Every spring, our school spends three days celebrating the culture and today was the first day.
The mornings are spent listening to six different speakers, two per day, while the afternoons are spent learning traditional crafts.
The speakers are people who have knowledge to share. For instance, two women talk about the whole concept of family which is more than just relationships. Its more like the whole seasonal look at family life. The environmental department sends people in to discuss proper disposal of batteries and used oil. They also have students work on braiding plastic bags together to be used for other things.
We had someone talk about learning western ways while preserving the culture. Knowing the western ways tend to run things yet knowing how to use it for your advantage. The city sends representatives in to discuss the importance of an education for taking over from current leaders. I always enjoy listening to the various talks.
In the afternoon, students can choose to bead which means there are specific beading patterns learned for bracelets which everyone loves to make and wear. I know the pattern but haven't learned to do it with the smaller beads. I will one day. There are chances for students to carve and decorate wooden masks. I've seen some beautiful ones made by students.
In addition, they can learn to make steel hooks to fish with. The hooks have three steel barbs on them and are used regularly by everyone in the village for fishing. Of course, one can learn to make black fish nets out of wire and wood or learn to fix nets. There is also Quspuk (traditional top) making, and other types of sewing.
Students choose one activity and spend three days learning and working to complete their project. Most teachers choose one but I usually either guard a door to make sure students stay in the proper wing or I help with Quspuk making.
Tonight and Thursday, the students perform for the community. Each grade, beginning with third grade, will dance a specific dance. By the time they graduate, they will have learned nine different dances. Dances which are regularly performed at the big dance gatherings.
I should have pictures for you tomorrow. I'll post a few here and there over the next two days. Have a good day.