Beauty of Culture
A couple of weeks ago was "Multicultural Day" at St. Mark's School, or the "Global Village School, as many of us like to call it (has students from forty-six countries around the world – refugees and immigrants!). Students were encouraged to wear their native clothing, and venues were set up around the school, each highlighting and teaching about a different culture (Japanese, Filipino, Ukrainian, etc.). Lucky me – I toured around with them, tasted Chilean bread and Japanese sushi, learned a traditional Filipino dance, how to make an origami samurai helmet and use an atlatl, as well as some traditional greetings in various languages! Paola, our Chilean "teacher," described to us what it was like walking in the orchards behind her house, and picking avocadoes, peaches, and abundance of other fresh fruit (very impressive for us to hear – as there was still snow outside the doors at this time!).
In the afternoon, our school enjoyed a gala celebration, as all children, in their traditional garb, processed into the gym, followed by many different dances and musical performances. The color and diversity was spectacular! And what joy! What a wonderful world we have!
Seeing the pride in the eyes of the students, performers, as they shared their culture, as well as the sense of joy created in celebrating the diversity, it is easy to see why culture helps us be fully alive, to enjoy being human. It reminds me that I, too, want to know more about the traditions of my ethnic background (besides whist!).
Today's responsorial psalm read: "The Lord takes delight in his people."
We can take part in this delight when we share and celebrate our culture.