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Draper Journal

Channing Hall students learn ‘It’s a small world after all’

Jun 30, 2022 08:54PM ● By Julie Slama

By Julie Slama | [email protected]

It was a world of art, games, dancing, traditions, culture and food.

Channing Hall’s international night was full of laughter and smiles as students and their families walked past cultural art projects in the main hallway to play an international game, such as Brazil’s Luto de Galo (Flight of the Rooster) or get a temporary henna tattoo, which is common in India and the Middle East.

Kimberly Meyers was watching some of her children, third-grader Brennon, second-grader Brielle and first-grader Ethan learn Japanese calligraphy and origami from the school’s child nutritionist, Yayoi Hoecherl.

“It’s super easy,” Ethan said after penning “dog” with the black ink.

Hoecherl said that in Japan, 6-year-olds are just starting to learn the 80 kanjis of the country’s three alphabets, hiragana, katakana, and kanji. During their primary schooling, they will learn more than 1,000 kanji.

She added that her country’s arts range from painting Japanese cherry blossoms to Pokémon.

Meyers said it was the family’s first time attending the school’s multicultural event.

“It’s a really cool experience for us to learn about the different cultures of their classmates and teachers who we see every day,” she said.

The whole family, including her other kids, sixth-grader Liam and preschooler Logan, planned to watch choir and grade-level performances ranging from strumming ukuleles to “Kookaburra” and “Waltzing Matilda.”

In addition to those groups, there were Irish and Polynesian dance performances, a taekwondo demonstration and an Italian aria by Felicia DuBois.

First-graders London Nadeau and Hannah Visic were excited to take part in the parade of nations. The girls had on their clothing from their Polish and Bosnian cultures as they cooled off in the 82-degree early May evening with a cool acai, made from berries typically found in South American rainforests.

“It gives us a chance to show others who we are and learn about our traditions,” said Hannah’s mother, Emira, who came to the United States at age 22.

London’s mother, Marta, came here at age seven.

“This is a night when we can see the diversity of all the different cultures; it’s pretty cool,” she said. “It’s a beautiful thing when your daughters make friends with people from around the world. It’s to be celebrated.”