Students, parents and faculty of the got the chance to go all around the world in just two hours on Thursday evening as part of their second annual Multi-Cultural Festival.
The Ardena Parent Teacher Association sponsored this event that brought out nearly 400 people from across the area. At the event there were 12 tables set up throughout the cafeteria and hallways devoted to specific countries. Tables were organized to honor countries like Mexico, Germany, Ireland, Guatemala, Italy, Greece, Poland, India, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Hungary and Trinidad/Tobago.
According to the festival chairperson of the event, Janet Schindler, this event was organized last year, and has a great deal of importance to the Ardena School community. “This is the only school in the district that has English as a Second Language students, so we were quite happy to hold this fair here once again,” she said.
Schindler explained that every table featured a specific food item that is found in each country, as well as a poster board that shows off some specific examples of what is found in each country.
Along with these facts, students who came to the fair had the chance to play a scavenger hunt where they had to go to every table and answer one question about each country. These facts included capitals of each location, or an example of food found at each land. Answering a fact right would get the students a sticker of the flag of the country from a specific table. Those who were able to complete their charts were then able to win a prize.
Schindler noted this event was free to the public thanks to fundraising efforts of the local community, and she added she was thrilled that not just faculty were involved in the proceedings, but many parents and friends took time to take part in this event as well.
“We love helping out at this event,” said parent Sharon Lines, who worked at the Greece table. She noted her table showed off various aspects of Greek life, including the importance of religion and superstitions to this particular culture.
Tables for this event featured a wide variety of crafts as well. At the Guatemala table, students had the chance to make “worry dolls,” little toys that they could tell their troubles to, put them under their pillow, and their problems would go away. This was similar to the Greece table, where students were able to make “worry beads,” a necklace those students could grip to let their problems go away.
Various toys were on display as well, with the Hungary table showing off the Rubik’s Cube, invented by Hungarian Erno Rubik. The Indian table displayed one of its many claims to fame, a chess set, for a game that originated in India.
Those at the event also had the opportunity to sample cuisine native to those specific areas. The Italian table was quite popular, with pizza and lasagna available for everyone to share. The Mexican table was also quite a hit, with tacos and enchiladas available for everyone to try.
As part of the event, everyone assembled in the auditorium for a myriad of cultural performances. Classical dances from India, France, Israel and Russia were performed, followed by the kindergarten through fifth grade students coming together to perform “It’s a Small World.”
Second grade Ardena School teacher Rebecca Intrabartolo, who helped out with the Ireland themed table, said she enjoyed working at this event, and was happy to spread her knowledge of Ireland to everyone at this fair.
“This is a great event for our students, showing them how many different cultures are out there,” she said. “It’s also a great chance for children to learn all about their ancestors throughout the world as well.”