Washington parents and child in traditional dress host Poland table at Multicultural Festival on April 23.

April 23, 2022 - 

The gymnasium at Washington Elementary School was recently transformed into a colorful multicultural festival, as students and their families made a trip around the globe to learn about the traditions of the many countries represented.

“There were 21 countries with wonderful crafts, food, and lessons in language and geography -- all with good humor, joy, and creativity,” said Nicole Ozturan and Aparna Suresh who, with the help of many other Washington parents, organized the event on April 23.  “This was our first annual event but hopefully it will become a tradition. We distributed 150 ‘passports’ and the kids and their families toured the world.”

 In planning the well-attended festival, families were invited to “celebrate our multiculturalism and build a foundation of belonging and acceptance,” with “anyone with a love of a particular country/culture” encouraged to host a table.  Countries represented at the festival included Ukraine, Poland, Turkey, Israel, Ireland, South Korea, China, Greece, India, Ecuador, Afghanistan, Italy, England, Canada, Trinidad and Tobago, and many others.

“It was a great example of the diversity and sense of community that exist in Westfield schools,” Ozturan added.

Washington principal Dr. Andrew Perry agreed:  “The exhibits, native dress, music, craft projects, and giveaways that were ready for the students, along with getting your ‘passport’ stamped, were all very exciting.”