International Family Day: The Spirit of Día

International Family Day is coming on October 13.

It will be an afternoon of languages, stories, crafts, food, and dance from all over the world. It will be a chance to meet your neighbors from other countries. It will be a chance to show your child the big, broad, beautiful world that is out there, beyond the boundaries of Pittsburgh and of America. It’s a chance to learn something about the world that doesn’t have to do with what you see on the news.

But where did the idea come from? The real root of this program is in the spirit of Día. Día de los Niños / Día de los Libros is a yearly celebration of kids, books, and multiculturalism. It was founded by Pat Mora in 1997 as an elaboration on the holiday Día del Niño already celebrated in Mexico. Día continues to be a yearly celebration in libraries all over the U.S. every April.

But the idea of Día goes beyond one day. The book Día–Building a Culture of Literacy encourages bringing multiculturalism into every day’s Story Time, with books written by and featuring people from other cultures and languages. While preparing for the Carnegie Library’s Día program last April, I learned of Kenton County Library in Kentucky, which has regular World Language Story Times, in which a single book is read in several languages, with native speakers reading the story page by page.

This spurred me to suggest a similar program here at the Carnegie Library. As I proposed my International Story Time idea to more and more people, the idea grew and grew, until it became International Family Day. Stories are still at the heart of the celebration, but family and culture are about so much more than stories. Food, art, and dance are all part of the event as well.

I hope you will join us at International Family Day and see what more the world has to offer, and what you have to offer the world!

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About Ruth

I'm a teacher and a traveler.
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