Awareness, Communicate, Take Action: Stop Racism
I am super excited to share with you that CLUB BE YOU’s first big meeting with all participants was just last Wednesday and it is off to a great start. The Club’s core team put a great deal of effort into the presentation and to start off I would like to immensely thank them. The members of the core team are Nitzan, Tobe, Meghan, Junwoo. This time, we presented and discussed about the African/Nigerian Culture.
As the meeting came closer and closer my nerves went higher and higher. As I started the zoom meeting and I saw people starting to come in, I was excited and nervous. My teacher had said that she would be joining as well. Soon it was 3 p.m. As I shared my screen, I saw many known faces joining. The presentation started and I felt a little more relaxed every second.
The Core team presented together. Sure there were a few hiccups here and there, but in all it was pretty good and it was better than I had expected. When people started asking questions a lot of people said that the food of the culture was really cool. Personally I felt that the fact that Nigeria had a film industry called Nollywood and is the second largest film industry only surpassed by India’s Bollywood, was pretty cool.
Soon I noticed that there was only 54 seconds remaining in the zoom meeting. So I tried to get as many questions and comments answered. Luckily all of them were answered with only 3 seconds remaining. We all said good bye and the meeting ended just in time.
As soon as the meeting ended my body muscles relaxed and I felt just wonderful because the first CLUB BE YOU meeting was a hit among the kids.
Please find below the link to the presentation of the African/Nigerian Culture and if you find some time, please read through it. There are also links in the presentation to some of the culture’s most popular food. I have been planning to try making the Puff Puff recipe with my family … If you do try some of them, please leave us a comment and send us pictures.
Thanks to all of you who joined and if you would like to join for our next meetup email firstname.lastname@example.org. See you next time.
In the last week of March, if you saw anybody playing by putting colors on each other they were probably playing Holi. Are you wondering what that is? Well it is the Festival of Colors. It is also called the “Festival of Love” and the “Festival of Spring” and is a much loved and fun celebration of the Indian culture. I had the wonderful opportunity to talk to a few families who play Holi and I cannot wait to share everything I learned with you.
Holee Mubaarak (in hindi) or Happy Holi!!
Holi commemorates the victory of good over evil. Holi is played by putting colors on their friends and family as on this day people get to unite together forgetting all hard feelings and the vibrant colors bring a lot of positivity into everybody’s lives. Holi is usually played in a large outdoor setting as it helps with the use of colors and water. You sneak up on friends and put colors on their face and clothes. Sometimes you have to chase the other person to put some color on them just like a paintball game. Even if you are careful the Holi colors will find their way to you 🙂 Holi is a bucket load of fun but when you get home the cleaning part is not that interesting.
I also got the opportunity to play Holi with a few of my friends in a park here. I made sure I got colors on all my friends and family but I also got bombarded with colors from them….red, green, blue, purple. I had to chase my friends a lot but would never spare them from getting colored. The colors definitely bring joy and positivity and for a lot of people, it brings hope with the arrival of spring.
Some other fun Facts that I learned:
- The festival starts on the night before Holi when people gather and start a bonfire which signifies the victory of good over evil. People gather around the fire to watch it while eating their favorite food items, and talk with friends.
- Holi is celebrated in many cities across US and also other parts of the world like India, Mauritius, Fiji, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Pakistan, and the Philippines.
Glad I could share this fun celebration with you. Email us at email@example.com. I can’t wait to hear from you all.
As I had mentioned earlier, that as part of A – Awareness in my three point Plan A.C.T., I plan to create a club in which all of us will be learning about a different culture every month. This Club will give students the opportunity to express themselves and teach their peers about their wonderful culture including food, language, music/entertainment, fun facts, Festivals, and more.
The Club will be called Club Be You because I want everybody participating in it to be themselves. We are THE BEST when we are ourselves.
I wanted to give an update on where I am with the club. I have been working towards setting up Club Be You. With the help of my teacher and school, I have been able to get a core team together of 5th Grade representatives from various cultures. The Club’s core team has met multiple times in the last weeks to prepare and bring before you a great Cultural learning.
