Cultural Diversity Brings Families Together

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Ann MacArthur Primary School was transformed into an international café, complete with delectable dishes and student performances that brought the multipurpose room alive with family traditions.

The Locust Valley Elementary School Parents’ Council sponsored the annual International Food Festival for families to learn about each other’s cultures. Attendees brought dishes from their own cultures to share with others at the potluck dinner, and they ate on placemats decorated by students to represent a variety of countries. Art teacher Dana Ettinger worked with the students to design the placemats, many of which looked like the maps of the countries they represented.

Guests enjoyed watching students show off their skills in traditional dances from their own heritages. Greek, Irish and Sikh Indian dances not only entertained, but also impressed the crowd.   

Students eagerly lined up to get henna tattoos, known as mehndi in India, which are temporary designs that are created with a paste made from the dried leaves of a henna plant. 

The LVEPC worked to make the event inclusive of all the cultures represented within the Locust Valley elementary schools. Principal Dr. Sophia Gary said the International Food Festival brought the community together. 

“It was a beautiful night celebrating each other and learning about our differences and similarities,” she said.