Multicultural Day was celebrated in style at the Presentation Primary School in Clonmel.
Pupils and staff came to school in national costume or national colours, with many proudly carrying scarves and flags to represent the 25 countries they call home.
Some of the Irish pupils chose to wear the colours of an adopted country. The classrooms and playgrounds were a riot of colour, with many creative designs and patterns. Hats, scarves, jewellery and headpieces added to the display as did some very unusual accessories such as an Australian cork hat, a didgeridoo and flamenco shoes.
The Presentation was delighted with the response of parents, many of whom visited the school to talk about their home country and its similarities and differences to Ireland. Pupils listened in amazement to tales of picking bananas, coconuts, peppercorns and tea or making clay diya lamps for the four-day festival of Diwali in India.
Pupils were fascinated by the thoughts of translucent white lizards and stealthy snakes in Brazil. Some groaned in envy at the information that winter temperatures in Argentina can reach 17 degrees Celsius. Visiting parents kindly explained the significance of particular items of clothing, jewellery and body art. Some taught songs or a dance. Many brought food, and mouth-watering aromas wafted around the corridors as pupils and staff happily sampled savoury and sweet treats.
Music and song echoed through the classrooms as teachers taught lessons with a difference. Pupils sang Frères Jacques and danced and laughed their way through the Mexican Hat Dance and an Australian Bush Dance. Artists created intricate henna hand designs and made origami hearts. Many pupils had been busy in the kitchen the previous evening, making traditional dishes including Irish stew, rosó (chicken noodle soup) from Poland, samosas and rice dishes from Pakistan and India, kaiserschmarrn (thick pancakes) from Germany and sweet puff puffs from Nigeria.
This wonderful Multicultural Day was the highlight of an annual Presentation project called Challenge to Change, which this year aimed to promote respect.