Lunch and a show bring culture to Hanau
Here’s a lesson in multicultural dining: Sushi brings people together. Chicken gizzards, try as they might, do not.
That lesson wasn’t what Marta Marchisan had in mind when she planned the multicultural event that took place Thursday at Hanau’s consolidated high school and middle school.
Through singing, dancing and eating, she hoped the school would better understand the need to communicate with and understand other cultures.
Gizzards might not have been the best tool to accomplish that.
“There are some experimental people,” Luetta Kidwell, a school aide, said Thursday as she plied students, teachers and various visitors with spoonfuls of a soupy, reddish gizzard dish.
“Come on, you have to try new things,” she said while, a few feet away, nearly everyone stopped to get some sushi. A couple of students relented and took the gizzards.
“I didn’t want to offend anybody,” said Kevin Perdue, explaining why he took — but didn’t eat — the chicken innards.
Most of the food — dozens of dishes from around the world — were looked on more fondly.
“I haven’t tried anything I haven’t liked,” said Jen Thompson, a 16-year-old junior whose plate was filled with food from Turkey, the Philippines, the United States and other locales.
For the festival’s second act, student and staff volunteers performed dances from Mexico, Tahiti, Hawaii, Africa, Spain and Germany, sang a spiritual song and played the trumpet.
“I wanted to try something different for once,” said Sydney Almanza, who danced the German Schuhplattler. “It looked really fun.”
After practicing for about a month, she said she wasn’t nervous, “But I’m not sure about the guys,” she said. “Some of them still have a hard time with some of the steps.”
That didn’t appear to be a problem. Willie Gray, a 16-year-old sophomore, who was one of the Schuhplattler lead dancers, nailed all his dance moves.
“I’m half-German … so I was cool with the lederhosen,” he said.
“After we convinced you for, like, hours,” Vanessa Whatley, his dance partner, retorted.
The production will be one of the last big events of the year for the closing school, said Johanna Keil, the school’s host nation German teacher. Because of that, she expects the students will think back fondly on the quirky event.
“They can’t remember what’s in page 53 of a book,” she said, “but they’ll remember this.”