|
|
|
The Carthage Press
  • Culture night at CJHS draws rave reviews

  • Annie Johnson learned how to write her name in Arabic, Daffol Ott taught students how to speak a few German phrases and Juan Lopez was happy to speak about his native Guatemala.


    • email print
      Comment
  • Annie Johnson learned how to write her name in Arabic, Daffol Ott taught students how to speak a few German phrases and Juan Lopez was happy to speak about his native Guatemala.
    By all accounts, Tuesday’s second annual We Celebrate Culture night at Carthage Junior High was a smashing success with approximately 600 people attending.
    The event, coordinated by the junior high social studies department, featured information and dress from 15 different countries and plenty of foreign food for students and community members alike to experience.
    “This is a unique opportunity to learn about other cultures,” said Johnson, a seventh grader. “I learned how to write my name in Arabic. I learned about the Indian culture. We have learned a lot about these places so it’s cool.”
    Social studies classes began doing cultural activities like food tastings four years ago, which in turn became an evening event for parents and students to attend. Last year the event was opened to the public, and it keeps growing, according to world geography instructor Sherryle Jones.
    “These are all people who live in the Carthage area, who have made Carthage their home, except for the foreign exchange students,” Jones said. “I don’t think people realize how many different cultures there are in our town. We’ve got people living here from Romania, from Indonesia and from Macronesia.”
    The list goes on, as those cultures and more were featured on Tuesday. Three foreign exchange students manned tables about Germany, Russia and Italy. Ott, who also attended the event last year, said she sees interest growing.
    “The kids are coming and they’re asking us to speak some German to them,” she said. “They want to learn some phrases in German, which is really fun for me. I’m really impressed with all the different foods the people are bringing. I think it’s wonderful for the kids to realize there’s another world out there and learn from this.”
    All four grandparent’s on her father’s side emigrated to the U.S. from Germany, Ott said, and she and her husband lived in Germany for six years, where they “walked the streets that they walked and went to the courthouse and found their birth certificates, death certificates, marriage records.”
    “It was very interesting,” she said.
    The event began at 5 p.m. and lasted for two hours. By 6 p.m., more than 500 people had stopped by. Lopez, who moved here from Guatemala in the 1990’s, enjoyed the chance to teach others about his culture.
    “I didn’t have a chance to do this when I was growing up, so this is good for me to show this to my kids,” he said.
    Lopez is already thinking about next year’s event, and how to make it bigger and better.
    Page 2 of 2 - “I’m happy to be here,” he said. “I’ll be here every year they ask me to.”
    Lopez wasn’t the only one looking ahead.
    “I’ve had several of the presenters say, ‘Next year I’m going to …’” Jones said. “I think it’s wonderful. It’s gotten people in the community to get involved with the kids and interact with our students.”

        calendar