International Teachers Showcase Culture at Local Event
Two international Spanish teachers from Charlotte East Language Academy joined forces to share their cultures and learn from others at the Festival of Nations, a multicultural event hosted by Steele Creek Church in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Festival of Nations
Amid a sea of flags and tents, people hold colorful posters and plates of food. The aroma of rich spices fills the air along with the sounds of world music, laughter, and lively conversations.
Participants in the Festival of Nations experienced all this and more this past October.
The Festival of Nations is a multicultural event hosted by Steele Creek Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. At the event, members from more than 20 nations gathered to celebrate their community’s diversity. They shared their homelands through food, music, traditional clothing, educational displays, and discussions, culminating in an international parade.
Two members of the Educational Partners International (EPI) exchange visitor program joined forces to share their cultures and learn from others. Both Spanish Immersion teachers at Charlotte East Language Academy, Camila Gonzalez represented her home country of Chile while Maria Cerezo represented Mexico.
Members of exchange visitor programs like EPI have the unique opportunity to share and trade cultural knowledge during their stays in the USA. Community events like the Festival of Nations embody this spirit of cultural exchange.
Setting Up for Success
Preparing and implementing such an event can be stressful and daunting. However, Maria and Camila make it sound easy. Here are the accounts of their experience:
How did you prepare for this event?
“In advance, I prepared the dress, the decorations, the photographs, and everything that I was going to show. The day of the event, I arrived early to help set up and decorate,” Maria recounted.
Camila implemented technology for her presentation. “For my activity I prepared a PowerPoint presentation with some relevant aspects of my country and culture.”
What did you do during the event?
Camila mingled with the diverse participants while comparing and contrasting cultures. “I walked and talked with different people while I was sharing my culture. I showed them my national costume and flag and what each color represents. We recorded a video with other teachers from different countries and shared this with the present community.”
Maria shared and sampled delicious food from around the world. “Participants tried Mexican food such as mole, tamales, and meat tacos. I tried food from other countries and learned about their culture.”
Creating and Strengthening Community
Sharing and relating our different cultures with others greatly impacts our community. By openly sharing our differences, we oddly find how similar we all are. Local cultural events like the Festival of Nations are a fantastic way for international teachers to conduct cross-cultural activities while also meeting other diverse people in the community!