Posted on February 2, 2016
Students come every day into our building and head to class but since January 1st the halls, the ceilings, the walls, the doorways, the window ledges, everywhere you look there is something new!
There is a reason to stop and look and to appreciate before heading to class. We are celebrating our diversity, celebrating that all the students here come from some other place in the world, with languages and customs unique to that country.
The bare tree in the entry is now decorated with snowflakes, each in a different language represented by a current student, saying “hello” and “thank you.” The hall ceilings have flags from home countries, the walls have articles of clothing contributed by students – clothing that is ablaze with color, intricate patterns, delicate stitching. Decorative fabrics are draped throughout, as well as baskets, drums, wooden calendars, and numerous other objects of art, displayed for all to see.
Cultural Day at LIS started almost 20 years ago and began as an end of the year party. The staff provided all the food and suggested that the students dress in clothing native to their home countries. There were decorations and lots food and time to celebrate. Soon, students asked to bring food that they enjoyed and everyone learned what a treat it was. The decorations originally were those already on display in the building. Now students have more of a role, an ownership in the day – all adding to the enjoyment.
Celebrating earlier, like in the middle of dreary days in winter, has been a welcome change this year. What hasn’t changed is the opportunity to experience through food, atmosphere and laughter and good conversation what a wonderful group of people are gathered within our walls each year and what a privilege it is to take the time to share.