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Aloha to Multicultural Learning Through Food

Middle School students were in for a tasty treat on Thursday, May 4 when Chef Kiki Aranita visited to speak about her Hawaiian culture — and to bring her favorite Hawaiian dishes for a lunch-and-learn session in the Middle School library in honor of APIDA Heritage Month. Aranita began by sharing common Hawaiian words, like aloha — which doesn’t just mean hello and goodbye, but embedded in those greetings is an indication of love, compassion, and respect — as well as “mahalo” (thank you), “a hui hou” (until we meet again), and “pau” (all finished).

Her presentation covered several topics about the island state, including Hawaii’s main industry — tourism — and how residents of Hawaii may have to find work elsewhere if they want to pursue other fields. She taught the boys how the term “local food” in Hawaii doesn’t mean food that is actually local to Hawaii, but rather food that was brought from other places to Hawaii but is now considered part of Hawaiian cuisine, like food from China, Japan, Korea, Portugal, and Puerto Rico, to name a few.

“It brings me joy that a middle school library is able to hold such a program,” said Middle School librarian Mark Welch. “I strive to make the Walter Lord Library the information center of the Middle School and one way to do so is to offer a variety of programs and resources for students to assimilate knowledge.”


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