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Friday, 26 October 2012 10:45

Central School's Multicultural Dinner was a colourful success

Written by  Jessi Gowan
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For the past five years, students at Central School have been making it a point to welcome newcomers to the community and to the school with a multicultural dinner. The dinner showcases homemade dishes from various cultures, as well as traditional song and dance performances by the students as well as guests.

This year’s event took place Oct. 18.
“Our dinner is a potluck, and we invite all of our Central School families to come along and bring a dish. Since we do have quite a few multicultural families, they bring a dish that is specific to their country, and that makes it even more special,” explained organizer Celia Hammerton, who teaches music at Central School. “Mainly, the families we see are from Korea, the Phillippines, and Columbia, so there is quite a bit of diversity at the school. This is a great way to allow everybody to have a greater understanding of other cultures, and to respect them as well.”
Hammerton first had the idea for the event about six years ago, as a way to welcome new families to the community. She wanted to involve food, because traditional dishes are such an important aspect of culture. The food at the event has always been exceptional, and the performers add to the evening as well.
“There is such diversity in our community as a whole, and we have a lot of great people who come out and showcase their talents,” noted Hammerton. “We had a retired singing teacher whose family is from Norway sing some Norwegian songs, and we had Louise Perrin from Nova Scotia play the spoons and bones for us.”
The entertainment is varied, and includes the students as well. They also performed multicultural music and did some line dancing. It's a great opportunity for them to learn something new, and learn more about each other.
“The students absolutely love it,” Hammerton said. “I think the parents and families enjoy it as well, but the students just get so excited about it. They look forward to it every year.”
While the event does take quite a bit of preparation, Hammerton has a lot of support from students and staff. She feels that the organization and setup for the event is well worth it, considering the positive reactions she sees from everyone who attends.
“We had a lot of multicultural families attend this year, and a number of them were new to the school – this is a great way to get them involved and feeling like a part of our school community,” she explained. “It's also a great way to showcase some of the other groups within the community, so that both parents and kids learn about the other cultural events and groups Swift Current has to offer.”

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