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Valley Focus | Sherman Oaks

Auditorium Holds Cultures of World

May 09, 1998|TOM BECKER

Who would guess that the world could fit inside an auditorium on Riverside Drive?

That is exactly what the people from Charlotte and Elise Merdinian Armenian Evangelical School arranged Friday as part of the school's annual multicultural day.

Inside, there was Mexico alongside Syria, Greece elbow to elbow with China and Russia sitting a few rows back from the United States.

Representatives from each country, clad in each nation's traditional costumes, sat and watched the kindergartners, dressed in red, blue and orange, sing a patriotic Armenian song of freedom.

"The U.S. is a multicultural nation and it's important that we learn about all the different cultures represented," said Vahram Shemmassian, the principal.

Each grade, from kindergarten to eighth, performed one song and one traditional dance from a different country as cameras flashed and parents clapped to the beat of the music. The walls of the auditorium were adorned with flags from each nation.

Afterward students and guests indulged in a truly worldly feast featuring a sampling of international dishes.

Shemmassian said that in addition to learning about each culture, it is important for his students to learn that Armenians are represented in nations around the globe.

"There are Armenians in so many countries throughout the world, sharing so many different cultures," Shemmassian said.

"And it's fun for us to do this. Look at all the smiles."

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