Hawthorne Elementary celebrates their International Festival


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — It’s a small world after all, so small, in fact, they were able to fit it all into one KELOLAND elementary school.

Even though the students spent the entire day in school their minds got a first class trip across the globe.

Their trip began in the gymnasium where they were treated to stories and dances from various cultures.

“I love this day because this is the day where we learn about different cultures, we learn to talk to people, we understand what they bring to this country and, more than assimilation, we believe in integration of different cultures,” Hawthorne Elementary School Liaison Poormima Dsouza said.

Once they were let into the halls, their imaginations were able to take flight. Each grade level transformed into a different part of the world.

“So the grades prepare something, like in fifth grade we do North America, second grade you do Asia and you prepare something. And, so you go to different classes to see what they’ve done and so in some classes you might eat something. In other classes you might play games,” Second-grader Chhitij Subba said.

Offering them unique experiences through each doorway.

“I went to India… um… Africa and, like, part of Antarctica,” One student said.

And left quite an interesting *taste in their mouths.

“In Australia they eat a type of bread, butter, and sprinkles, they called it ‘flavor bread…’ I don’t like it very much, but I wouldn’t say it tastes disgusting but just… eh,” Subba said.

“I didn’t know, at first, Henna was a plant and then they made it into stuff that they could put tattoos on people,” One student said.

Getting the chance to “visit” these various parts of the world shows them just how big it truly is.

“The demographics are really changing. Earlier, it was more of a European decent and today we have people from all over the world: Asia, Africa, North America, Canada, Southeast Asia, so this is a nice time where we can learn about other cultures and understand what everything is all about,” Dsouza said.

But confining it to a small space not only allows for them to see vast differences and also see the many similarities.

“The world is one family… it means to me that the world is just one… everybody is the world is just one whole… like one whole person and one whole being, and nobody is separating any of the ways,” Subba said. 

They have this festival once every year; taking the time to celebrate each other and the earth that we all share.

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