By Kelli Gile, Walnut Valley
Hundreds of Westhoff Elementary families and friends enjoyed foods from around the world during a Culture Fair held Oct. 10. Fifteen different countries were represented at decorated booths with music, customs, and lots of delicious authentic food. Students wore traditional clothing to parade around the school while a DJ offered music for dining and dancing.
“This is one of my favorite nights of our school year. Everyone relaxes during the cool evening, eats delicious food, and chats with other Westhoff families,” said Principal Denise Rendon.
The school’s Community Club hosts the fair where parents, students, and teachers come together to celebrate diversity of the many cultures represented at the school.
“It is an opportunity for our children to learn about their friends’ customs and share about their own, ” said President Melinda Powell.
“I like going to Culture Fair because I get to play with all my friends. My dad likes to take me because he really likes the food, “ said 2nd grader Tiffany Fu.
“I dressed up in my Indian Clothes. I like eating other cultures food, but my favorite was my families’ table of Indian food, ” added Priya Kankanala, a 3rdgrader.
Parent Valerie Lu hosted a Hawaiian booth that was a big hit with Kalua pork, spam musubi, haupia, and of course shaved ice.
“Culture Fair is such a unique tradition at Westhoff. The amount of effort put in by all the parent volunteers is tremendous and just as rewarding,” she said. Community Club member Lu serves as the school’s Coordinating Council representative.
There were many delicious dishes from around the world with pad Thai and pineapple fried rice (Thailand), cream puffs (France), tamales (Mexico), stuffed grape leaves (Egypt), chili and cornbread (USA), and more. Parent volunteers at the China table served foods representing its many different regions including Hunan, Sichuan, and Shandong. Along with sampling tasty treats at the Pakistan booth, the kids came away decorated with beautiful henna designs.
“It’s such a wonderful opportunity to get to meet the families of our children’s new friends, catch up with old friends, all while enjoying amazing authentic food!” Powell said.