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Lake Grove students take virtual excursion to India


Cultural Travel program highlights India this year

by: VERN UYETAKE - Third-grader Talya Clopton learns about where India is on the globe from parent Gayathri Iyer.Lake Grove Elementary students took a virtual tour of India last week through the annual Culture Travel program put on by parent volunteers. Each year parents create a hands on exhibit which affords students an opportunity to submerge themselves in the culture of a country. This year the students learned about India’s food, art, sports, religion, clothing, geography, history and other aspects of life.

“It’s an amazing exhibit,” said Principal Carol Whitten.

Students were able to sample several traditional dishes, including peas pulao, naan, onion pakora, mint chutney, dal makhani and gulab jumun, a sweet dish. They learned that spices are used in the cuisine in many forms: whole, chopped, ground, roasted, sautéed, fried and as a topping and that curry is not a spice, but a blend of several spices.

Students had an opportunity to create rangoli, colorful traditional folk art made out of color chalk or colored rice. The art pieces are considered good luck and reflect tradition, cultural and religious beliefs and are created on living room floors or in courtyards during festivals and other celebrations. by: VERN UYETAKE - From left, Adrianna Mabin, Evan McDonald and Charlotte Marquez create a rangoli, a form of traditional Indian folk art.

Students learned that soccer is as popular in India as it is in the United States and that children there also enjoyed playing field hockey, cricket, tennis and chess.

by: VERN UYETAKE - Parent Karen Chi explains to students what you would find in a typical Indian home.During an all school assembly the students were introduced to Bharathanatyam, a classical dance of southern India, by the students of Kalabharathi School of Dance. Dancing with the group was Priya Judge, a Lake Oswego High School freshman and playing with the accompanying Sankara Drumming Group was Hari Iyer, a former Lake Grove student who now attends Lake Oswego Junior High sixth grader.

Whitten said that a number of Lake Grove families are of Indian descent and that made the program particularly exciting for the school community.by: VERN UYETAKE - Jada Bell, a student in fourth grade, enjoys sampling Indian food.

“They are so proud to share their culture,” she said. “Learning about a friend’s culture is what will make it stick with them.”

The parent association works with the World Affairs Council at Portland State University. They encourage other schools to use the exhibit at their schools. To learn more about the Cultural Travel program call Lake Grove Elementary at 503-534-2357.