Yesterday, we had a big multicultural celebration for All Souls Day. Cultural celebrations are very popular here, and there's normally a big cultural celebration for every holiday. Is it the Chinese New Year? Then the Asians do a special thing. Is it Mexican Independence day? Then the Hispanics do a special thing. Is it Veteran's Day? Then the Americans do...absolutely nothing to celebrate, because we're lazy, and besides, it's a holiday.
Yeah, sometimes it feels like the Americans don't get to join in the cool cultural celebrations. So when they announced that it was time for a multicultural celebration, I took the initiative and volunteered to set up a display table!
The topic was "how your culture deals with death" because it's for All Souls Day. I wrote up a short, educational piece on Irish funeral wakes, which are big parties that get thrown whenever someone dies. Other people think it's weird that Irish people throw parties when someone dies, but hey, parties are fun! Besides, if the entire family has come together in one place, why shouldn't you throw a party?
So I put the piece of paper on my table, and put my Irish cross on top of it. An Irish cross is just like a normal cross, except it has a circle in the middle. And I said, "Okay, this looks awesome!" I mean, a description and a visual aid? Not bad for a two minute display table.
Then, I saw what the other people did.
The Koreans had a big Korean flag and matching table cloth, with lots of framed photos and fruit. And the Hispanics decorated the entire wall, with masks and flowers and over thirty candles. The Vietnamese people brought in a mini-casket, complete with a special flag-sized banner hanging on the wall Suddenly, my display made up of one piece of paper isn't looking so impressive any more.
So I went to my room and grabbed anything I could find that was Irishy. The blanket on my bed? It's kind of green. That works! The picture I drew six months ago? It doesn't have anything to do with Ireland, but it takes up space, so it's going in the display!
In the end, my display was a display table, covered with a blanket, a small cross, the half-page of education information, and three random drawings. The other tables looked like floats in the Rose Bowl parade, and mine looked like it was done by a couple of first graders. People had amused smiles on their faces when they saw my display, and not just because of the joke on the sheet of paper.
And I'm totally keeping my display up for the rest of the week, because it's awesome.