World cultures convene at PCHS

Published 3:00 am Wednesday, October 29, 2014

MESSENGER PHOTO/NGOC VO Beyonce Revels learns about Saudi Arabia with Troy International student Mohammed Alsaid.

Beyonce Revels learns about Saudi Arabia with Troy International student Mohammed Alsaid.

By Ngoc Vo

Pike County High School students took around-the-globe lessons Tuesday at the school’s annual Mix It Up day.

This year, PCHS welcomed Troy University international students to come and talk to its students about the life and culture in different parts of the world.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

The event is part of the Teaching Tolerance program, according to PCHS counselor Sharon Sullivan. Various schools design their own activities to promote tolerance among students. Mix It Up day also celebrates anti-bullying awareness month.

“We need to provide knowledge and exposure to (the students who) don’t understand cultural differences,” Sullivan said. “This is about learning about tolerance. We are different but we all are people. That’s the bottom line. If somebody does something different from you, it’s not a bad thing.”

PCHS students were excited to learn about people all over the world, Sullivan said. The students had the opportunity to ask their international guests a lot of questions regarding how the foreign governments work or how people respond to teachers.

Around 11 international students from Troy University were invited to come to PCHS, according to Tatiana Parker, the graduate assistant who helped organize the event.

Some international students provided slideshow presentations and videos to PCHS students in their classrooms. The presenters came in their traditional costume or with some items from their culture to show the students first hand. PCHS students also got a chance to mingle with their guests during their lunchtime.

Parker said in addition to learning about the foreign cultures, students learned how to speak certain words in different languages including Nigerian, Chinese, and different Indonesian dialects.

“We hope to open up their mind,” Parker said. “There are a lot more out there … A lot of our students have never been out of Alabama. And most have not been out of the country.

“We want to show the students besides the differences, there are also a lot of similarities. They are not something to be scared of but to embrace and to learn from.”

Beyoncé Revels, PCHS seventh-grader said she learned the word for Saudi Arabian drums.

Disree Myhand, a twelfth-grader, said she enjoyed meeting with the international students, too.

“I think the event really helps students to accept people from different countries,” Myhand said. “I love to learn about cultures … I think it’s very interesting to learn that Saudi Arabians don’t eat pork.”