Students at St. Mary School in Marietta saw Philippine currency, tasted Mexican cookies and heard music from a Scottish bagpipe Tuesday, all in the school's old gym.
There were a total of 19 countries represented during the school's International Day and all of the school's students left their classrooms in shifts to participate.
"It's like a tour around the world without taking an airplane," said Sylvia Rajakaruna, a teacher at the school and organizer of the event.
St. Mary students celebrate International Day
Rajakaruna noted that the event is held every other year, with Tuesday's International Day having been the 10th.
People representing the countries - including some originally from those places - displayed items in the old gym for children to see and learn about and in some cases taste, hear and feel.
Rajakaruna is from Sri-Lanka and she showed students batik art, a practice believed to have been started more than 2,000 years ago that involves dying cloth.
ASHLEY RITTENHOUSE The Marietta Times
Joan Coffey, representing the country of Scotland, shows students how to use a spinning wheel to spin wool during International Day at St. Mary School in Marietta Tuesday. There were a total of 19 countries represented in the program, during which students learned about their clothing, food, music and culture.
Tom Paguirigan, who has lived in Marietta since 1983 but is originally from the Philippines, displayed not only currency from the country but also pictures showing examples of ancient architecture and popular tourist spots in the country.
"What they don't realize is that 80 percent of the Philippines is a Catholic nation and what they don't realize is the Philippines is a tourist paradise," Paguirigan said. "It is a pride for us to introduce people to the Philippines."
Students were also introduced to Ireland during International Day. The country was represented by Tom Binegar and Roger Patterson, both with the Monsignor Donal O'Carroll Division of the Ohio Ancient Order of Hibernians.
Held Tuesday in the old gym at St. Mary School in Marietta.
A total of 19 countries were represented.
All of the students in the school participated, learning about the food, clothing, music and culture from the countries.
Patterson talked with the students about Ireland's music, showing them the fiddle and the Irish bodhran drum and spoons.
"It's an international instrument...but the Irish use them a lot," Patterson said of the fiddle.
Shelley Moore, a fifth-grader at the school, said she learned a lot and also had fun during International day.
"We learned if you're from Poland you're called a Pole and I thought that was interesting," said Moore, 11.
"In Poland we got to try a chocolate marshmallow," said her classmate, 10-year-old Sophia Staudt.
The school's teachers as well as parents who helped out with Tuesday's event said they saw how beneficial it was for the children.
Cathy Dunaway, a fifth-grade teacher at the school, said she always looks forward to International Day.
"It's so enriching for the kids. It just expands their knowledge of the world," Dunaway said. "We take that knowledge to the classroom and further explore what they've learned."
LeeAndra Smith wasn't sure what to expect since she had never helped with International Day, but she said she was impressed.
Smith has children in kindergarten and first grade at the school.
"It's good for them to see people from the places and learn about different things and it's a little more hands on than they do in class," she said.