Cultural Diversity at the Abbe
From the Desk of
Stephanie Hakes, Abbe Clubhouse Director of Education
Last month, Abbe Clubhouse members, staff, and parents celebrated the diversity of Flushing at our annual Cultural Celebration.
Our Culture Celebration started with a “global goodies” potluck, where members shared treats and small dishes representing the many cultures of Abbe families. Parents and staff served samples of Chinese dumplings and bubble tea, Empanadas and Arroz con Longaniza from the Dominican Republic, Indian samosas, and more to hungry members of each age group. Both the Teen and Junior Battles Chef teams prepared special dishes for the event; Teens made Mexican quesadillas and Caribbean meat pies and juniors prepared Antiguan salted cod fish with tomato stew. Yum!
Later, teens and juniors were treated to Brazilian Capoeira performances and workshops. Five dancers introduced the origins of this martial art and demonstrated special instruments, rhythmic chants, and music that accompanies this unique cultural art form. Members learned how to rhythmically move their bodies using specific stances and precise exercises in order to engage the opponent. Several members and staff were so inspired that many got up and performed some moves with the group, showing off what they learned.
Later that week, Abbe Cultural Arts staff member Abraham and his dance partner Makiko performed a special dance they had choreographed, which utilized Afro-Cuban music and dance steps to bring to life a painter’s vision. Abraham explained how art, dance, and music all play an important role in preserving cultures. Members were also curious as to why the dancers danced with no shoes or socks on.
“To feel the earth under our feet,” they said.
Throughout the week, members in the Game Rooms also played cultural trivia, created posters with maps and represented flags, and had group discussions with staff on the importance and beauty of diversity around the world and at the Abbe Clubhouse. It was another exciting Culture Celebration that left me inspired by the members I serve, the staff I work with, and the families who call Abbe Clubhouse home. ✎
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