EXAMPLE: Cultural Chaos at St. James Collegiate

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Dubbed a UNESCO Associated School as well as Winnipeg’s first and Canada’s 17th designated Fair Trade School as of May 2017, St. James Collegiate is leading the way with inclusive programming and sustainable actions. Continuing to pave the way, St. James Collegiate hosts a unique event every year called ‘Cultural Chaos’.

Originally organized by the school’s EAL students, the one-day event celebrates cultures from around the world and has evolved to include students who would like to share in the festivities. To participate, students prepare a backboard/poster board with the country’s languages, capital cities, places of interest, traditions, music, food and more! In addition to a visual representation, students also prepare 100-150 samples of a cultural dish (students participating receive a budget of $40 to help subsidize costs of ingredients for their dishes).

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Participating students are also encouraged to wear traditional clothing! In addition to the interesting conversation and good eats, students submit one or two songs to be played throughout the event and this year, St. James students also had the privilege of watching a Taiko drum demonstration and two Syrian dancers!

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Although the event is free to attend, St. James also collects at-the-door donations that are then given to N.E.E.D.S. Inc, a Winnipeg organization that provides accessible services and support to immigrant and refugee children and youth and their families.

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Do It Yourself!

If you like this idea, brainstorm how you could host a similar event in your school or community!

Stuck on what cultures to celebrate? Ask your teachers, parents, coaches and role models about what cultures they might celebrate. Then, learn more about it and help educate your peers!

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