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Deer Creek families learn first-hand about other cultures

International cultural event features fun, food, dancing and entertainment


by: BARBARA SHERMAN - TAKE A BOW - A group of Deer Creek students takes a bow after performing several Mexican dances in front of the student body Feb. 28 before the evening performance in front of parents.Deer Creek held its first international cultural event in a long time the last week in February, starting with parents of Deer Creek students from Iran and Iraq talking to the student body about their cultures.

During an all-school assembly Feb. 28, dancers from Mexico, Laos and Congo performed local dances from their countries followed by some good old American classics when students were invited to come onstage and dance the hokey pokey and Macarena.

That evening, children entered the school with a passport and were instructed to visit four stations to be able to enter into a drawing for a prize.

The stations contained artifacts from the World Affairs Council that featured the following countries: Iran, Iraq, Mexico, El Salvador, Germany, Puerto Rico, China, Japan, Italy and the continent of Africa.

There were also stations for making flags, getting henna tattoos, sitting inside a Japanese teahouse, looking at grade-level projects, dressing up in costumes from around the world for a photo, playing Mexican bingo and tasting plenty of food from the featured countries.

Finally, the dancers returned to perform at 7 p.m., this time with parents joining in the dancing onstage.

"It was a very fun night with over 250 in attendance," said Maria Copelan, a Deer Creek teacher who teaches English language development to kindergarteners through fifth-graders. "It is a joy to see parents of all cultures coming together to learn about each other."