47,000 WASHINGTON D.C STUDENTS TASTE FIJIAN CUISINE
Students throughout Washington D.C. Public Schools (DCPS) learned about Fiji and enjoyed Fijian food on Wednesday, November 20, in celebration of Fiji Food Day.
The Embassy of Fiji in Washington, D.C. proudly partnered with the Embassy Adoption Program, DCPS Food And Nutrition Services, the Washington Performing Arts Society, and Powell Elementary School on this day to showcase Fiji – its culture and traditions, niche products, and Fijian delicacies.
Fiji’s Ambassador to the United States, Winston Thompson said the Embassy of Fiji participated in the Embassy Adoption Program (EAP) for the past four years. Fiji was privileged to host one of the annual highlights of this Program – the International Food Day, an event held three times a year and usually given to ‘big countries’ with much bigger staff complements.
Ambassador Thompson said that on this day, the whole public school system in Washington, D.C. comprising 47,000 students had a chance to learn about Fiji and taste Fijian food. They learned about Fiji through fact sheets, posters, PowerPoint presentations and videos that were prepared at the embassy and disseminated by the DCPS system. Food on the day was prepared by 110 school kitchens and funded by the DCPS Food Service.
“At Powell Elementary School, we had the opportunity to put up display booths of a number of Fiji-made products, Fijian artefacts and posters showing the beauty of Fiji as a holiday destination,” said Ambassador Thompson.
He added that this is an investment for Fiji as we continue to tell American children about our country and its people, and Fiji as a holiday destination. The children responded keenly with questions and comments.
On the day of the event, students at Powell enthusiastically sang the Fijian National Anthem without a script; a thrilling and inspiring experience indeed! They had done their own research on Fiji and made PowerPoint presentations juxtaposing life in Fiji and the US, specifically in the DC area, plus a “thank you” presentation, and a panorama of Fiji by a Grade 5 student for Ambassador Thompson and “all the Fijian people” for bringing Fiji to their classrooms.
The students were treated to three mekes, plus a small ‘tui boto‘and ‘taura tale‘ session, concluding with the farewell song ‘Isa Lei’.
Ambassador Thompson expressed his gratitude to the EAP partner organizations, DC Public Schools and the Washington Performing Arts Society, as well as the DCPS Office of Food and Nutrition Services and Principal Janeece Docal of Powell Elementary School for this opportunity. He thanked the DC Fijian families whose invaluable support and contribution made the day a resounding success.