As a core team, we would like to learn and prepare about each culture from kids just like us and then talk about it in the club with all of you. I also would like to keep the club get-togethers interactive so that everybody gets a chance to share their experiences and perspectives. We are working towards organizing the first bigger Club Be You meeting in mid-April.
Here is the flyer for the club so that anybody who wants to joins can do so. Please contact us at the given email id and we can sent out the zoom meeting details to you.
It definitely took more time than I thought to gather representatives from various cultures but now it’s time for action. Looking forward to seeing you in the club.
Early this week, I overheard a conversation about St Patrick’s Day that my little sister was having in her class. I listened in a little bit and was fascinated with what I heard about the Irish culture and St Patrick’s Day. I talked to my teacher to see if I could get in touch with classmates who celebrate St Patrick’s Day. With the help of my teacher, my parent’s colleagues and my school friends, I was able to reach out to families who celebrate, wished them all an awesome celebration and I was excited to learn all about it from them. Wishing our friends make them feel special and accepted and we get a great opportunity to celebrate each other.
La le Padraig (in Irish), or Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
St Patrick’s Day is celebrated in honor of the patron Saint of Ireland, St Patrick. This unique Irish holiday is also celebrated around the world and we all might have heard of it. Shamrocks, rainbows, leprechauns and the color green have become symbols of this great celebration.
The shamrock is one of the main symbols of Saint Patrick’s Day and is Ireland’s national flower.
Normally there are parades in all towns/cities to celebrate the occasion. Guess what!! The first St Patrick’s day parade on record took place in New York City.
I saw on the news yesterday that St. Patrick’s Day is also celebrated at the White House and usually Irish leaders gift the President with shamrocks. The White House fountain was turned green in celebration too. How Cool!!
Corned Beef and cabbage has become a St. Patrick’s Day staple for Irish Americans but I was surprised to learn that it doesn’t have anything to do with the grain of corn. Large grains of salt are used in meats, which were also known as “corns” and that is how the dish got its name.
Here are some other really cool fun facts I learned about the celebration and I am so excited to share them with you today:
- Saint Patrick was not born Irish. He was born in Britain. At the age of 16 St Patrick was taken by Irish Pirates to Ireland.
- Four leaf clovers are considered very lucky because they are a rare find. I wish I knew where I could find them.
- A leprechaun is an unfriendly Irish fairy. If you catch one they are forced to tell you where their pot of gold is! Now we know why we make leprechaun traps!!
- The green color, that has become the color of St Patrick’s day is the color of springtime and is connected with thoughts of hope and good things to come.
- Since 1962, the Chicago River is dyed green to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.
- Leprechauns are actually one reason you’re supposed to wear green on St. Patrick’s Day—or risk getting pinched! I heard that leprechauns pinch everyone they see but we become invisible to them if we wear green…..I am now wondering, if we can wear green and then go trap a leprechaun?
- Some people also believe that sporting the green color will bring good luck, and others wear it to honor their Irish ancestry.
Let’s make it a point to make our friends who celebrate this holiday feel really special by wishing them every year on March 17th.
If you celebrate this day, please email me and I would love to read all about it.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear what you think.
Irish you a Happy
St Patrick’s Day!
Some St Patrick’s day riddles you might enjoy –
- Why do leprechauns recycle? They like to go green!
- What’s a leprechaun’s favorite cereal? Lucky Charms!
- What kind of bow can’t be tied? A rainbow!
Can you imagine, it has been one month since my Inauguration!! Time sure flies. I have been wanting to do a blog entry about my Inauguration so better late than never.
The date of February 8th was finalized for the inauguration and preparations were underway. This year it was going to be an event on zoom and not at the Capitol . That made me a little sad as I would love to visit the Capitol. As the day came closer, my anticipation grew bigger and bigger. I couldn’t wait for the big day and my mom had told me “With big privileges comes great responsibility.”
Finally the day arrived, As I was getting ready for my Inauguration I went over my acceptance speech in my head. My parents asked me to relax and savor the moment. I thought about my speech, my oath, the press questions, but most of all I thought about how nervous I was.
