Culture is a strong part of people’s lives. It influences their views, their values, their humor, their hopes, their loyalties, and their worries and fears. Being culturally aware is becoming an important skill to have in both the workplace and in everyday life.
North Sanpete High School (NSHS) Sterling Scholar Lucy Anderson and College Counselor Ben Cox wanted to broaden the minds of their students and help them see and understand various cultures. They approached Wasatch Academy to see if students from our global community would be interested in giving a presentation to students at NSHS. Three Tibetan students, Norzom, Dhesel, and Namgyal, jumped on the opportunity to share their culture. They dressed in native dress, played the Dranyen (Tibetan guitar), talked about the history and culture of Tibet, and answered questions.
Students of NSHS were captivated as they learned about the Tibetan political climate, admired the fashions, and learned about the differences in social media availability in India and China. The students at NSHS realized that even though these students are from Tibet, they are still teenagers just like them with similar interests and growing pains. “The students were very well spoken, their slides were well prepared, they conducted themselves in a professional manner, and they held the kids’ attention super well. It was impressive,” stated WA Spanish teacher Scott Butler.
Butler continues, “More than ever, children are exposed to news media that often presents over-simplified or biased perspectives on world events such as military conflicts, racism, and radicalization. Being able to empower young people to negotiate the politics of information in today’s world has never been more important from a social perspective — it is core to equipping young students as effective local and global citizens.”