Each year, World Link holds an International Education Week competition to encourage their students to share their culture in fun and interactive ways. This year, World Link students gave over 650 presentations to 20,000 people in their communities! Finalists for the competition are chosen not only by the number of presentations, but more importantly creativity in those presentations that made the audience feel as if they had taken a step in the daily life of our student.
Here are the results!
Grand Prize Winner: Sahar Tuma (Israel/CA)
Sahar made it her mission to share her culture with any many people as she could, giving 29 presentations to over 900 people in her community! Sahar wanted to focus on the topics that interested her audience so before every presentation, she had her audience write down questions about her country and culture, responding to unanswered questions at the end of each presentation. This exercise helped Sahar tailor her presentations throughout the week. A favorite activity for the audience was learning to write their names in Arabic and Hebrew. She also brought in her favorite Arabic dish and traditional clothes for her audience to try. In most presentations, she taught a traditional dance and gave away Palestinian flag pins to audience members for participation. Sahar also talked about her personal experiences of living in a region that is facing conflict.
Selbi Veliyeva (Turkmenistan/CA) had 21 presentations during her IEW week. She read a poem by a famous Turkmen author, shared traditional dances through teachings and video, brought in a Turkmen carpet and jewelry and shared their cultural significance. The audience enjoyed learning about a traditional wedding in her country as they are quite unique from US weddings. To end her presentations, she held a trivia contest and gave out traditional bracelets as prizes – many of her peers are still wearing them today!
Nino Dakhundaridze (Georgia/IL) gave 25 presentations to almost 800 people! Each presentation she made unique as she knew some of her peers would be seeing her present twice. She included a variety of activities like writing names and teaching phrases in Georgian, singing her national song, and teaching her national dance. Nino took the time to create a video of her making the traditional Georgian food “Khachapuri” so her peers could attempt to make it themselves. Her presentations were also filled with personal family traditions and her experiences in both her US high school and school back home. She really gave her audience a ‘day in the life of Nino’ experience!
Ernis Sultanov (Kyrgyzstan/IA) wore his traditional hat everyday and everywhere during IEW week. He gave a total of 10 presentations filled with interesting cultural facts. He made announcements in his native language in the school overhead speakers and gave away many souvenirs from his country as prizes. He enjoyed teaching a traditional game and his engineering class had fun attempting to build a model replica of the national Kyrgyz dwelling out of pipe cleaners! Ernis’ excitement for sharing his culture was clear from day 1 of IEW week!
Kasiet Azamatova (Kyrgyzstan/CA) wanted to make sure her audience felt like they were in Kyrgyzstan. She gave 15 presentations, bringing in the national food “Chak Chak”, teaching a national dance and singing her national anthem. A highlight for her and her audiences was learning a national game “Toss Scarf”. On top of have photos and pictures, she also brought in models of a national dwelling, a traditional carpet, and some other little cultural items. We think her audience were given the full Kyrgyz tour!
Manana Kapanadze (Georgia/CA) wore her traditional dress for all of her 15 presentations. She brought in her flag as well as a traditional wine horn. Above giving general information about her country and culture, she sang her national anthem and taught her traditional dance. Manana set up a unique presentation with her Amine club where each member represented a different country and they discussed if Georgia should join NATO. At the end of the week, she had taught her language so well she was able to make a video of her peers saying facts in Georgia, in Georgian!
Asma Rassem (Yemen/CO) started planning her IEW presentations in Mid-October and was able to give 17 presentations all over her town! Her presentations were filled with cultural sharing activities like writing audiencenames in Arabic, teaching a traditional Yemeni dance, bringing in a Quran and prayer rug to discussed the religion of Islam. A favorite activity for Asma and her audience was learning about traditional dress. She made it fun by demonstrating how to wear a head scarf on willing participants as well as an abaya. She found it amusing when the boys tried them on. Asma’s main goal during IEW was to break down negative stereotypes Americans in her community have about her culture and religion. It was her passion and drive which helped her and is continuing to help her work to achieve this goal.
Irfan Durmic (Bosnia & Herzegovina/IL) took a unique approach when it came to giving 14 presentations during International Education Week. After giving basic information about his country and singing or playing for them a national song, Irfan took a ‘choose your own adventure’ route with the rest of his presentation time. He let the audience choose among a variety of topics they wanted to learn about. Many of the classes wanted to learn about the educational system in his home country while some chose to learn about dating and relationships. A favorite topic chosen was ‘a day in the life of Irfan’ where Irfan showed personal photographs of his family and friends, his school, his city, and social events. Irfan not only shared information about his country, but he opened himself up to his peers; making him even more of a local celebrity.
FLEX Honorable Mentions:
Olia Avramenko (Ukraine/IL) didn’t give presentations, she put on shows! Instead of giving facts about her country slide by slide, she made her presentations as interactive as possible. She started out like an average presentation, in her traditional costume, sharing general country information with photos. She then showed a funny Ukrainian cartoon which gave her time to change into her own character, a traditional Ukrainian warrior costume (mustache and all!). From there, her presentations were completely interactive! She proceeded to teach her audience a traditional dance and then organized a dance battle! The winner of the battle won Ukrainian paper money and the one who lost received a coin. These were the prizes for her Ukrainian fact trivia contest as well. In each presentation, Oila was enthusiastic, dramatic, and theatric! She truly did put on a show!
Anastasiia Lysogorova (Kyrgyzstan/CO) broke each presentation into sections. The first sections she showed her PowerPoint presentation which included basic information about her and her country and included her own photographs she has taken. In the 2nd section she did a show and tell of traditional Kyrgyz items like the flag and attire she was wearing. The 3rd section of her presentations were genuinely unique. She used her creativity and video making skills to produce two videos; one back in her home country of her peers describing what they think the US looks likes; (view it here: https://vimeo.com/151066767) which gave her US audience a laugh, and then a second video of what her American learned about the US throughout #IEW2015 (see it here: https://vimeo.com/151066765)!
YES Honorable Mentions:
Iqra fnu (Pakistan/IA) was creative in the way she tailored her presentations to the interest of the class she was giving it too. For example, in a Spanish class she taught her peers greetings in Urdu. In a business class, she presented on Pakistani currency and economics. She gave out post cards of historical places and spoke about the different historical eras of her country in a history class. In an art class she discussed art in Pakistan and its relation to Pakistani history as well as showed a video about a unique art form to her country- Pakistani Truck art, which reminds people all over the world of the unique style, culture and heritage of Pakistan! Enjoy this video of Iqra teaching her peers some greetings in Urdu: https://vimeo.com/151064103
Kharyriyyah Ala (Philippines/IA) was dedicated to showing her community how amazing and colorful the culture and traditions of her native country are. She showed photos of Filipino holidays, festivals, attire, delicacies, tourists spots, and native tribes. She taught her audience Filipino words. Gave out key chains, post cards, and recipes to her teachers. Most of Kharyriyyah’s presentations were to a younger audience so she kept their attention by teaching a traditional children’s game. She gave out stickers with a map of the Philippines to those who participated. A unique fact about one city in her country is that it is called the “selfie capital of the world” so she made sure to include a unique cultural sharing activity in her presentations- taking a selfie with her audiences!