World Appreciation Day brought 400 middle school students, teachers, and chaperones from nine schools in southern and central Wisconsin to Union South on the UW-Madison campus on November 17, 2014, for a morning of sessions to introduce the languages, cultures, histories, politics, and traditions of various countries.
Featured activities included performance/demonstrations of Okinawan-style drumming and Brazilian Capoiera, and concluded with a visit from Bucky Badger.
The program included 24 break-out sessions led by 28 presenters. These included sessions on Taiwan’s lunar year celebrations, Irish dance, traditional Chinese games, Philippine monsters, German song and dance, Russian fairy tales and music, ancient Tibetan chants, Vietnamese water puppetry, and Hausa language and culture. Other sessions introduced middle schoolers to Japan, Africa, Peru, Persia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Turkey, and Bollywood.
Participating schools were: Assumption Middle School, Wisconsin Rapids; Patrick Marsh Middle School, Sun Prairie; Immaculate Heart of Mary, Monona; O’Keefe Middle School, Madison; Bartels Middle School, Portage; Elkhorn Middle School; Belleville Middle School; Glacial Drumlin School, Cottage Grove; Fort Atkinson Middle School.
Middle school students learn about games in Indonesia. Photo by Kerry G. Hill/UW-Madison Division of International Studies