Soon it was time to log in to the zoom and I was getting more and more nervous. The event began and first our honorable Secretary of State, Shemia Fagan, gave the introduction. Then Dom, the 2018 Oregon Kid Governor and Erika, the 2019 Oregon Kid Governor started the Pledge of Allegiance.
When they finished, my class sang the national anthem. I was so happy and grateful to see my friends and teacher come support me. After some silence Dr. Chuck Currie started the Invocation. Our Honorable Secretary of State, Shemia Fagan talked about the Kid Governor Program and Representative Janelle Bynum talked about the legislative branch of Government followed by Chief Justice Paul De Muniz talking about the Judicial Branch of Government. It was interesting to learn about the branches of government.
Next, Mary Beth Herkert talked about the Kid Governor program and introduced the six other finalists, Lohith, Abhi, Ruthie, Brennah, Evi and Phia. They talked a little about themselves, their community Issue as well as their plan. I think they all have amazing platforms. After that Mary Beth introduced Raaga Mandala the 2020 Oregon Kid Governor. Raaga gave her farewell speech and I couldn’t help but think of the inspiring job she had done as Kid Governor.
Finally it was the time for the Inauguration Oath. At that time, my family joined me and my little sister held up the Bible for the Oath. The time had finally come and I repeated the oath after Chief Justice Paul De Muniz with my hand on the bible and I officially became the 2021 Oregon Kid Governor. It was a surreal feeling. I suddenly felt all motivated and made a promise to do my very best in this role. As I delivered my acceptance speech I could not help but think that I was now officially the 2021 Oregon Kid Governor and really felt grateful. When I finished, our Secretary of State, Shemia Fagan closed out the ceremony with some great words. I was so happy that she mentioned some of the things from my speech and also remembered the name of the club (Club Be You). I felt special. I then got ready for the press interview.
They asked only 4 questions and it was easier to answer than I thought. When I left, I felt so relieved that everything went well. All the nervousness had melted away. It was such a good feeling and I was getting more excited to start my term. Hope I can live up to the expectations.
A BIG Thank You to all the wonderful 5th Graders across Oregon who participated and voted.
Last Wednesday, I got a unique opportunity to participate in the NGA (National Governors Association) Winter meeting with remarks from a special guest….Guess who? When I heard it was President Biden, my excitement knew no bounds. I thought it was really cool to be given a chance to participate in this meeting.
The day of the meeting I couldn’t wait for 1:30 p.m. I had thought about it all day. When the time finally came I got on to the livestream and the meeting started.
As I watched the meeting I was amazed to hear that President Biden had a goal of 100,000,000 Covid shots in his first 100 days and that 50,000,000 people had already been vaccinated in just 37 days. I also learned about the economic slowdown because of Covid- 19.
I wondered many times during the meeting that if I wave, could President Biden see me… ?? How cool would that be!! I wish someday I can meet him in person. President Biden, are you hearing this? 🙂
Remember, I had mentioned about Chinese/Lunar New Year? I was going to make it a point to wish my classmates who celebrate this day. It was actually fun to reach out and make them feel special. I think it is the little things that matter to make everybody feel that we are all an integral part no matter what culture we belong to or how we look.
Over the past week I have been learning about the Chinese/Lunar New Year from my friends in school and neighbors. This year is the year of the Ox. It is a Chinese zodiac symbol for the year 2021. On the Chinese zodiac wheel there are 12 different animals. Each animal represents one year and then when all the symbols have been used it repeats. The last time there was an ox year was in 2009, the same year I was born.
I am so thankful to my classmates and neighbors who were more than happy to share their day with me. They were kind enough to share some pictures too for all of us to see.
The decorations are an integral part of the festivities. Red lanterns are hung to keep away bad luck. They also make paper cuttings which is fun craft and for decoration it is usually pasted on the window. They are almost always red because the Color red is considered lucky.
It is a tradition to gift bright red envelopes to kids, friends and family. These red envelopes are filled with money and symbolizes good wishes and luck for the New year. The importance of this tradition is not the cash held inside but it’s actually the envelope itself because Red color symbolizes good luck and prosperity.
