European Club Explores Continent’s Culture

Joel Rakhamimov ’20 [left] hosts Jeopardy on Swedish culture as members discuss answers.  Photo Credit: Ronith Mudhuganti

Joel Rakhamimov ’20 [left] hosts Jeopardy on Swedish culture as members discuss answers. Photo Credit: Ronith Mudhuganti


By RONITH MUDHUGANTI and IVAN LEE

Greeks, Italians, Russians, Scandanavians: Midwood has them all! The European culture club teaches the histories and cultures of European nations in a fun and exciting way Wednesdays during period 10.

“I think it is a wonderful opportunity for students to broaden their horizons and relax in an environment that is less structured,” said Mr. Max Pinsky, the club advisor.

Anthony Lekakis ’20, a co-founder and the president of the club, said, “Our mission is to teach other people about new cultures and expose them to ideas that they wouldn’t have been exposed to otherwise.” 

The club started out as the Greek Club, focusing exclusively on Greek history. However, it changed this year to include a wider array of European cultures and have a greater reach.

“We founded the European Culture Club to succeed Greek Club in order to have a wider breadth of culture,” said Joel Rakhamimov ’20, co-founder and vice president of the club. 

Members learn about a new European nation for two meetings and participate in a Jeopardy-like game about that nation the following week. 

“My friends make the club enjoyable because they are people I know and who show interest in the topic at hand,” said Rakhamimov. “It is a friendly and casual environment and something I like to do whether I’m presenting or listening.”

Claire McErlaine ’20, an original member, said, “I have seen the club develop into a community of people who feel comfortable in the environment and are always having fun. The club is a great example of unity, development, and friendship.”

The club also participates in many community service events, including volunteering at soup kitchens and helping the homeless. 

“So far, we have gone to the Sean Casey Animal Rescue Center, participated in the midnight run to distribute food to the homeless, and we’ve gone to Carroll Park three times,” said Lekakis.

Rakhamimov said, “Once during a park event, there was a kid’s handball stuck on a high ledge on the park house, so we had to get two members to lift another guy to get it.” 

The European Culture Club community is a close-knit group founded on trust and loyalty. However, new members can fit in easily and are warmly welcomed.

“The thing I love about being a leader is that I learn as much as the members do,” said Lekakis. “It’s been such a journey these last three years, learning how to lead. The best way I can describe it is teaching others while they teach me. I learn how to adjust my style to accommodate new members or a larger membership. Every club meeting teaches me something new.”

 Mohammad Mustafa ’20, a fellow member, said, “I joined [the club] because I didn’t have too many friends freshman year, and I ended up meeting a lot of cool people.”

Mr. Pinsky said, “European Culture Club is a great opportunity to enrich your high school career. I’ve really enjoyed seeing people make connections between cultures and understand how things in the past have influenced how things are today. We encourage you to come check us out.”

If you’re interested in joining European Culture Club, come to Room 346A Wednesday period 10.


FeaturesCasey Levinson