Tukwila to celebrate its diverse cultures at heritage event

Tukwila Parks and Recreation together with Project Feast is presenting an evening of stories, music, and food to celebrate the diverse heritage of Tukwila residents today (Thursday, Dec. 17) at the Tukwila Community Center.

The Tukwila Heritage Event 2015: An Evening of Poetry, Music, and Food, is 5:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. today (Thursday, Dec. 17) at the Tukwila Community Center banquet hall.

Tukwila Parks and Recreation together with Project Feast is presenting an evening of stories, music, and food to celebrate the diverse heritage of Tukwila residents.

This year’s heritage event will serve as the book release celebration for The Stories of Arrival: Refugee and Immigrant Youth Voices Poetry Project. The ELL students at Foster High School have written poems that share their experiences of leaving home and arriving in a new country.

The students collaborated with Project Feast graduates to create a book that interweaves poetry with recipes, highlighting the connections between food, identity, and home. Copies of the book will be available for sale and proceeds will go toward a college scholarship fund for the student poets.

There will be live poetry readings, a variety of dance performances from different cultures, chat with local service providers, and sample a variety of bite-sized dishes prepared by Project Feast graduates.

The free event will also feature a live performance by Yamato Taiko, a traditional Japanese drumming ensemble based at Highline College.

Tukwila’s schools organized their own version of a flash mob, coming together at Foster’s Neudorf Stadium recently to celebrate their diverse student bodies.

The festival is 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Tukwila Community Center, 12424 42nd Ave. S., Tukwila.

The day before Thanksgiving, students, school district employees and community members came together to make this point: We welcome, support, and care for every one of our families; we are all now neighbors, no matter our origins; and we believe in the unlimited potential of every student.

Students made signs written in Nepali, Samoan, Vietnamese, Arabic, Somali, Burmese, and Spanish. Among the immigrant families now in Tukwila are ones from Syria.

“This was not a political statement,” said Sara Niegowski, the district’s spokeswoman. “This was about our community coming together to support our diverse families. We are a global community.

Foster High’s immigrants and refugees have been working with professional poet Merna Hecht to tell the stories of leaving their home countries and coming to Tukwila.

The Tukwila School District has posted photos and a video of the recording session here.


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