On Chinese/Lunar New Year, families celebrate by eating lucky foods such as steamed fish, dumplings, spring rolls, tangyuan (those are sweet rice balls filled with sugar), nainguao (that is sticky rice cake).
As it is the year of the Ox , many foods are also prepared and shaped that way too.
How cool is that!!
Those sure do look yummy !!!
This is a salad dish…There is a tradition in which everyone gathers around to toss salad with chopsticks while shouting auspicious phrases like “Good luck or More blessings”… It is called a Prosperity Toss. That really sounds like a fun family gathering.
I also found out some other fun facts like:
- Noodles symbolize long life
- Chocolate coins are put in the center of some dishes for prosperity
- Oranges are traditionally eaten because round shape signifies wealth and prosperity
- Everybody wears special clothes mostly red with flowers on them
- Dragon dance is also a big part of the festivities
I loved learning about Chinese/Lunar New Year and everybody was more than happy to share their culture. I learned so many cool things and I wanted to share it all here so we learn as a team.
Yesterday, in my class, I got to know about Chinese New Year. In 2021, it is celebrated on February 12th. It is popularly called the Chinese New Year but many other cultures celebrate it too so it is referred to as the Lunar New Year as well.
I would like to wish a very happy and prosperous New Year to all kids and their families who celebrate this.
From the little that I understood, this festival is celebrated over a number of days, till the Lantern Festival. Below is my plan to learn more about it in the next few days.
I want to reach out to my classmates who celebrate the Chinese/Lunar New year, first wish them a great year and then tell them that I would like to learn about the significance and how they celebrate it. I am sure they would be very happy to share.
Do you have friends/classmates who celebrate the Lunar New Year? Reach out to them to wish them and see what you can learn about this celebration.
And to all kids who celebrate this with your families, we would also love to hear from you about what you enjoy the most on this day. Email us at email@example.com or post a comment here.
I cannot wait to share with all of you what I learn, over the next couple of weeks. Please keep checking this space for more updates!!
Happy Lunar New Year everyone
Gong Xi Fa Cai (Wishing you a Prosperity)
It had been three long weeks since we had submitted our campaign videos and we had been patiently waiting for the Oregon Kid Governor Election voting and results. Then on a bright and beautiful day of 18th November 2020, I joined my class at 8:30 in the morning as usual. I was a bit suspicious when my teacher told the class and me that that there were mystery guests… hmm…. As soon as Mrs. Seawell (my class teacher) gave us the clue “We have some news on who the kids have chosen”, I immediately thought about Oregon Kid Governor but I was not completely convinced. It could have been something else. Then our mystery guests started coming in. First came my Principal and Vice Principal, then I saw that the previous Oregon Kid Governors and other dignitaries from the Oregon Kid Governor program have also joined.
My hands and body were shaking like crazy. Mary Beth Herkert told us about the Oregon Kid Governor Program and how it was a civics lesson for 5th Graders. After that, Raaga announced that I was chosen to be the 2021 Oregon Kid Governor! I thought I was ready for the results whatever they were but it turns out that I wasn’t.
My feelings had gone B-E-R-S-E-R-K. I was shocked, happy, speechless and surprised all at the same time. I couldn’t even register that this was happening. It was like someone had taken out a white-out marker and drew all over my mind 🙂
I heard someone in my class say “Yesssss!!” I came to know that my teacher and my parents had already known this and they had to keep it a surprise. That explained all of my parent’s sneaky behavior over the weekend 🙂
Then Raaga, Dom and Erika talked briefly about their experience during their terms. I gathered that it was sometimes a little bit of extra work but a whole lot of fun and learning.
It was a Wednesday, so my class ended early. When I was dismissed after school, I was still registering that I was going to be the 2021 Oregon Kid Governor.
As things settled down and I played some wall ball, I thought more about it I got more and more excited to start my 1 year term.
I am really Grateful for giving me this opportunity , I promise to give it my best . I would also like to congratulate all the finalists and everyone who participated as well for your amazing platforms. We can together make a difference!!