Multicultural Week: African Day

A showing of the film Hotel Rwanda in Norse Hall marked the second day of multicultural week, African Day. Approximately fifty students showed up to the viewing, which was held in 5th and 6th period after lunch.

The movie depicts a hotel owner, Paul, who is caught amidst the genocide occurring in his country. The Hutus are the major “tribe” in Rwanda and were bitter over past conflicts with the Tutsi minority. Surprisingly, little foreign aid is offered to the small country and hundreds of thousands die before the massacres are completely stopped. Even UN involvement is reduced to a mere 300 peacekeeping troops worldwide.

Hotel Rwanda reinforces images and ideas from the Invisible Children movement, which has grown here at Irvington. The group is dedicated to preventing genocide and child soldiers in Africa by making and producing documentaries. Currently, wars in Darfur and Uganda plague and affect Africans every day.

The struggles in third-world countries around the world parallel the sophomore UN benchmark, which emphasizes and encourages global unity. Hopefully, some students will be able to connect their UN project with the real-life struggles of people in Africa.