Mexican Culture Club Be You Meeting

Hello everyone

June 2 was another big Club Be You meeting. We had a record breaking number of participants.

First and foremost, once again I would like to say a big Thank You to our wonderful core team who helped me research and create these presentations to share with the whole club. I would like to thank everyone who joined. Thank you for supporting Club Be You and me.

We thought of the idea of having a raffle to bring in more participants so that this learning reaches many many more kids and bingo it worked. Every participant was automatically entered into the raffle. As the raffle wheel spun everyone was waiting in suspense and excitement

We learned about the Mexican culture this time. Mexican culture is rich, colorful and vibrant, influenced by its ancient civilizations. The customs and traditions are varied and diverse. I was so fascinated to learn all about Mexico while I was researching.

PowerPoint slide with photo of man playing guitar and man playing xylophone

Food is a reflection on a person’s upbringing in the cultural melting pot of America and becomes a great way of bringing people together over a table, whatever the location or occasion may be.

PowerPoint slide with photos of salsa, spanish rice and other Mexican foods.

We also researched about sports. That is something that interests all of us.

PowerPoint slide with photo of a foot holding a soccer ball and a man in a bull fight.

Fun fact: Did you think that Egypt had all the pyramids? Well actually the largest pyramid is located in Mexico.

At the end of the presentation, we organized a Kahoot as well which was really fun for everyone. The kids were all very excited about the Kahoot and it was a tight race.

Screen capture of Kahoot game with some of Mexico's instruments

It was an interactive session with lots of questions too. We had kids in the meeting from the Mexican culture and they helped us answer a lot of questions as well. Together we are always stronger.

Please see the presentation of the Mexican Culture here, and if you find some time, please read through it.
If you want to join Club Be You, email See you next time



Hello Everyone,

Just a few days back I got to know about the holiday Juneteenth. I was given the wonderful opportunity to have a meeting with Senator Merkley (I will be posting a blog entry about that as well). Oregon Deputy Secretary of State Cheryl Meyers was also there and in that meeting she was so kind to tell me about Juneteenth.

On September 22nd, 1862 Abraham Lincoln signed the Proclamation or bill that got rid of slavery. Many people did not know that they were free until 2 ½ years later when Gordon Granger arrived in Texas to announce the end of slavery. The day this happened was June 19th 1865 and it was made a holiday. Recently President Biden made June 19th a Federal holiday. This day is now called Juneteenth.

Some ways people celebrate Juneteenth are going to rodeos, fishing, barbecuing, and going to baseball games. Also there are dances on Juneteenth. There were many events for Juneteenth in and around Portland as well.

Some ways for us to celebrate now or in the future are ordering from a black owned restaurant or celebrating with a family barbecue. We can also celebrate by spreading the word .

Some cool facts about Juneteenth are:

  • Juneteenth is the oldest known holiday that celebrates the end of slavery in our great country U.S.A
  • Some cities and groups have Miss Juneteenth contests
  • There is a Juneteenth flag of freedom, it is half red and half blue with a star in the middle
    Juneteenth Flag

What do you think about Juneteenth? Let us know if you did anything special on Juneteenth. Email us at We’d love to hear from you. See you next time.



Club Be You: Israeli Culture

Hi friends,

May 12 was another Club Be You meeting. We learned about the Israeli culture during that time.

The Core team had spent hours researching, taking to families and learning about the Israeli culture and now it was time to finally present to all the kids what we had learned.

The meeting was starting soon but this time I felt more confident and of course I have a wonderful team. As I logged on I saw lots of kids who were there last time and also some new friends.

Soon it was 3 PM and we started. I was very excited for this Club Be You meetup because we had invited a special guest. Her name is Rhona Feldman. She was going to teach Club Be You some Israeli folk dancing.

Screen shot of Food section of Taneesh's presentation

As we presented and saw people nodding and smiling it gave us confidence that it was going well. Nitzan showed us how to write in Hebrew and say a few words in Hebrew.

Our special guest Rhona started to present. Rhona is an Israeli folk dancing teacher who teaches at the Multnomah Art Center. She taught us a really cool dance under the song Shalom which represents Peace in the world. We all danced along with her and had so much fun. Lots of kids asked us and Rhona questions and the session was very interactive. I would definitely want to go attend one of her dance sessions.

Screen shot of folk dance class on zoom

While I was learning about the Israeli culture from one of the families, I learned that Falafel was one of the main dishes in the culture.

Taneesh and his sister make falafel
Making falafel

So I decided to make Falafel with the help of my Mom and Sister. They were so kind to share their family recipe with us and so we decided to make it. It was a fun experience and it was yumm dinner. I even wanted seconds.

We also learned about the Dead Sea under Fun Facts of Israel. Its water is so dense that you can only float on it. You cannot sink nor dive. So cool.

It was an interactive session with lots of questions and answers too. Here is a link to the presentation of the Israeli Culture and if you find some time, please read through it.

A boy holding a bowl with chocolate hummus inside
Chocolate Hummus!! How innovative and yummy!

