Written by Jyoti, staff member, Woodlawn Public Library
People relate to cultures through interactions and experiences, not just books. As the communities around us become more and more diverse, as part of Culture Days 2018, opens a new window, we at Woodlawn Public Library wanted to showcase different aspects of multiculturalism through live performances, interactive displays, and delicious food.
Being a first generation immigrant to Canada myself, I always find I’m interested in many other cultures and wonder how I can best learn about them. It was nice to see parents coming to the event table with little kids and explaining different cultural facts to them while the kids were holding and touching the art objects on display.
In planning the event, we reached out to different organizations and individuals to get the ball rolling. Some of the organizations and individuals we contacted were the Confucius Institute at St. Mary’s University, opens a new window, ViBeat Dance Studio, opens a new window, Greene School of Irish Dancing, Bhangra dancers from Dalhousie University, Korean drummers, The Maritime Centre for African Dance, opens a new window, and Persian dancers. We also did some display tables representing different cultures and some food samplings.
All in all, it was a beautiful mix of colourful dancing and musical instruments from around the world.
This was our second year of doing a Cultural Showcase event. A lot of people have been asking about it ever since the first one. After the event, I received such positive feedback from community members. One attendee shared that she was blown away by the performances and that she feels really proud to be a part of Woodlawn Public Library. A few other patrons told me that we need to do more programs like this, with a focus on representing diversity and cultures. We absolutely will continue to work to reflect and celebrate our community.