Roselaida Lekoringo shows how many the children at the Library how to make a African tribal mask out of paper. The children got to choose their own desing when maing their masks. Photo by Megan Roth

Celebrating diverse cultures at the Eckville Library.

The Central Alberta Refugee Effort came to the libray July 20 to teach children about other cultures

The Eckville Library welcomed three presenters who shared their cultures and traditions with the participants of the Summer Reading Program.

The Eckville Library partnered with the Central Alberta Refugee Effort (C.A.R.E.) to bring three women from three different countries to the library to share with the children.

C.A.R.E. came to the library with crafts and information ready for the children about China, Tanzania and Pakistan.

Sadia Khan, the program coordinator with C.A.R.E. said she was very excited to bring these presentation to the children at the library.

“Its a great opportunity for the kids here to learn about other places and to see first hand about other cultures,” Khan said.

Each of the presenters, Mei Yu from China, Roselaida Lekoringo from Tanzania and Marya Ullah from Pakistan had books, crafts and pieces of their home country to share with the 13 students present at the program on July 20.

Library Manager Carol Griner said the children were very curious about the three women and their cultures.

“In Eckville we don’t often get to meet people from such vastly different cultures. This is giving the kids a chance to learn more about their country and world around them,” said Griner.

The children learned about clothing, special holidays, art, weather and even some writing from the three countries.

When learning about China, Yu laugh the children about the Chinese Zodiac while helping them create a rooster mask for the Year of the Rooster and a Chinese fan. She also showed the children how to spell their name in Mandarin.

“In China we put our sir name, our family name first before out given name,” Yu explained to the children.

The children learned about Tanzania while making an African Tribal Mask and reading from books. Many asked questions about the country and the type of food eaten in Tanzania.

“We have doughnuts in Tanzania as well, though ours are a little different from the ones here,” Lekoringo told the group.

Many of the participants were shocked to discover the people in Tanzania do not eat snow cones.

Everyone seems excited and curious about Pakistan. Ullah brought along with her items that are worn for a special occasion such as Eid, which is a Muslim religious holiday.”

“Eid is like Christmas for us, only we celebrate twice a year,” she explained.

Griner said she was excited to see the children actively participate in the presentations and the crafts.

Children are curious and want to know more, having these presenters helped them learn more about the world outside of Eckville.

“I think this has taught them to be more open-minded,” said Griner. “In the future when they people people from other places they will know they are just good people and there is no reason to be afraid or judgmental.”

Khan echoed Griner’s words, saying she believed the children participating in the program would be more accepting as they grey.

“It’s important to share and teach about each other, and these kids are really eager and excited to learn,” said Khan.

C.A.R.E. came to the Eckville Library as part of the the Summer Reading Program. Griner hopes to be able to get a few books in for the children to read about the countries represented by the presenters.

The Summer Reading Program runs every Thursday at the library until Aug. 17.

 

Marya Ullah shows some of the children at the library where to find Pakistan on a globe. She explained to them how small Pakistan is compared to Canada and how far away it is. Photo by Megan Roth