Foreign Flair

Published 12:28 pm Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Sara Hensley looked quite chic in a borrowed kimono as she held a sign that read simply “Asia.”

It was her way of getting visitors over to that end of the Fairland High School gym where she and friend Maria Boskovic had put together a display on Japan.

Boskovic, a Fairland sophomore, had used a collection of artifacts her father had brought back from a recent business trip from Japan. Among them was the green silk kimono she let Hensley wear.

Email newsletter signup

It was all a part of eighth International Day sponsored by the International Day, French and Spanish clubs of Fairland High and the school’s French and Spanish classes. On Tuesday, the gym was turned into a mini United Nations with booths everywhere that the students had created showing off photos, coins, cartoons and clothing of their chosen country.

Some day Boskovic would like to follow in her father’s footsteps and visit the Land of the Rising Sun.

“It seems like an interesting country … to see the cultural difference, to experience it,” she said.

Nearby was the booth by Ashley Brown and Vidhee Patel on India. Both sported traditional costumes — Patel in a Punjabi suit, an outfit a woman would wear at home, and Brown in a more formal two-piece skirt called a Langa. Patel, who is trilingual, speaking English, Gujarati and some Hindi, is first generation American and has only visited her parents’ homeland once, when she was in third grade.

But even that trip made an impression.

“I thought it was really pretty,” she said. “ I would want to go back.”

As in years’ past, the morning and afternoon was spent bringing in elementary school children to see the exhibits and talk with the older students about their projects. Then in the evening the show was opened to the public who got a chance to taste dishes from the native countries. The day is all part of the foreign language department’s effort to expand the cultural knowledge of its students.

“The students learn about a country they have chosen. Maybe a friend, relative or even they have been there,” Frances Cade, Fairland French teacher, said. “It gives them a broader view. They see how many different countries can be represented in Proctorville.”

New this year was a cookbook that was on sale Tuesday night. Proceeds will go to finance next year’s International Day. Anyone interested in the cookbook can contact the high school at (740) 886-3250.