Eighth Grade student Wynne W. is spearheading a Multicultural Community Program for the students of East Woods School this year. Wynne is uniquely poised to lead this, as she and her family have consistently shared the beauty of Chinese culture with East Woods for many years during the Lunar New Year celebration. Each month, she will invite one family to present their family history, including traditions, show and tell, a mini-Geography lesson, and possibly an activity. East Woods is lucky to have so many rich family cultures and traditions from which to draw. Wynne's goal is to help draw our community together more closely by assisting students in seeing more depth in each other and their families.
The first presenters in the Multicultural Community series are Donald and Meline Purdy, parents of Katie, Class of 2023. Donald is Scottish, and Meline is Armenian. Mrs. Purdy discussed her Armenian heritage, and Mr. Purdy discussed his Scottish heritage. Both shared language, customs, traditions, and meaningful facts about their ancestral ethnicity.
Mrs. Purdy shared some interesting facts about Armenia. The oldest cathedral in the world has its home in Armenia. It has a unique alphabet and is one of the most advanced in the world. Some famous Armenians we have to thank are Hovannes Adamian, who developed the tricolor principle, which was eventually used to create color television, and Cher, one of the bestselling recording artists of all time.
Mr. Purdy shared many interesting facts about Scotland. There are three recognized languages in Scotland. The first is English, the second is Scots, and the third is Gaelic (or Scottish Gaelic). He shared his official family tartan. Tartan plaid represents your ancestral clan. Some famous Scots we have to thank are bacteriologist Alexander Fleming, who won the Nobel Peace Prize after discovering Penicillin, actor Ewan Gordon McGregor, known for his role as Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone. Fun fact, the official animal of Scotland is the Unicorn. How wild is that?
The Purdy's closed with some wise words. "What's important to remember is that I come from parents, one of whom was in America from the early 1600s and the other of whom immigrated herself from Scotland. Mrs. Purdy immigrated to the US when she was 11, has an ethnic Armenian background, and was born and raised in Istanbul. To look at us, you don't see those nationalities; you see people. While our national identities and our ethnic backgrounds color and influence who we are and how we act, they aren't what defines us as individuals, and it is not those backgrounds that define how we should be treated or how we should treat others."