Every year, Charlotte Bilingual Preschool (CltBP) children, families, and staff build community and celebrate their cultures through International Day. I imagined the beauty the day would bring, but I was still blown away by my first International Day experience.
At the festival, everyone comes together through music, dance, food, and activities to celebrate the diversity that makes us who we are. This year’s preparation began with families bringing in artifacts from their native countries, including jewelry from Guatemala, old records from Honduras, the lyrics to the Nicaraguan National Anthem, and a traditional mariachi outfit from Mexico. Looking through these items, all I could say was “Wow!” Knowing that these artifacts had so many stories attached to them, I couldn’t help but get lost in them.
On the morning of International Day, families and staff were buzzing with excitement. The air was filled with an intoxicating aroma as families started arriving with their homemade tamales, empanadas, ceviche, pupusas, and more. The teachers set up a pumpkin decorating station and a photo booth featuring flags from around the world, while many people began gathering in the gymnasium for performances. Three students kicked off the event by performing a beautiful traditional Mexican dance (pictured). Our very own Preschool Program Coordinator, Stephanie Watts, sang a beautiful song, and a parent paid homage to her home country of Chile through song and guitar.
International Day was a day for families to connect with one another and celebrate where they come from and where they are headed. It was a wonderful reminder that we cannot forget where we come from, because our roots and identity often guide us on the journey ahead, especially as so many embrace American culture alongside their home cultures. Our community is my favorite part of Charlotte Bilingual Preschool, and it is days like this that prove that together, we build a brighter future.
Come visit us soon at a Show and Tell event! For more information, click here.