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Sandy Journal

Around the world in an afternoon; Beehive students share during international day

Jul 07, 2023 09:00AM ● By Julie Slama

Sophomore Aisha Awan and her sister, senior Anya, were excited to share their Ukrainian heritage with their classmates during Beehive Academy’s international day. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

Students in colorful traditional dress, savory aromas whiffed through the air and about 30 tables filled with remembrances were displayed in two multipurpose rooms at Beehive Science and Technology Academy.

It was a chance for students to share their heritage, food and culture with their peers and families. The tables rich with traditions ranged from India to Italy.

“It’s a huge part of us and our family,” said senior Anya Awan who had a display about the Ukraine with her sister, sophomore Aisha. “My mother cooks traditional dishes. It’s part of our identity and it just means so much to us, so we wanted to share it.”

Their mother was born in the Ukraine and has taught them some of the traditions and customs, including how to make filled crepes and water cake, which they had available for sampling.

“We have many beautiful landscapes and our we have an extremely rich culture and folk art and folk literature, as well as many beautiful traditional clothing such as the embroidery on our shirts,” Aisha Awan said.

The sisters shared with their peers that Ukraine residents mostly speak Ukrainian or Russian, which the girls both are able to understand.

They still have family in the Ukraine.

“They’re doing OK for now, but there’s constantly power outages and disruptions with electricity; and they can only use running water for a certain amount of time. They’re also hosting people from other places, helping them. It’s a struggle, and the war has been going for over a year, but they’re getting through it because they’re very strong people,” Aisha Awan said.

Her sister added that at first school was canceled in the Ukraine during the war with Russia, but now, students study online.

“Ukraine is a very important to many parts of the world because it exports so many crops, like barley, wheat, corn, sunflower oil. It’s really a beautiful country,” Anya Awan said.

The girls appreciated the school’s international fair.

“The fact that we get a chance to express something that means so much to us is the best part,” Aisha Awan said. “Seeing all the different cultures that are important to others and having them share it, is absolutely wonderful.” 

Around the gym was sixth-grader Ella’Lin West, who chose to share her passion for cooking.

“I wanted to share about France because I love French food. I love macaroons, eclairs and crepes,” she said, and had shared some of her pastries at the international day. “I wanted to explore and practice other different types of cooking and baking.”

A visit to France is on her bucket list.

“That’s one place I’d love to go. I love art and they have a bunch of amazing art museums,” she said. “So, it’s just too perfect to not go and see the art, sample the cuisine, meet all the people and see the sights. I’m glad I got the opportunity to learn about it.” λ