Homestead High School's student newspaper

The Epitaph

Homestead High School's student newspaper

The Epitaph

Homestead High School's student newspaper

The Epitaph

JNHS hosts annual J-Night

Cultural event brings HHS community on educational journey through Japan

The Japanese National Honor Society hosts J-Night March 29 to provide friends and families of Japanese class students a glimpse of what they are learning and how the club contributes to the school community, Japanese teacher and JNHS adviser Junko Birdsong said.

Japanese National Honor Society collaborated with origami club to provide an origami booth during J-Night, JNHS president Cherish Wurts said. (Photo by Malar Raguraman)

JNHS leads and plans the event months in advance by arranging for all of the food tables, ticket sales, games and activities, Birdsong said. Birdsong herself acts as a median between JNHS and Japanese students, she added.

Every year, JNHS starts planning J-Night from scratch and fine-tunes each aspect of the event to see what would give participants the best experience, JNHS president Cherish Wurts said. JNHS keeps some traditions the same throughout each year as a baseline for the club to improve upon, including the largest and most enjoyable part of the event: the posters that Japanese students create and present to parents and peers, Wurts added.

“Everyone seems to be happy with lots of smiles and enjoying the activities, and it’s great to see everyone all together,” Wurts, a senior, said. “I hope attendees learn something new that surprises them and, of course, make new friends.”

To plan this event, JNHS overcame many obstacles in setting up this year’s J-Night given the unreadiness of the cafeteria, the rain and the need to set up posters, Birdsong said. Despite this, Birdsong said she was proud everyone pushed through such challenges and worked their hardest to spread Japanese culture. 

“A goal for us to achieve this J-Night is to celebrate Japanese culture and Japanese students’ learning,” Birdsong said. “The event helps bring together the Japanese community at HHS but also helps other students understand Japanese culture, even if they don’t have a connection to Japan.”

Likewise, presenter Eugene Cho said J-Night was a great way for him and other classmates to demonstrate what they have learned in their Japanese classes throughout the year and learn about what their other classmates are presenting.

“J-Night helps us students since we learn more about culture in Japan, and our friends and families can learn more about Japan from us too,” Cho, a junior, said. “Besides that, it helps us build confidence in presenting. I hope attendees who see my presentation learn more about Japanese animals and culture as a whole.”

Attendee, sophomore Jesus Hernandez-Tornez said he enjoyed the interesting posters and presentations and felt that J-Night encouraged students like him to get out of their comfort zones. 

“I feel like I’ve gained insight on a new part of the Homestead community,” Hernandez-Tornez said. “The importance of J-Night stems from how everyone comes together, listens to each other and eats food, but it is as important to just to have fun with it.”

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About the Contributors
Malar Raguraman
Malar Raguraman, Reporter
Malar is a sophomore and a first-year staffer on The Epitaph. She looks forward to communicating her beliefs and opinions to the HHS community. Malar wants to learn about unique perspectives and is super excited to join the paper. She enjoys listening to Broadway soundtracks, reading, running, doodling, collecting erasers and searching for new experiences.
Jonathan Xue
Jonathan Xue, Reporter
Jonathan Xue is a junior and a first-year reporter for The Epitaph. When he is not swamped by homework, he likes to play video games and watch YouTube videos.

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