Video Description:

Yellow and blue gradient background. On the bottom right, there is a PSD logo (white abstract building with white hands), which remains throughout the video. . 

White wording: Celebrating Our Family Culture No Place for Hate 2021

This project acknowledges and shares traditions and cultural celebrations represented by the diverse student body and families of the Pennsylvania School for the Deaf.

The video appears with a dark blue frame: A student signs: “This video shows a diversity of cultural traditions. We hope you learn something. Enjoy.”

Fade to light blue and dark gradient background. At the top, white wording: Ichthys- Jesus fish

On the screen: A picture of Ichthys symbol with a gold border.

White wording: The Ichthys or Jesus fish was used by early Christians as a secret symbol for identifying each other, at a time when Christians were persecuted. Today it is used as an expression of faith, love and who we believe in.

Fade to two pictures. The first shows a student and his mother in a gold picture frame. The second picture shows the artwork of Ichthys done by a student. On the second picture, top, white wording: Painting: LOVE WINS! By Noah and a little help from Mom, (When the world is chaotic Love Wins!)

Fade to yellow and purple gradient background. Top, white wording: Ramadan-Islam.

A video appears showing a student, Manar, in a room with an off-white border.

“Hi, I’m Manar. I’m going to talk a little bit about a religious holiday from my faith tradition. First of all I should tell you that I am Muslim. This means that my religion is Islam. We use this hand shape in sign language to show Islam and this is why. That is our symbol. You can see the hand shape looks like the moon in that image with the moon and the star. That is something good to know. Now I am going to talk about one of our most significant holidays. This is a holiday that many Muslims celebrate: Ramadan.

Ramadan is a holiday that we recognize by fasting. Fasting means that you don’t eat or drink anything during the day. We follow the sun until night time and then once we see the moon we can eat drink and most importantly pray. We do that every night for a month. There are a couple of important reasons why we do this. The first reason is that we want our sins to be forgiven. This is a way of performing a good deed to stay closer in our connection with God, or Allah. Allah is an Arabic word that means God so you can say either one since they mean the same thing. The second reason is we want to stay connected with other people and especially with those who are less fortunate than us. There are people who are homeless or who don’t have food, and by fasting for the month of Ramadan we better understand their experience. That is another good deed. Good deeds are a way of doing things for other people to improve our lives and others and be an inspiration too. That is one of my favorite things about Ramadan. 

Ramadan lasts for a month, or 30 days, but it doesn’t happen the same month every year. Sometimes it is a little earlier or a little later but it always lasts a month. The reason that the start date changes every year is because we follow the lunar calendar. We wait until we see the Ramadan moon – it looks like a crescent moon – we then fast for the whole month of Ramadan until we see the crescent moon again. It looks like this.

That moon is important to tell us when Ramadan starts and stops. After a month of fasting then we are ready to break the fast. At the end of Ramadan we celebrate with something called Eid al-Fitr. This is a holiday where we recognize the end of Ramadan and there are traditions involved with that. This includes dressing up in formal clothing. I will show you a picture of what my outfit looked like last year. We put on makeup and fancy dress, whatever beautiful clothing you want to wear, almost as if you were going to a party or a prom. Here is my clothing from last year. That is me all dressed up.

We also have family members come together to celebrate. We may go to each other’s homes but wherever we gather we celebrate with a traditional cookie called maamoul. This traditional cookie is made of a special dough with spices and dates. If you are not familiar with a date, it is a fruit that is small and brown like this.

We use the special dough and then we stuff the dates inside to make the final maamoul cookie like this. These cookies are shared and eaten as part of the celebration. We also use a special small cup to drink a middle eastern coffee. That night after seeing each other we spend the night partying together and it is such a good time. Then we go home afterwards. Different Muslims celebrate in different ways but that is my tradition. Hopefully you enjoyed learning something new.”

Fade to yellow and purple gradient background. Top, white wording: Hijab Headdress- Muslim.

A video appears with Manar in a room with an off-white border.

“I would also like to talk a little bit about another important part of my religion. That is wearing a hijab. As you can see I have one on so I would like to talk a little bit about it. We wear it in part to show our belief in God the importance of our connection with Allah. It is a symbol of female modesty and it is our right to express our religion by wearing the hijab.

