International Week: Serbian Club

Wyatt Zwik

By Sarah Waters, Staff Writer

Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of International Week stories about ethnic clubs to highlight the diversity of Niles West.

Serbian Club has long been an integral part of the Niles West cultural scene. As one of the largest cultural clubs at school, they welcome any student who enjoys celebrating Serbian traditions, holidays, and food. This International Week, the club is taking the opportunity to showcase their favorite parts of Serbian culture through traditional dancing at International Night and preparing delicious food during lunch periods.

“My favorite part of being involved in Serbian Club is being able to get involved in the school and get to know other people while also embracing my culture,” vice president of the club and senior Andrijana Sajic said.

The club also focuses on fundraising and volunteer work, both here in the United States and in Serbia. Members feel the best way to honor their culture is to give back to both communities that are close to them.

Serbian Club has previously donated to orphanages in Serbia, organizing fundraisers and developing leadership skills that come from banding together. In the past, they’ve been interested in connecting with students and churches in Serbia to further their connections back home. This year, they have plenty more endeavors on the docket, proof the club focuses on giving back.

“We have bake sales throughout the year to donate to organizations in Serbia, and we also will be volunteering at a food pantry later this year,” Sajic said.

Many who see the club’s efforts are quick to commend their activities. Junior Kaitlin Almalbis was complimentary of the club’s efforts on International Night.

“Every cultural club that decides to partake takes months to prepare for the night. Everyone works hard to prepare for that one day, and our efforts are shown,” Almalbis said.

The club makes a strong, lasting impression, especially on the club’s sponsors.

“My favorite thing about the Niles West Serbian Club is how much the club has grown over the past several years and the bond the students have developed,” club sponsor Milena Duric said. “We are honored to have been contacted by local schools who wish to begin a Serbian Club with interest in what we do, particularly International Week. The senior members of the club also steer freshmen to join Serbian Club to have a place of belonging and support.”

The club meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays, rooms vary.