Bring Back Culture Day!

Zaynab Hajali, Staff Writer

We have a lot of diversity at Franklin Learning Center, but culture is never really celebrated. I remember in middle school we had a culture day. Everyone wore their traditional clothing, shared some traditions and facts they have, and brought dishes for us to get a taste of their culture. Here at FLC, we see bits and pieces of culture but not very often. It’s rare to see someone in their traditional clothing, but when it occurs, it’s a beautiful and fascinating thing. 

Going around asking if there’s a culture day set to happen during this school year, it seemed as though no one knew the answer. It was a little disappointing to hear Principal Nicole Lee say that “Unless someone wants to take it up, no, a culture day isn’t set to happen this school year.”

A culture day would not only be fun, but an opportunity for students to show or talk a little more about themselves and their culture. It should have been planned already and known about. It shouldn’t be something that is waiting to be picked up by students or teachers. 

Growing up in a non-American household, culture was everywhere around me. From the food we eat, the clothes we wear and the holidays we celebrate to our tableware and routines. It was a great thing when I was a kid to be able to share a little of my home life with my friends and compare and contrast our differences and similarities. 

Some cultures share a multitude of things. Holidays are shared, food, even routines such as taking your shoes off at the door as a sign of respect. It was also a sad thing looking back. I felt excluded whenever Christmas came around, thanksgiving, Easter, the list goes on. My holiday wasn’t put on the school district calendar until recently, a little disappointing to me. It was a frustrating thing to have to be absent in order to celebrate my holiday because on the other holidays, we had the day off. 

I used to be so happy when someone asked me about why I had the day off because it gave me a chance to spread some information about my culture, it was something I looked forward to doing because I didn’t know any better. Looking back now, it angers me how no one knows anything about my culture unless I talk about it myself. I know about Christmas and Thanksgiving and Easter, but so many people don’t know anything about Eid. Why is that? 

My middle school culture day happened every year. It was probably one of the best days because it allowed students to truly be themselves without any judgment. We had traditional dances that were put on and they were beautiful. I remember when I got to wear my thobe and was so happy to see other people wearing their own thobes and their traditional clothing as well. We had a flag show too.

A number of students walked down with their country’s flags while wearing their clothing and it was amazing. I feel like it brought the school closer together because you got to see who shared your culture as well as seeing the differences. 

Organizing a culture day would not only make students informed about the cultures of their fellow classmates, but would also be looked at as an opportunity for students to give a little insight on how they and their family do things. How their culture works and what traditions they may have. Culture isn’t only about the food you eat or the clothes you wear, it’s your language, your decorations, your social life: it’s everywhere around you. 

We need a culture day. Talking about a culture day, when is ours? We don’t have one planned at the moment, but we can because don’t you want a culture day? To be able to get to know your friends more, your teachers, and your staff members? It’ll be such a great experience for everyone. Those who might have cultures that aren’t talked about as much and those who might have cultures that have been talked about for forever. We, as students, should want a day like this. A day to express ourselves outside of what people in school see. A day of no judgment. A day of pure excitement. A day of new knowledge. A day of learning.

Isn’t that what school should be about?