On August 29th, Spring Creek Seniors Partners (SCSP) helped Spring Creek Towers’ (SCT) resi-dents beat the heat with a multicultural extravaganza in the Brooklyn Sports Club’s (BSC) gymnasium. The International Cultural Festival offered members of the community an opportunity to embrace their heritage and share their traditions with neighbors and friends.
SCSP Director, Theodora Ziongas, organized the Second Annual International Cultural Festival to help celebrate the community’s diversity. “We wanted to provide an opportunity for members to learn about and experience each other’s cultures and country or region of origin, whether that is here in Brooklyn or half-way around the world. Our diversity is our strength and we see that although we may speak different languages, have different skin colors, etc. People around the world have more in common than that which separates us,” Ziongas said.
In light of educating the seniors about the array of cultures around them, SCSP set up tables with posters displaying brief descriptions and images of countries such as the Ukraine, Egypt, Jamaica, India, Japan, Korea and other areas.
The ambiance at the SCSP’s event was bright and colorful giving residents the feeling of being trans-ported around the world. The theme was diversity and traveling. Displayed on each table were bal-loons and paper passports with stamps from places like Greece, Antigua and more. There were little road signs with Athens written on it, post cards, and cardboard cutouts that say, “The adventure begins now!”
The International Cultural Festival featured DJ mixed music from the Caribbean, Latin America, and old school American dance classics. Some seniors boogied to the “Electric Slide,” while others preferred to “Dutty Wine” to Jamaican beats. Everyone was able to enjoy themselves on the dance floor, many of them showing off their summer outfits and native dress while dancing.
Gaylin Bailey was on the dance floor for majority of the event, shimming and shaking to the multitude of songs the DJ played. Bailey’s smile and vibrant spirit was contagious, inviting others to join her as she danced the afternoon away. “I like this event so much. Everything about it is wonderful and I just really appreciate what SCSP does for us,” Bailey said.
Attendees were also given the option to show off their traditional dress in a small fashion show during the event. Anya Buberman, Coordinator of Volunteers and Special Projects, rolled out a red carpet and announced the model and the country that they were representing. Orefelina Blanchard was excited to participate again in both the International Cultural Festival and fashion show. She proudly wore clothing indicative of her Mexican heritage, which consisted of a long green and purple shawl over an all-white outfit and topped with a violet and white sombrero. “I love this event! The food, the music, and fashion are great. I enjoy it very much,” Blanchard said.
The event ended with fun raffle prizes and a final distribution of food.
Photos by Amanda Moses