Introducing Lexington To The Cultures Of The World
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Introducing Lexington To The Cultures Of The World

Girl Scout's Thinking Day

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Introducing Lexington To The Cultures Of The World

This Saturday I participated in an event called Girls Scout Thinking Day. The idea of this activity is to introduce the local Girl Scouts to the cultures of different countries by making traditional arts and crafts. Talking to the international students of Washington and Lee University was an opportunity for the girls to learn about some nations firsthand. A number of international students and foreign language TAs participated in the event by showing the girls how to:

-make crepes (France)

-dance traditional folk dances (Argentina)

-fold origami (Japan)

-do paper cutting (China)

-make red and white bracelets out of yarn to celebrate March 1st (Bulgaria)

-write their names in Arabic script, make comics, and learn about Astrology (Morocco)

-paint Easter eggs (Austria)

We had different stations set up for the different countries, with each Girl Scout troupe spending twenty minutes per station. In order to fully immerse the Girl Scouts in the cultures of their particular countries, the participants wore the traditional clothes of their nations. The girls and troupe leaders were very impressed by the costumes and asked questions about the history, sowing process, and fabrics of the different outfits.

Since spring is approaching, we decided to present some specific traditions, associated with welcoming the new season. I decided to teach the girls how to make Martenitsas, traditional Bulgarian bracelets made of white and red yarn. The girls were very enthusiastic about the process and admired the beauty of the finished product afterward. They needed to work together in order to make a single bracelet and were willing to cooperate and repeat the process in order to make another one for their partner. As I explained the tradition of the bracelets, which people begin wearing on March 1st and take off once the trees start blooming or when they see a stork, I was met with responses such as: “I like mine so much that I’m going to wear it forever”. The girls’ appreciation of the bracelets was truly heartwarming. The girls had fun and were eager to learn more about the different cultures, asking how to say a word in the specific language or inquiring about the geography and traditions of the nation.

For me participating in this event was a chance to familiarize these little girls with a small part of Bulgarian culture, which enriched them as individuals and made me happy for showing them a Bulgarian tradition which I love. In the end of the day, we formed a Girl Scout friendship circle, which was something I hadn’t observed before. So, I also learned a practice not inherent to my own culture. The event was a sweet way of learning about different cultures and reminding ourselves that appreciation and mutual understanding between nations can exist.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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