Embracing Diversity in Burke Centre Library
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Embracing Diversity in Burke Centre Library

From left: Afomiya Alemay, Maraki Fanuil, Sophia Powell, Brittany Peng and Rachel Friedman display international foods at the event.

From left: Afomiya Alemay, Maraki Fanuil, Sophia Powell, Brittany Peng and Rachel Friedman display international foods at the event. Photo by Mike Salmon.

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Anusha Dasgupta sings and plays the harmonium.

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Irish dancers from the Boyle School do the Two Hand Soft Dance.

The tables and the faces that filled the side room at Burke Centre Library International Day were representative of the diversity of Fairfax County, but the performances and smiles were something to be proud of by all that took part on Saturday, April 28, in Burke.

Haneen Junaid, a freshman from Hayfield Secondary School, was at a table with German cookies. Her father is Arab and her mother is of German descent. This event “helps represent the countries that people overlook,” she said.

International Day was an event put on with students from all around Fairfax County, featuring food, tools, flags and performances to reflect this diversity. Nancy Klein, the libraries’ youth services manager, supervises the teen advisory board at the library. “We’re engaging the community, learning about other cultures, encouraging leadership opportunities,” said Klein. “Basically we wanted to say we welcome diversity,” she said.

Many countries were represented at the various tables that lined the walls. There was a table full of items from Vietnam, Guatemala, Bangladesh, Korea, Germany, and one with food from all over the world.

Anusha Dasgupta sang and played a song on the harmonium, which is a boxed instrument similar to an autoharp. Dasgupta is a sophomore from Oakton and the song she sang, called Akash Phora Shurjo Tara is a “song about nature,” she said.

The Irish dance group from the Boyle Dance School did a “Two Hand Soft Dance” for the audience in outfits that were made for the school. “Each Irish dancing school designs their own dresses,” said Katie Francis, a school representative.

To complement the information being taught at the event, there was a trivia question sheet being handed out as a learning tool for everyone.