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World comes to Gulfport through International Fair

Published: Dec. 10, 2021 at 8:25 PM CST
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GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - On Friday, the world came to Gulfport.

This is the second year for the Gulfport School District’s International Festival and the first time for Bayou View to be the host. And it’s organized by Gulfport High Schools foreign language students.

“I think that what we’ve pulled off together, manifested beautifully today,” said student coordinator Zechariah Boykin-Dedeaux. “And, I’m excited.”

GHS student Zicuria Watkins came prepared to perform a traditional Mandarin dance.

“I love kids. I love working with kids,” she said. “I just like to show them that it’s different cultures. You know, it’s easy to learn.”

And easy to like.

“I like just how you learn about different places that you’ve never been before,” said BVE student Dallas Gillum. “And it’s interesting how you get to try different things. You can make different things.”

“I like to visit all the different countries and I like getting the passport stamped,” said student Jack Lawrence.

To add to the experience, Gulfport High culinary arts students prepared 6,500 cups of food samples so students could literally taste cultures worldwide.

And, of course, international travel needs the appropriate guides.

“The Gulfport School District got us flight attendant outfits because the children are traveling all over the world,” said PTA president Alina Goldin. “So, we have a couple of flight attendants here kind of directing the way.”

Yanglin Gong is the event coordinator.

“I’m hoping our elementary school students will get to experience foreign language at their young age to get to know the different cultures, know the difference, to learn to respect and to practice what they learned into their real life,” she said.

And, they are.

“Even though people are different, they can come together as one,” said student Jiyah White. “And cultures are very important to everyone.”

Student Kanden Kelley agreed.

“It helps me because when I see immigrants come to the school, I can learn about their culture instead of just judging them by the way they look or the way they speak,” he said.

More than 10 countries were represented at the event.

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