Last weekend, I was invited by a STEM staff member (Vinaya Raigaonkar) to attend an Indian cultural event called “Darshana- A Glimpse into the Hindu Civilization.” For years, I have attempted to understand this ancient and complex culture. French economist Thomas Piketty wrote extensively about how the British attempted to create a system to better understand the subcontinent and failed. It is far too complex rooted in thousands of years of traditions.
The event last week was almost three years of curation to design around twenty posters to capture deep cultural roots around topics such as traditions, mathematics, architecture, yoga and more. In about one hour, a visitor could better understand the depth and breadth of Indian history and culture.
Through STEM’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) committee, and STEM’s Parent Teacher Organization (PTO), wouldn’t it be wonderful to have quarterly showcase events highlighting the cultures of our STEM families? Instead of adult experts explaining the posters, I could imagine a STEM family adopting each station with STEM students leading the explanation.
I asked the organizers if STEM could be a future location for this mobile show. It is so new, that they were uncertain when it would be ready to travel. Big thank you to LynAnn Kovalesky and Amie McElroy for attending the event with me.
Many cultures have developed traveling showcases to increase awareness. Mizel Museum has created a curated Jewish museum to be in schools increasing awareness of Jewish traditions.
STEM School Highlands Ranch increases ethnic diversity each year. We are getting close to 50% of our student population. I often reflect that we look and sound like the United Nations.
India has long been intriguing to me. My son spent a year learning Hindi, both spoken and written to prepare for working in the United States Embassy in Delhi. He lives there with his wife who is also learning Hindi. My sister-in-law, Rashmi, is ethnically Indian but grew up in Georgia and has a heavy southern accent. Through the decades, she has introduced us to Indian cuisine and culture. The Darshana experience over the weekend summarized so many bits and pieces I have learned into a coherent story. I believe it will be well received by the STEM community to help us all better understand this ancient and complex culture. Plus, it gives our STEM students with family roots in India an opportunity to showcase their heritage.
To give equal access to all of our families, our DEI and PTO could schedule quarterly events showcasing our rich cultural heritage at STEM.
Happy Easter to our families who celebrate this holiday and Chag Pesach Sameach for our families who celebrate Passover,
P.J. Eucker PhD, CEO, KOSON Schools