Local kung fu student Meng Liu leads a group of students from King George School through a few movements during Friday’s Culture Day. (BRUCE BUMSTEAD/BRANDON SUN)
Jocelyn Rodriguez Eacalante and her partner Erick Sorto perform a traditional Salvadoran dance during the Culture Day celebration at King George School on Friday. (BRUCE BUMSTEAD/BRANDON SUN)
Local kung fu students give a demonstration at King George School on Friday morning. (BRUCE BUMSTEAD/BRANDON SUN)
King George School hosted a day of cultural celebration — featuring everything from Chinese scroll writing to highland dancing.
The kindergarten-to-Grade 8 school has quite a diverse student population, with children hailing from around the world — including El Salvador, Cuba, Colombia, China, Ukraine and across Africa.
"We have so many talented kids… with all kinds of backgrounds that we wanted to showcase their talents and share it with the rest of the school and the community," said principal Dave Lim.
This is the second annual Culture Day, and this year it also included an evening program for parents on Thursday.
"We had a full house, so I’m guessing … 300 people," Lim said.
Ethiopian drumming, Métis music and dances from India, Ukraine, Philippines, Colombia and El Salvador were all part of the program.
"The face of Brandon has changed so much in the last few years, and that’s something that we’re celebrating," Lim said. "The kids here get along and they appreciate each other’s culture, and we want to promote that."
Throughout the day yesterday, students rotated to eight different stations, which included aboriginal jingle dress demonstrations, Korean violin and piano, Australian aboriginal dot art, and a martial arts demonstration.
Claudia Rodriguez, a Grade 8 student from Cuba, was part of the Spanish dancing station.
"We’re doing different dances, like salsa dancing … I did some singing, just entertaining people and having fun," Rodriguez said.
Traditional clothing, food and music were showcased, with enthusiastic students taking it all in.
"I really think this is awesome," Rodriguez said. "Canada as a whole is becoming a really, really diverse country, and it’s so cool because you have people from all over the world."
Grade 5 student Mistre Tiferi performed a traditional dance from her home country of Ethiopia.
"I’m so happy," Tiferi said. "I like showing my culture for everybody. I share my culture so they can know it."
Rob Boyd, English as an Additional Language teacher, said it’s great to see the confidence in the students after they share their own cultural traditions.
"Kids that normally in the classroom are so quiet, and won’t come forward … now they’re on that stage," Boyd said.
"We just want to build good, independent people … build their confidence, to make them know that people from other countries are equal and everybody’s the same."
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition April 14, 2012