50 languages spoken in one school
ST MARK’S Community School in Tallaght held its fourth annual ‘Culture Day’ to celebrate the array of different cultures and the incredible 50 languages that are spoken at the school.
The annual Culture Day was held on Thursday, May 12, at the school, where staff and students got to experience and enjoy the many different cultures from other students on the day through authentic traditional cuisine, singing, dancing and lots of laughter.
A fashion show showcasing traditional clothing from each country also took place by the students.
This year the school had visits from the Australian, Brazilian, Turkish, Indian and Lithuanian Ambassadors.
St. Mark’s is a school in which over 50 languages are spoken and each year at this event the different cultures that make up our community were celebrated.
Speaking about the day, teacher at the school, Mr Michael McGarry said: “Although we celebrate what makes each of our cultures unique and different, it is also a day when we can see all the things that we have in common.
“Our Culture Day has successfully broken down many of the barriers between our students; teaching us to value, appreciate and respect one another and the beauty of our heritages.”
Some of the students at St Marks told The Echo what Culture Day meant for them.
“Culture Day is important to our school because it’s bringing all the cultures together,” said student Benjamin Toplic.
“It is a day of fun where people can learn about different cultures and about their country and history.
“It is a day where everyone can put aside their differences and have a chance to meet new people.
“It is really important to our school as it shows our pride and strength together as a school community.”
Another student, Baroness Esi Toah, told The Echo: “Culture Day was a really fun experience, and I was glad to see it back again.
“My favourite part of the day was the performances, it really livened up everyone in the hall. Culture Day is also really important for our school because it shows how diverse our school has become over the years.”
Anna, a student who was representing Ukraine on the day, said: “We prepared Ukrainian national dishes and made decorations in the colours of the flag of Ukraine.
“I think that to have a culture day is important because then people get to know their fellow students and know who they are studying with.
“In my opinion it is important for us to connect with other people, and this can be done through learning about other cultures.”
Nikita Leonkins, a student from Latvia said that she felt “proud” to be able to showcase food from her native country.
“I felt proud to show off my culture and all the food that I enjoy,” she said.
“I enjoyed seeing all the other cultures and hearing how much people enjoyed tasting new foods.”
Sixth-year student, Katherine Amusan, whose parents are both from Nigeria, said that the day gave her the opportunity to learn about different cultures.
“It was very hectic but also very exciting,” she said.
“You are going to school every day with these students and we have all connected with the Irish culture and sometimes it can be hard to be in touch with our own cultures or learn about other people’s.
“I think it was great that we had one day that we were all learning about each other and embracing each other’s cultures. I learned a lot about my friends that I didn’t know previously.”