Friday January 20 was cultural night at Kiker Elementary in Southwest Austin. The school gymnasium was transformed into a global classroom. Spice smells, beautiful displays and stunning costumes transported this corner of Austin all over the world. Over 800 people were treated to dancing, singing, food sampling and a fantastic display of musical instruments, crafts and items from home countries.
Alex Schuckle, 5th grader, thought “that the performers were amazing and it was a wonderful evening”.
With 45 flags flying overhead and 13 booths representing some of the countries that Kiker children and their parents are from; the event was bustling more like a marketplace than a school. Families brought a cultural dish to share and were delighted by the evening’s entertainment hosted by longtime TV personality Mr. Fred Cantu from KEYE news. Another special guest, returning for his second time at this event, was Mr. Vincent Torres, Vice President of Austin ISD.
Indian and Chinese singers and dancers filled the stage with color and sparkle, and belly dancer Angela Nation from Lebanon transfixed the crowd. The energetic and colorful Grupo Flor y Canto impressed everyone, followed by the Hill Country Scottish Highland dancers who gracefully and regally finished the event.
Dr Lori Schneider Principal of Kiker said “what a powerful experience for our children and community. We constantly talk about respecting each other’s differences; cultures, strengths, weaknesses, talents, customs, families. This is a great ‘real life’ example and chance to experience how learning and knowing about other people can add richness to our lives.” – submitted