fair (IFF) that featured not only food but also dance performances that highlight the different cultures of the student population. More than 2,000 students flocked to the school gymnasium in three sessions, where they got a taste of their classmates’ unique culture through various performances. The cultural presentation featured impressive folk dance numbers performed by members of various school cultural clubs.

(Left) Francine with classmate Arum, (center) Dancers at the Sunny Hills International Food Festival, (right) Cloe enjoys the food.

This year’s IFF was so valuable to students as it was the first time after two years of cancellation due to the coronavirus. Excitement must have exploded as the food stalls were overwhelmed with huge crowds of students who had pre-purchased their tickets online. Each of us in my group of friends purchased tickets worth $15-$20 in hopes of sampling as many cuisines as possible. But with the massive queues at each booth representing 12 countries (Korea, Mexico, Philippines, India, England, Japan, Cuba, Sweden, Palestine, Italy, China, and the United States), many of my classmates don’t couldn’t try and even order any food as many stalls sold out quickly. All the careful planning we did using the food map and menu made available online did little to help as the massive queues stretched across campus.

My first IFF was quite an experience. I found myself running from booth to booth trying to collect as many cultural dishes as possible and had the chance to sample cuisines from Japan (Sushi Rolls), Philippines (Pancit/noodles), Korea ( Bulgogi Rice), England (Sausage Rolls), and Italy (Mostaccioli/pasta). While eating the Pancit Bihon from the Philippines, watching the Tinikling folk dance from the Philippines, and reminiscing about the precious memories of my visits to my mother’s home country, I am grateful that we have school events like IFF that help me remember to learn more about my family’s culture. experience and appreciate the diverse culture of my school.

Meet Juno, the star of this issue. He is a lively 3-year-old puppy who always has a smile on his face. Although he hasn’t lived with other dogs yet, this playful husky might get along wonderfully with other dogs that may fit his energetic schedule; (8:00 a.m. – eat in three bites, 10:00 a.m. hike 25 miles, 12:00 p.m. eat in two bites, 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. explore, 5:00 p.m. eat in one sip, then take a nap.)

Siberian huskies love to exercise; they are the perfect gym partner. And, huskies make great running buddies; Juno is no exception. He loves the outdoors and would enjoy a walk every day, rain or shine. Come meet him and let his lively personality put a smile on your face. Call (714) 935-6848 or visit

Anecdotes about endangered animals

Q: What is the most endangered cat in the world?

A: The Amur leopard. Its population has dwindled to a critical population of 70 wild leopards and 200 in captivity. They are endangered due to poaching, habitat loss, indiscriminate logging, forest fires, and land conversion for agriculture. When running, they can reach speeds of up to 59.6 km/h (37 mph). Fun fact: Amur leopards can also swim. Carnivorous, these leopards feed on rodents, deer and wild boar. About four leopards are poached each week.

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). I am happy that we have 30 days dedicated to bringing attention to one of the greatest social concerns of the 21st century. According to the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network, every 68 seconds an American is sexually assaulted.

The truth is, 30 days is not enough to tell the stories of millions. The truth is that these conversations fade over time. Sexual assault cases storm the media for one week, and the next week they become mere whispers in the pool of headlines and social media posts.

But these discussions are not trends, and topics like sexual assault can never go out of season. Whether it’s May, June, or July, there’s no time when it’s “more” appropriate to speak out, and there’s no end to advocacy either. After all, sexual harassment exists in everyday life and will continue to exist until legislative action is taken and the stories of survivors are given serious consideration.

Although this is an uncomfortable conversation, to avoid further tragedies we must face the uncomfortable. It is about an urge to change the way we respond to cases of sexual violence and the ways we advocate for social justice. We cannot preach sexual abuse awareness while ignoring the very conversations that affect millions of people – the stories of sisters, brothers, friends, mothers, fathers and children. One month does not do justice to the countless survivors of sexual assault.

So, it makes a huge difference when we express our opinions and stand up for human rights.

The scent of sweet jasmine flowers,

Its delicate petals brush my fingertips,

The flowers shine for hours.

Playing under the warm rays,

Jump on the smooth sidewalk,

I sing, share and laugh for days.

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