2013-08-01 / Front Page

Series of diversity workshops explore different cultures

Staff Writer

Ashwini Parchure Ashwini Parchure SOUTH BRUNSWICK — The world is a diverse place, with many different cultures and nationalities.

So, Ashwini Parchure, who is going to be a senior at South Brunswick High School this fall, thought it would be best to explore the cultures of France, Mexico and India through three different “Dimensions of Diversity” workshops as part of her Girl Scout Gold Award project. The Gold Award is the highest achievement in Girl Scouts.

“My main purpose [for these workshops] is to encourage different diversities to middle school-aged students,” Ashwini said during her presentation on Mexico on July 10 at the South Brunswick Public Library.

Ashwini told the dozen or so middle school students that they may come across situations dealing with people of different backgrounds.

“This is why this country is so successful,” she said. “We combine these different thoughts and nationalities into one workplace.”

Ashwini noted that these differences might cause conflict; however, it is important to set aside any differences and appreciate other cultures.

Ashwini said that since she speaks French, her sister Aslesha speaks Spanish and they are both of Indian descent, she thought it best to choose these three cultures for the workshops.

For Mexico, the youngsters played games, made Mexican paper flowers out of tissue paper and learned various facts about Mexico. The students were able to have a quesadilla made during the workshop.

For the workshop on France, the students had a crepe; for India, they whetted their appetites with bhel made of puffed rice, vegetables, spices and sauces.

Her mom Mohini and her friends, Purva Khanapure and

Hasin Tasneem, were on hand to help her during the workshops.

Saleena Davidson, youngadult librarian at the library, said she worked with Ashwini on various ideas for her Girl Scout

Gold project.

“She’s really at the forefront,” Davidson said. “Although we wanted the workshops to be educational, we wanted them to be fun as well, and I think these workshops did just that.”

Contact Kathy Chang at kchang@gmnews.com.

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