On March 17, Skyline High School hosted the school’s first Bollywood Homecoming, mixing a traditional high school dance with elements of a cultural festival.
This event was sponsored by the Skyline Indian Culture Club’s board and advisor, Dr. Madhu Sharma, along with 19 non-board volunteers.
Bollywood Homecoming was held in the gym, and entailed activities such as dance performances, badminton, a henna painting station, polaroid photo booth, and carrom, an Indian tabletop game where players attempt to flick discs at the corners of the board. The club catered culturally appropriate foods such as rice, naan, butter chicken, butter paneer, dal makhani, and gulab jamun from local restaurant Mommy’s Kitchen.
“I loved the activities the Indian club had to offer . . . the experience was enriching and I really immersed myself in Indian culture,” said Helen Daw, 17.
With Sammamish’s Asian population growing by 112% between 2010 and 2020, according to the U.S. Census, demand has also grown for better cultural representation. This has played out in schools such as Skyline, where student clubs are trying to host events that represent their increasingly diverse student bodies.
“We wanted everybody to feel like movie stars coming to the event, getting red carpet photos at our photo booth, and dressed in their best attire,” said Karan Malhotra, 17, who serves as co-president of the Indian Culture Club and has been planning this event since December.
“Many students get to dress up yearly for homecoming, so we wanted to recreate that feeling while exposing people to the beautiful cultural elements of India,” said Co-president Aarav Karam, 18.
Many students enjoyed celebrating their culture with their friends.
“Seeing so many people coming together to celebrate Indian homecoming made me feel proud of my culture,” said Shikha Reddy, 16.
The club funded this event by using their profits from a Holi celebration they hosted in May 2022, along with the money they made from ticket sales.