Bring The World Together


Andrea Mocevic

“If we cannot now end our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity.” – John F. Kennedy.

Growing up, telling people I’m Bosnian-Serb never went the way I planned. For instance, many would assume I was from Siberia, or they would start telling me what they thought to be the history of my country. However, many people don’t know that both of my parents moved to America during one of many terrible wars of a nation once called Yugoslavia.

I still find it difficult to live so far away from the rest of my family members I have lost a great deal of my culture, but am so grateful that my parents have helped my brother and I stay connected through Serbian churches and select aspects of my lifestyle. I remember when I was 7 and joined the traditional kolo dance group and learned to recite poems in Serbian.

Many times in elementary school I would come to school with “weird” lunches and kids would just question why I would even be eating that or bringing it to school. Heaven forbid I would have to say my parents names in school, kids would look at me confused children would poke fun when they found out I spoke Serbian at home.

“What do you mean your family doesn’t live here? Where even is Bosnia?” The questions and judgmental eyes would often make me feel alienated. Growing up, all I wanted was to fit in.

As for today, I know I am not alone. Many students at Grandview can relate to not having enough culture or diversity in our school, which leads to the lack of knowledge or understanding of other students.

Here’s the issue, not only are some Americans ignorant to cultural differences and their respective issues, but most don’t make an effort to educate themselves.  It’s not like we can immerse ourselves in all of these cultures ourselves, so being open to learning about the different cultures can make a big difference.

Although Grandview has some diversity, the school fails to be an accurate representation of all types of people

Unfortunately, many students lack the ability to understand multiple cultural backgrounds; I hope to bring forward a way that Grandview can celebrate all cultures and diversity, but it will be a challenge since we do live in the middle of Colorado in a large suburb division.

“I think it is detrimental ignorance where it is derived from the way you were raised, it is more around the way they grew up and wanted to be exposed when compared to others,” said senior, Tenzing Sherpa.

This is of course accurate, students need to be open to all aspects of all different cultures. However, since the students and teachers notice the lack of diversity or cultures, we should do something.

“I’ll compare [Grandview] to Overland, it’s a pretty diverse school on certain aspects of being an immigrant or having immigrant parents whereas here it’s harder to connect with other kids,” said senior Naomi Berhanu.

Personally, I think students need to start being uncomfortable. It is an important part of life to be uncomfortable. Being put into situations where you are exposed to something new is how people will learn and grow as individuals. It’s part of becoming an adult.

“I think students find more comfort in places where they see more like themselves…I mean I will surround myself with diverse people. Grandview does have a group of diverse kids, you just have to find them,” senior Siddharth Nair added.

I know students are noticing these issues, so why doesn’t our school do something about it?

For example, in France, they have a week educating students about racism. Why don’t we do the same? Taking these uncomfortable topics and implementing them into our social study classes or clubs would help our students learn how to deal with other people and accept them for their different backgrounds.

“I think AP World really shines a light on like how racism is still alive today, and we need more classes like that, so it’s available to all students to make them more conscious to the world around them,” said Berhanu.

I’ve been very prideful about where I come from, I would always be proud of posting pictures of me while wearing traditional clothing. It also helps that my friends love seeing that side of me.

Since we live in America, it really shouldn’t be difficult to express different cultures and countries because there are so many immigrants that live in America from all over the world.

“When people do want to educate themeless on other cultures, they have to do it on their own, but if the school provided the education to everyone, it would help see everyone as equal and aware of other cultures,” said Berhanu.

While some  students have the money and time in their life to travel and gain that unique opportunity to interact with others from all over, most high schoolers are limited to the people they see every day. As a community we have failed to express and accept all cultures.

One step in the right direction would be to encourage  self-expression in the form of traditional dress and rituals.

“I’ve been very prideful about where I come from, I would always be proud of posting pictures of me while wearing traditional clothing. It also helps that my friends love seeing that side of me,” said senior Nadeema Safi, who loves to express her Afghan culture.

For one, all of the students stay connected through friends who are also from the same region, watching movies, listening to music or even just visiting.

However, there are still so many prejudices and preconceived notions about different cultures that prevent us from having an open mindset.

“It bothers me that people hear ‘Afghanistan’ and automatically assume the worst. It’s a beautiful country with lots of hardworking people trying to make ends meet for their families,” said Safi.

It saddens me to hear that many people have these assumptions about places in the world due to relying heavily on headlines and hear-say. Undoubtedly, all over the world, people need to educate themselves before making claims about countries that they “talked about in history class that one time” or “saw the news, and they said this.”

“We go to one of the best schools academically and athletically but the way we are developed [needs work]”. Said Sherpa when asked how we can better diversity at Grandview.

Every human should strive to learn or explore all sorts cultures or countries. I am not saying that we should or realistically could all become experts on every culture of the world, but having an open mind and peaked interest in the things we can learn from others is beneficial for the future in any job and it just allows a better environment  where all people can connect on their shared interest of happy lives.