- Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Perkiomen School students take charge and make wonderful things happen. In 2018, a pair of students – Kristine and Emma – started an annual Cultural Festival that immediately became a highlight of the school year.
Students enlist faculty help and take over kitchens across campus to cook their favorite food to share with the community. Tables and booths pop up in the center of campus with games, music, dancing, and food – so many delightful treats. Students and faculty eagerly share their favorite traditions and learn about those of their peers.
Festival leadership is been passed down to new student leaders to keep the event alive as the previous leaders graduate. This year’s student leadership team was undaunted by the COVID-19 challenges and restrictions in place this year and ensured the festival survived. Most of the components of the Cultural Festival remained in place, just spread out into a series of smaller events or transformed into virtual offerings. And of course, we still ate really good food. The dining hall prepared Lechon Asado, Bretzel mit Weißwurst, pierogies, and more yumminess. Students set up a snack table with candy, spicy crunchy snacks, and confections like Mysore Pak and Kueh Lapis.
"The cultural festival is a relatively new Perkiomen School tradition that celebrates and raises awareness of the diversity within our community," says Cultural Festival leader Logan Brassington '22. "The home countries or cultural identities of Perkiomen students, faculty, and staff are represented through listening to music, trying new foods, and experiencing new games. The groups represented are from all over the world. Students and faculty either prepare food themselves or work with the dining hall to make foods native to specific regions. Cuisine this year included chickpea curry from India, pan tomate from Spain, and tostones from Puerto Rico. Some games that have been showcased include card games like Puerto Rican Cuadrado and Spanish Brisca, Dominoes from the Bahamas, Korean Gonggi a stone-throwing game, and the Chinese 1, 2, 3 Wooden People tag game."
As part of the festivities, students submitted games that they love playing at home. Read on to learn about some new games and likely find a few familiar favorites. The summer break might be a great time to try them out with family and friends.
Angel Fu, China
Monster Game: This is a game Angel played in second grade and works best with lots of people. First, choose one or two people to be the monster, and the population depends on how many people are playing. The rule is when monsters try to catch other people, they need to say a word about a particular type, such as fruit. And then you have to sit down after you say the word, and you cannot move until others who didn't say the word save you. Then you can stand up and run again. If everyone has sat down, the monster will say it's tomorrow, and everyone can move, but they need to say another kind of word. PS: The word that others already said in this round, you cannot repeat.
Nona Xu, China
1, 2, 3 Wooden People: Nona played this in elementary school physical education class along with the teacher. In the game, you sneak up on someone who is "it" and then when they turn around, you pretend to be a wooden person (you freeze). This video explains the whole concept. Nona shared that playing this game is one of her happy childhood memories. It was so fun and funny for her. (Sounds a bit like the American game "Red Light, Green Light!)
Owen Taylor, Bahamas
Dominoes: Dominoes is a family of tile-based games played with gaming pieces, commonly known as dominoes. Each domino is a rectangular tile with a line dividing its face into two square ends. Each end is marked with a number of spots or is blank. The objective is generally to score the most points, by putting your tiles down in the most advantageous way, although some versions are won by the first player to put down all of their tiles.
Lois Yun, Korea
Gonggi: Gonggi is a game somewhat similar to Jacks, played with pebbles.
Julia Gómez-Coronado Domínguez, Spain
Brisca: Brisca is a card game that requires a special deck of cards, played by two teams of four with a 40-card Spanish-suited pack or two teams of six using a 48-card pack.
Lola Mejias, Puerto Rico
Cuadrado: AKA 'Square,' this is a pretty common game that is played with a regular deck of playing cards.
Jasper Guo, China
Music Chairs (this game is familiar to Americans, too!): You can begin with six friends, for example, and if there are six friends to play, be prepared with five chairs. First, put the chairs in a circle, and then put on some music, with six junior partners to walk around the chairs, at the end of the music, they will immediately sit down on a chair. The one who doesn't get a chair is eliminated. Then another chair is removed from the field. The last person in the chair is the winner.
Olivia Kan, China
Eagle Catch Chicken: There will be one person at the front and that person will be the Eagle. The others line up facing the Eagle and try not to get caught.
The sharing of home-cooked food was a part of the festival that was sorely missed. However, as is often the case, this was an opportunity to create a new tradition – a community-created cookbook! Click the link and find your next recipe.
The cultural festival is my favorite event at Perkiomen, as it showcases the diversity of our community, but also builds a sense of community as we see similarities in how we have each grown up playing games and loving our local food. It deepens our understanding of each other and is something I look forward to every year. -- Logan Brassington '22
By Amber Goupil, Director of Student Life Programming
Amber Goupil has been with Perkiomen School since 2009, serving the community as Head of the Middle School as well as an art and history teacher. This past year, Ms. Goupil led the COVID-19 Task Force.