As Beaver’s performing arts season gets underway, the Middle School has been hard at work preparing “Legend of the Poinsettia.” This play tells the story of a thirteen-year-old Latino girl trying to fit in at a non-Latino Catholic school. She rejects her own culture and traditions in favor of acceptance from her American peers.
In addition to rehearsing for the play, teacher and Performing Arts Department Chair Kelley Lopez has students connect with it by reflecting on their own heritage and the traditions that come with it. This helps students gain a better understanding of the characters and their actions. Students record their thoughts on Ms. Lopez’s blog.
Here is one of her prompts and student responses:
Please write about a ritual that you do around a holiday. What does the ritual mean to you and your family ? Why do you do it?
It has become tradition for my mom and I to make stuffing using my late great-grandmother’s recipe. Since I was born, I have been watching my mom bring my great-grandmother’s spirit to our family get-togethers. A few years ago, I began to help my mom cook, and now I look forward to the holidays for many reasons, but a large one being I get to make my great-grandmother’s stuffing and keep her spirit alive.
Every Christmas someone in my family makes a meal and we go over to their house. There is usually Spanish music in the background and some adults hum or sing to the lyrics. Since the table is not big enough for all of us, we take turns. Usually the kids go first then the adults. We eat typical Dominican food such as moro de guandules (spanish rice with pigeon peas), pernil (oven cooked pork), pastelitos (a fried appetizer filled with meat or cheese), and flan (a cold pastry). The food usually comes from everyone, so each part of the family brings in a dish and I like helping my mom with her cooking. We always have a fun time and a lot of our family is there — even some from the Dominican Republic. I always look forward to the years we have family Christmas meals because they don’t happen often.