Durfee Celebrates Foreign Language Month

Kelsey Rodrigues 15’
Staff Reporter
March 19, 2014

Durfee has always been notorious for embracing its diversity and celebrating the many cultures that embody the local community. In honor of foreign language week, Durfee has extended the festivities to the entire month of March.

Throughout the month, foreign language students have been participating in a number of activities to promote cultural awareness and gain a more in depth view of the language they study.

Flags on display in World Language Department. 

                                     -Hilltop File Photo              

Two weeks ago, French students were treated with freshly made savory and sweet crepes, provided by La Creperie of Providence. Other fun activities include decorating the building, skype sessions with students in other countries, trying a variety of delicious ethnic foods, cultural dance lessons, and attending musical performances by prominent Portuguese artists.

Students have also begun attending a variety of workshops led by local comedy group, The Portuguese Kids, John Mark Andrade, who is the Associate Head Coach of men’s soccer at Providence College, Mr. Fernando Da Silva, a Spanish teacher at Durfee and whaling expert, Dr. Maria Rumsey, a cardiologist at neighboring hospitals, and many other inspirational leaders in the community.

“I’m more hands on so when I’m hearing the music, eating the food, meeting the people I definitely feel like I’m learning more about the culture than if I was just reading it out of a book,” said Matt Mello, a student studying Portuguese.

World Language Department Head, Mr. Tony Rodrigues, is delighted by the enthusiasm and involvement that the month-long celebration has garnered from both students, faculty, and the community.

“The goal is to educate students on other cultures and hopefully help them gain a greater appreciation of them, along with a deeper pride in their own heritage," said Rodrigues.

This week, students received a lesson in Merengue, Bachata, and Salsa dancing on Monday and will attend a seminar Thursday on cultural intelligence  competencies led by M. Anyi Espinal of the Multicultural Foodservice and Hospitality Alliance (MFHA) along with a Portuguese music performance the same day.

Next week wraps up Foreign Language Month for 2014 and many students are looking forward to celebrating again next year!