Open's Culture Day: A Celebration of Families

This celebration of cultures and families is one of the most anticipated days of the year at Open School. One definition of "culture" is the arts and other manifestations of human intellectual achievement regarded collectively. This includes the many ways families pass knowledge and traditions from one generation to another.  We often have extended relatives join us to lead in a group lesson about some of the activities they did when they were children.

Preparations begin weeks in advance.  All participants have the option to dress in cultural attire.

Open's Culture Day usually starts with an assembly that showcases performances from a particular culture.  The rest of the day is led by parents and family members, who work in coordination with teachers and staff, to share their family's cultural traditions with children in their child's cluster. Each small group of students is introduced to at least six or seven cultures on this day.  In recent years parents have taught limbo dance, dreidel play, folk tales, Chinese calligraphy, origami, caber tossing, Irish dance, African drumming, playground games from the Bronx, folklorico dancing, rangoli and more.

Each cluster closes the day with a pot luck lunch with parents providing foods representing cuisines from the world over.

Open's Culture Day makes it possible for our children to see the diversity of their world at play in their school.  They learn first-hand how the unique traditions of our different cultural backgrounds can enrich our lives in wonderful ways.  The day is made most memorable, in a personal way, because children learn about different cultures from the families of their friends, building bonds as they celebrate differences.

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