© Christopher Gooding
With the colourful attire of his native Mexico in the backdrop, Alex Ramirez’s presentation on his cultural background revealed many similarities with Canadian customs during Spring Street Academy’s Multicultural Day on Friday.
AMHERST – In their third offering dedicated to diversity, the Spring Street Academy added culture to their class.
The school hosted its third Multicultural Day in as many years, bringing the diversity of the community into the school and highlighted First Nations, Canadian-African, Australian, Scottish, Mexican cultures with demonstrations attributed to the Far East.
The Chignecto Central Regional School Board has a mandate to promote diversity, Grade 3 teacher Cheryl Davis said, and the Multicultural Day has been the school’s own initiative to meet the mandate.
“We understand it important to promote other cultures and create awareness of what’s in our own community, so many of the presenters here today are from the community,” Davis said. “We have between 13 and 15 presenters this morning and this afternoon we’ll have an Acadian concert.”
Students moved from classroom to classroom to learn about cultures both hereditary and adopted. Martial artists David Pyke and Jim Ripley don’t hail from Okinawa or Korea, but instead have adopted positive aspects of those cultures into their own lives, specifically Shotokan karate and Taekwondo.
Alex Ramirez hails from Mexico and with his culture comes both similarities and differences to Canadian traditions and living. Students had the opportunity to question Ramirez about everything from holidays to transportation in the Americas fifth-largest nation to the economy and how as consumers we can support another nation from afar.
“I’d say people here in Canada don’t think too much about where things are from because they assume they will flip something over and read ‘Made in China.’ I always look for ‘Made In Canada’ because it’s important to me to support Canada,” Ramirez told students. “I also look for ‘Made In Mexico’ to support my home’s economy, too.”
Davis said the connection students develop during Multicultural Day goes a long way to expanding their understanding of their community and the world abroad. For the small in-school committee that has put on the event for three years now, it has been a rewarding effort.
“The students really do learn a lot about their own culture and community,” Davis said. “For us, it’s been fantastic.”