One of our dear Club Be You participants, Aryav, also made Hummus but with an exciting twist…

Soon it was time to go. I said bye and closed the meeting. I thought the meeting went really well. Even better than last time. If you want to join Club Be you email See you next time

~ Taneesh

Exciting meeting with Governor Brown

I am super excited to share that just a few days back I met Governor Brown!!! The Governor of Oregon. Can you believe it?

My nerves were on top gear as the time came closer and closer to 4:30 PM. I was going to meet the Governor! Before I knew it, it was time to log on. I logged onto the zoom and saw Nikki Fisher. I said hi and seeing her made me calm down a little.

I waited and then finally Governor Brown joined. I was so excited and nervous at the same time. I felt very grateful that she took the time out of her busy schedule to meet with me. Governor Brown asked me some questions and I answered them as best I could.

I then gave her a brief update about how the Kid Governor initiatives have been going and about all the things we have been doing in our school and community.

I was also given an opportunity to ask Governor Brown questions that I had in mind such as what was the most challenging thing she has faced to date during her term. What is the role of the governor and how does she work with the legislators and other statewide elected officials? I also asked her about her pets.

She explained a lot of things in great detail, such as the most challenging thing that she had faced was tackling the wildfires and the ice storms during the pandemic. She also taught me a new saying –“Throwing spaghetti at the wall”. She was so kind as to explain the meaning to me as well.

She also explained that as Governor her main goals are to work with other legislators by passing or vetoing laws. She is always seeing how to best help the state grow. She also tackles how much money to put into certain things in the government.

I also learned that she has a dog named Jory and a horse as pets. That is pretty cool right!!Taneesh sits at a desk with a monitor showing Kate Brown on video chat.I listened carefully as I did not want to miss a word. When the time was almost up I asked her if I could have a picture with her. I was so excited when she agreed. I put a thumbs up still digesting the fact that I was going to have a picture with the Governor of Oregon!

Soon it was time to leave, I wished I could stay longer but the Governor had a very tight schedule so I said goodbye and Thank You. I logged off and was like Wow!! I just met the Governor of Oregon. It was a wonderful opportunity.

It was a really cool experience meeting the Governor and I can’t wait to meet her in person.

~ Taneesh

Cinco De Mayo

Hello Friends,

On May 5th, I heard about Cinco De Mayo from a friend of mine. I decided to find more about it. I am grateful that I could reach out to families who celebrate Cinco De Mayo and learned so much about the interesting holiday. It is also easy to remember when it is celebrated because the word Cinco De Mayo means “5th of May”.

Cinco de Mayo is the celebration of the day that the Mexican army defeated the French Empire in the battle of Puebla. Though it is not Mexico’s independence day.

I learned that this Victory was so special because the forces of the French were 3 times as big as the Mexicans and much better equipped. But the Mexicans worked hard enough to defeat them despite their disadvantage.

Cinco de Mayo is celebrated by having military parades and recreating the battle of Pubela. Some of the foods served on Cinco de Mayo are, Guacamole, Salsa and chips, Poblano, Corn and many more.

Some Cool Facts about Cinco de Mayo:

  1. On Cinco de Mayo Poblano is the most beloved dish in Mexico
  2. Kids get school off on Cinco de Mayo in Mexico
  3. People in California were the first to party after they heard of the Mexicans valiant efforts to defeat the French.
  4. In America on Cinco de Mayo according to the California Avocado Commission Americans eat over 80 million pounds of Avocados on Cinco de Mayo (Crazy Right)

Chips and SalsaThis year, I encouraged my family to do something that reflects the culture on Cinco De Mayo. Even if it’s not that big, we put together a quick Salsa looking at some recipes shared by our friends from Mexican culture and celebrated the day with Salsa and Chips. Little ways we can incorporate the cultural celebration in our lives.

Please email us your thoughts or other fun facts at We’d love to hear what you think. See you next time.

~ Taneesh

Club Be You: African Nigerian Culture

Hello everyone,

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.

Capture of Taneesh's computer screen showing introduction slide of presentation.

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.

Capture of Taneesh's computer screen showing concluding slide of presentation.

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.

African/Nigerian Culture Presentation (pdf)

Thanks to all of you who joined and if you would like to join for our next meetup email See you next time.

~ Taneesh


Festival of Colors – Holi

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.

Two children putting colors on each other during Holi
All persons in this picture belong to the same COVID pod/bubble.

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.

Three children covered in red and orange paint after playing Holi
All persons in this picture belong to the same COVID pod/bubble.

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 I can’t wait to hear from you all.


Club Be You Update

Hello friends,

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.

Club Be You Flyer

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.

~ Taneesh

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Did I hear there is a pot of Gold somewhere??

Hello friends,

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.

A colored drawing of a pot of gold, rainbow with leprechaun.

Here are some other really cool fun facts I learned about the celebration and I am so excited to share them with you today:

  1. 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.
  2. Four leaf clovers are considered very lucky because they are a rare find. I wish I knew where I could find them.
  3. 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!!
  4. 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.
  5. Since 1962, the Chicago River is dyed green to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.
  6. 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?
  7. 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 We’d love to hear what you think.

Knock Knock!
Who’s there?
Irish Who?
Irish you a Happy
St Patrick’s Day!

~ Taneesh

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!


Inauguration 2021

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.

Taneesh ready for his inauguration

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.

~ Taneesh