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Cultural Traditions and Practices Honoured

From classroom explorations to celebrating special occasions in assemblies, there are many opportunities across the District to honour how diversity strengthens our communities.

Sikh Heritage Month and Vaisakhi

Brantford Elementary held a celebration in honour of Vaisakhi – a spring festival and one of the most important dates on the Sikh calendar. As part of their explorations of culture, students learned Bhangra dance and performed at the school assembly.

April was also Sikh Heritage Month. A mother of one of the students at Second Street Community School presented to her son’s class on the origins and significance of the Sikh turban. Students enjoyed sharing culture and samosas.

Ramadan and Eid

At Parkcrest Elementary, children made Ramadan lanterns to mark the Muslim holy month.

Several school communities and the District’s Settlement Workers in Schools, or SWIS Workers, celebrated Eid with families this month, enjoying the feast that follows the month of Ramadan. Hundreds of people, including families of students, came together at Edmonds Community School to mark one of the biggest celebrations in the Muslim calendar. The incredible gathering was enhanced by a SWIS-supported grant the United Way awarded to a group of newcomers.

Students at Byrne Creek Community School created decorations for the joyful gathering at their school, where food, dance and culture were also shared.

Eid and Easter

An uplifting and multi-cultural celebration for both Eid and Easter was held at Gilmore Community School with families and children. Newcomers and refugees who are originally from Afghanistan, Ukraine, Russia, Iran, Iraq, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Turkey and Uganda got to know one another as they shared food, music, and songs from their home countries.

In celebration of Easter, students at Marlborough created Pysanky, in the Ukrainian tradition of decorating eggs. A weekend Pysanky class was also hosted by SWIS Workers for Ukrainian refugees and held at the Burnaby Public Library. Eighteen people attended, with the students coming from 10 different schools and ranging from Grades 3 to 11. There was much joy as an artist guided children, youth, and their parents through the creation of traditional Pysanky.

Posted May 2023