19th Annual Peace around the World: Free Family Holiday Celebration at the Penn Museum
Saturday, December 6, 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
“Peace does not mean an absence of conflicts; differences will always be there. Peace means
solving these differences through peaceful means; through dialogue, education,
knowledge; and through humane ways.” ― Dalai Lama XIV
PHILADELPHIA 2014—It’s time to get into the holiday spirit! Bring family and friends to the Penn Museum Saturday, December 6, 11:00 – 4:00 pm for the free 19th annual Peace around the World holiday celebration. Guests receive Museum “passports” with itineraries to visit eight “countries” and their cultures—China, Haiti, India, Japan, Lithuania, Mexico, Poland, and Russia—via eight international presenters, and explore festive holiday traditions from around the world. The afternoon also features holiday and children’s music, storytelling, dance performances, henna hand art, balloon art, face painting, and a family craft activity that invites guests to offer their personal wishes for peace. Special museum gallery tours, holiday Museum Shop discounts for all, and free cupcakes for children make this a special day!
“This joyful and distinctively international celebration is Penn Museum’s holiday ‘gift’ to our community,” said Dr. Julian Siggers, Penn Museum Director. “We open our doors in the spirit of cultural understanding and in the hope we all have for a world at peace.”
The Museum’s all-volunteer Women’s Committee, CxRA (Catering by Restaurant Associates), Penn Museum’s exclusive caterer and operator of the Pepper Mill Café, and the William M. King Charitable Foundation, are sponsors of the celebration. Guests are invited to bring a new, unwrapped toy donation to join in the Museum’s efforts to support the Penn Volunteers in Public Service during their holiday drive for West Philadelphia charities.
AN ARRAY OF ACTIVITIES
11:00 am – Storyteller Michele Belluomini of Blue Deer Storytelling recounts tales of peace and cooperation, and how laughter and sharing bring people together.
11:30 am – Acclaimed folksinger Daria performs popular children’s songs from around the world, singing in Arabic, English, Hebrew, Oneida, Spanish, Zulu, and more.
12:00 pm – A guided family tour of the Museum’s Native American Voices exhibition, plus the Africa and Greek galleries, to explore the ceremonial rites of passage, feasts, and music of celebrations past and present.
1:00 pm – Music resonates throughout the Museum when the Episcopal Academy Middle School Singers and Middle School Chamber Ensemble lend their voices to the festivities.
1:30 pm – Museum docent and storyteller Michele Belluomini leads visitors through the galleries to discover the “power bars” of the ancient Africans, and other food-focused artifacts during a Culinary Expeditions food tour.
2:00 pm – Acclaimed folksinger Daria offers an afternoon performance of popular children’s songs from around the world, singing in Arabic, English, Hebrew, Oneida, Spanish, Zulu, and more.
2:45 pm – Children from the Bhartiya Vidalaya Cultural Center present traditional dances from India.
3:00 pm – A guided family tour of the Museum’s Native American Voices exhibition, plus the Africa and Greek galleries, to explore the ceremonial rites of passage, feasts, and music of celebrations past and present.
PASSPORT TO THE WORLD
Peace around the World begins as guests claim their “passports” upon entering the Museum, before “departing” on their world tour. Throughout the galleries, presenters from Penn cultural student associations and community partners share aspects of their country’s holiday festivals, history, cuisine, and traditions—and stamp guest passports. Passports stamped with four or more countries earn a small memento.
Sudha Ganesh and members of the Bhartiya Vidalaya Cultural Center focus on Diwali—the Festival of Lights. During Diwali, lights are lit to celebrate the victory of good over evil and welcome Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity. Ms. Ganesh, originally from Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India, demonstrates the arts of sari-wrapping and Rangoli (sand art).
The Japan Society of Greater Philadelphia acquaints guests with the tradition of Oshogatsu, Japan’s New Year holiday, and demonstrates winter-themed origami.
Members of Lajna Ima’illah, the women’s auxiliary of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, answer questions about the basics of Islam and discuss Islamic festivals, art, and history. Opportunities for children include writing one’s name in Arabic plus henna hand art.
Monica Wojciechowski and the Penn Polish Society share aspects of Boże Narodzenie, Christmas, along with Wielkanoć (Easter) traditions. Guests are invited to help decorate Pisanki (Easter eggs) and discover Śmigus-Dyngus (Wet Monday), a joyful holiday recognized as the Monday after Easter Sunday. Friends and family celebrate Śmigus-Dyngus by throwing water at each other to symbolically reenact the blessing of baptism.
Guests can discover more cultural holiday traditions during the celebration with additional Peace around the World presenters, including the University of the Arts’ Chinese Cultural Exchange, the Haitian Professionals of Philadelphia, members of the region’s Lithuanian-American community, the Mexican Cultural Center and the Consulate of Mexico in Philadelphia, and the founders of the Russian Mosaica Heritage Festival.
FACE PAINTING, TREATS, MORE THROUGHOUT THE AFTERNOON
Beginning at 1:00 pm, guests can enjoy balloon artists and a face painting troupe. Make-and-take craft tables
invite visitors to create unity wreaths offering their wishes for a peaceful world, plus children can refuel with a free cupcake from CxRA (Catering by Restaurant Associates) while supplies last.
The Pepper Mill Café gets into the spirit, serving a Middle Eastern-themed Culinary Expeditions lunch menu. Children 12 and younger receive a free souvenir activity book and pack of crayons with any Pepper Mill Café purchase. The souvenir activity book highlights museum objects such as the Ngaady Amwaash mask in the Africa Gallery and the crystal sphere in the China Gallery, helping young guests interpret their day in the Museum’s galleries.
The Museum Shop, which features a wide range of international arts, crafts, clothing and jewelry, joins the holiday merriment with the Annual Holiday Sale, welcoming shoppers to save 10% (20% for Museum members). University of Pennsylvania staff and students, University of Pennsylvania Health System, and Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania staff (with PennCard or employee ID) enjoy 15% off.