Amway employees provide a multi-cultural experience

Jun 01, 2009

This post about Multicultural Day at Southeast Academic Center was submitted by Aaron Van Andel, intern for the Corporate Citizenship Department. — JH

For many years now, Amway has organized a Multicultural Day for 5th grade students at its partner school, Southeast Academic Center in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Amway employees of different ethnic backgrounds volunteer a portion of their day with the students sharing the history and fast facts of their county. After the presentations, they engage students in a craft or game that’s common to their country’s culture.

Angela Nelson and I organized Multicultural Day this year, which was held last Friday for Miss Northern’s 5th grade class.

On the agenda were four presentations, each given by an Amway employee of a different ethnic background. The first was Manuel Dipres from Rules Administration, presenting on behalf of the Dominican Republic. Manuel was born in the Dominican Republic and spent five years there before moving to New York. In his presentation, Manuel provided interesting facts about the country and talked to the kids about the number one sport there: baseball. At the end Manuel became a fan favorite by leaving the kids with baseball cards to take home.

Next, Prince Parocaron from Business Intelligence provided a look into India, where he had spent more than twenty years of his life. The kids were impressed by the number of people who lived in India and the many different attractions. Prince ended the presentation with an entertaining video of his son and daughter dancing to traditional Indian music.

Prince’s presentation was followed by an international lunch for. The students ate foods from three of the four countries covered that day (with a snack reserved later for the fourth country). The main dish was rice (steamed and fried) and chicken chop suey to give the kids a taste of Chinese cuisine. To drink, mango juice was served to coincide with Indonesia and for dessert flan was served to give a flavor of the Dominican Republic.

Lunch gave way into a presentation of Indonesia by Sri Soekaremoen from Corporate Communications with the help of Jennie Wu , also from Corporate Communications. Not very many kids knew where to find Indonesia on the map but they did know it’s where you can find the world’s largest lizard, the Komodo Dragon. Sri also came with a puppet show for the kids who participated in a story about Timon and Pumba from the Lion King.

The final presentation was on China. Rex Tsui from Market Research and Robin Luo from Corporate Citizenship gave a very knowledgeable presentation. The students were excited to hear about the panda but were a bit disappointed to find out that it actually does not know any kung fu as it did in the movie. The final activity was to teach the kids how to use chop sticks to pick up gummy bears and to learn a nifty trick.

Following the last presentation, students were served Samosa, a popular Indian snack, which ended up being the highlight of the food due to its spicy, green pepper sauce. Amazingly, a majority of the kids enjoyed how hot it was, except for one unfortunate boy who upon tasting it immediately ran to the nearest sink for some water.

At the end of the day, the students learned a lot about the many lands and cultures our world has to offer. Both presenters and students alike enjoyed the experience, providing yet another successful day for the One by One Campaign.

Manuel talks about the Dominican Republic

Prince talks about India

Break for multicultural cuisine

Sri on Indonesia

Shadow puppet show

Chinese lessons with Rex

Robin teaching chop sticks

Aaron with Mrs. Northern's Class

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