Many Cultures One Kirkwood Festival Celebrates Cultural Diversity in Kirkwood
On Friday, April 29, the Kirkwood School District hosted the 2nd annual “Many Cultures One Kirkwood” event.
The expo style event featured KSD families from countries including Argentina, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Chile, China, Cuba, France, Germany, Honduras, Iraq, Jamaica, Mexico, Palestine, Puerto Rico, Spain, Syria, Ukraine and the United Kingdom.
The event kicked off with the “Parade of Nations,” which featured student participants as they carried the flag of their family’s native country through the expo. The students all came to the stage and were announced by co-event planner KSD English Second Language teacher Amy Randles.
After the parade, students joined their families at their respective country's table. Each table featured items such as informational displays, food, instruments, and photos. Attendees, including students, families, and community members, were provided with a passport and invited to visit and learn about the various cultures represented at each table. During their visit to the table, the attendee's passport was stamped.
Performers included the St. Louis Cultural Flamenco Society, Chilean singer Esteban Quito, Mexican dancing by KSD sisters Alma Matlalcuatzi Muñoz (Kirkwood High School) and Lluvia Matlalcuatzi Muñoz (North Glendale), and the Tillman Pepper Steppers.
This immersive cultural experience embraces the “Iceberg Culture Model,” which provides attendees the opportunity to look below the surface of cultural components such as music, language, food, and flags and provides the opportunity to also dig deeper and learn about customs, morals, traditions, and beliefs. The event originated in 2020 and was the idea of the KSD English Second Language teachers as an opportunity for the families they support to share their culture with their peers. This year’s event planners were ESL teachers Amy Randles, Azniv Tcherkezian, and Gina Muller and supported by the KSD Community Relations and Development Office. The event also showcases the spirit of KSD’s Strategic Plan mission of “equipping students with the skills, knowledge, and understanding to be empathetic, successful, and to value all people.”