New Hall Elders Celebrate First Culture Day

A boarding school in Essex celebrated its senior premier division culture day last week.

more than 50 New School Hall students, representing 20 countries, taught their peers and teachers basic facts about their home countries, as well as insight into their respective cultures.

Students created playlists of favorite music from their countries – resulting in a vast array of dances and songs in many different languages ​​– while enjoying everything from learning the Japanese language to Chinese calligraphy, from Ghanaian and Spanish games to Nigerian snacks.

Students from Kenya, Cameroon, Nigeria, Ghana and Sierra Leone would be especially happy to participate in such an event during Black History Month.

The idea for a day of cultural exchange and celebration originally came from Tianna Yagnik and was quickly picked up by her peers in grade 13.

They held a culture day at the preparatory divisions ahead of the summer break, before repeating the formula at last week’s seniors event.

Culture day was filled with a wide variety of dances

“I was representing India, but I felt like I was part of every culture,” Tianna said.

“A day like this makes you realize how connected everyone is through culture – seeing people discovering their friends’ countries and dancing to traditional music. Everyone felt included and seen through this celebration.

Katherine Jeffrey, the school principal, was one of those trying her hand at writing Chinese characters – not to mention taking a quiz on Jamaican knowledge and learning Spanish dance moves.

“I was a principal for 20 years, but it never ceases to amaze me how excited our students are to contribute to our school community,” she said.

“I see hundreds of students and teachers coming to learn and celebrate the culture of their peers, and it all started with a handful of eager 13th graders with a brilliant idea.”

Main photo: Ghanaian, Romanian and Moldovan students celebrate Culture Day


Read more: Launching new materials to help teach black history

Helen D. Jessen