Cultural immersion is a way for people to understand the customs, practices, rituals and language of the people of a particular location. Learning by doing is the ultimate intercultural learning. Manhattan Country School students have long been immersed in the rural culture of the Catskill Mountains. Living, working and playing at the MCS Farm allows our kids to experience a way of life in a place that is quite different than their urban homes.
MCS fifth-graders had an opportunity to experience Halloween in the Village of Roxbury this week. While the custom of wearing costumes and trick or treating is not foreign to our students, the logistics were. Rather than trick or treating through large apartment buildings, the fifth-graders lived like locals and walked from one single-family home to another in a neighborhood. While the amount of “loot” they acquired was less, the experience is something they’ll always remember.
The students also took part in the annual Roxbury Central School Halloween Parade. Led by the school’s marching band, students from pre-K through sixth grade marched through the village’s Main Street, which was lined with onlookers. Kids decked out in Halloween costumes waved to the crowd as they walked up the street and then back to the school. Our MCS class walked with the RCS fifth-graders, who also happened to be their pen pals in the 9-10s. Celebrating a common ritual in a slightly different way gave our students an opportunity to be immersed in the local Roxbury community.