By Anne Marie Amacher
DAVENPORT — A trip around the world was open to visitors during the St. Ambrose University Diversity Fest held March 22 in the Rogalski Center.
Children picked up passports as they entered the children’s area. While visiting the United States display, they learned about Native Americans and could make several crafts, including a totem pole.
Next was a stop to Nigeria. Youth could participate in a dig, try on attire from that country, view handmade jewelry or hear music from instruments played by women with connections to the country.
Greece was the next stop. Members of the Children’s Campus at St. Ambrose University, along with St. Ambrose students, had displays and a slide show featuring items and pictures of Greece. Children could make “worry beads.” A Greek dance was performed.
The final table in the room featured the culture of Mexico. Crafts to be made included a god’s eye in the Mexican colors of green, white and red, and a skeleton to represent the tradition of the Day of the Dead.
Shala Danker, lead teacher in the infant/toddler room at the Children’s Campus, said the children’s activities were meant to be meaningful, purposeful and to educate.
She said staff at the Children’s Center used connections they had in the Quad-City community to provide activities as authentic as possible and simple enough for children.
On the third floor, children could continue to get their passports “stamped” with a sticker from other counties that had display tables.
Tables featured such items as photographs of life in a specific country, jewelry and pottery made in that country and other things. Among countries represented were Poland, Norway, the Celtic lands, and Cambodia, Nepal and Iran. Representatives at two tables wrote names of visitors in the native language of the representatives’ countries.
Other tables were headed by various groups on the St. Ambrose campus and from the Quad-City community.
Jewelry and gift vendors as well as vendors serving authentic foods from different countries also participated.
Entertainment included a Native American dance, Irish dancers, Philippine/American folk dancers and a Nepalese cultural dance.