BY JOANNE WONG
At Mayor Thomas Menino’s International Celebration, children of all ages enjoyed games, performances and educational talks from Boston’s culturally diverse community organizations. Hosted by the Boston Parks and Recreation Department and the Mayor’s Office of New Bostonians, the event was held at the Franklin Park Golf Clubhouse on Saturday, Dec. 15.
Families were invited to celebrate various cultures by enjoying festive music, entertainment and dancing. Gund Kwok, an all Asian female lion and dragon dance troupe, performed a traditional lion dance and relayed the tale of the origins of the lion dance. Participants were offered an opportunity to try out the three lion headpieces.
“It’s great that the mayor is promoting cultural diversity among youth,” said Jessica Fauntine. A minority-majority city, Boston boasts a cornucopia of races, ethnicities and cultural communities. Still recovering from his recent medical procedures, Mayor Menino was absent from the celebration. Instead, Felix Arroyo, City Councilor At-Large, made an appearance and spent time playing the dreidel with some children.
Performances from other cultures included that of the OrigiNation Cultural Arts Center. The youth-focused dance troupe travels abroad to perform and learn about other cultures. The artistic director, Shaumba- Yandje Dibinga led a call and response with the young crowd and taught the audience several African words. The dance troupe spoke of the origin and principles of Kwanzaa.
A wide range of games from around the globe was also featured at the event. Activities included a piñata, dreidels, and a multicultural game of blocks featuring 28 commonly found words in six languages: Spanish, simple Mandarin, French, German, Latin and English. Children were able to employ their creativity at the arts and crafts table, where they decorated snowflakes with celebratory words in different languages.
Guests sampled hot chocolate provided by Dunkin’ Donuts and cookies from Great Taste Bakery of Chinatown.
The event wrapped up with a special visit from Santa Claus and a viewing of the holiday classic “A Charlie Brown Christmas.”
This post is also available in: Chinese