We also want to be able to demonstrate that we are more than our bodies more than our appearances it’s important to know who we are as women for our personalities our strengths our contributions i want to be known for my brain my heart what i give to the world not just for my looks so the hijab allows me to express that and is an important part of my muslim faith

We also know that traditionally women are something to be protected but i’ve been wearing the hijab since eighth grade and now i’m a senior in high school i plan to continue wearing the hijab at this point my hijab is a way of expressing myself me my confidence my religion and my modesty. I appreciate as a woman of faith and a Deaf woman that I have this religious freedom to wear a hijab. Not everyone who wears a hijab looks like me or is from an Arab family. You can have a person wearing a hijab who’s White, who’s maybe a Black Muslim. They wear hijabs too, people of various ethnicities and races wear a hijab to express their religion. I hope this was good for you to learn something new about Islam and people who wear hijabs.”

Fade to blue, purple and pink gradient background. Top, white wording: Quinceanera- Latin American.

A video appear Kathylean in a room with a light purple border.

“Hello everyone! My name is Kathylean. My family has several traditions and celebrations that I’d like to share with you. One of them is called a quinceanera. Let me show you a few pictures to help you get a feeling for what a quinceanera might look like. 

Now that you’ve seen some pictures, I’m sure you’re wondering what this celebration is all about. When a girl is turning fifteen, in our culture that is a time for a big celebration. Turning fifteen marks the transition into adulthood. To mark this big transition, many people will celebrate their fifteenth birthday by having a quinceanera. It’s almost like a big party that’s held in honor of the soon-to-be young woman. 

Everyone who has a quinceanera follows traditions a little bit differently. Some people might attend church before going to their party, while other people might plan to go straight to the celebration. There are also different traditions that take place at the quinceanera. For example some girls might do a dance performance, and there’s also a symbolic doll that is given to the girl at her quinceanera as well. Most of it really depends on the girl’s personal preferences, including the number of guests invited. This is, after all, a once in a lifetime event that she’ll look back on for the rest of her life. 

I’d like to share with you some of the pictures from my quinceanera when I turned 15. That was almost 5 years ago now. Here they are!”

“Those pictures that you just saw from my quinceanera were actually taken in Panama. It’s a tradition on my mother’s side of the family to host your quinceanera in Panama, because some of our family here in the states celebrate their daughter’s “Sweet 16” instead of planning a quinceanera. For my immediate family, like my mom, back in the day when she was turning 15, she celebrated her birthday with a quinceanera. I’ve been to other quinceanera’s too, I guess it was back in 2011 that I went to one for my mother’s friend’s daughter. 

With all this talk of quinceaneras, I’m sure you’re wondering what all is involved. I know I’ve said it’s a party, but it’s really more than that. It’s not just a bunch of people hanging out. It’s a time for family and friends to get together to celebrate. Sometimes there’s even a theme for the quinceanera. There’s also music and dancing, and usually food is served too, so that everyone can relax and enjoy themselves. You know how sometimes “Sweet 16” birthday parties will last until maybe midnight? Well for a quinceanera, it might start at 7pm, but it will keep going until 1, 2, or even 3 in the morning! 

I’ve been to some of those quinceaneras that last until late at night, and they are quite the event. When you stop to think about it though, it’s no wonder that they last so long. There’s a whole lot of time and energy, not to mention money, involved in the planning process for a quinceanera. You have to find dresses to wear, pick out the music in English and Spanish, and dances that have to be coordinated, it’s really a lot! 

Having a quinceanera of my own was important for me to feel that connection to my heritage. I’ve grown up listening to stories of my own mother’s quinceanera, and finally got to have that experience and make those memories of my own. Now it’s almost my sister’s turn to have her quinceanera. It ‘ll be in a couple years, but I’m looking forward to it. 

Many cultures celebrate the transition from childhood into adulthood when a girl turns 15. It’s an important milestone because that’s the age when you start to date, learn to drive, get a job. By that time you’re in high school and starting to think about what your future will be like. It’s a big time in your life!

Quinceaneras are a traditional celebration for hispanic people around the world. Depending on which country you and your family are from, the celebration might be a little bit different than what I’ve described. My family, specifically my mother’s side, is from Panama. So that’s where I celebrated my quinceanera and those are the traditions that my mother passed down to me when I turned 15. 

Fade to red and purple gradient background. Top, white wording: Polleras- Latin American.

A video appear Kathylean in a room with a white border.

“Hey, it’s me Kathylean again. I’ve got another cultural tradition from Panama to share with you. It’s called a Pollera. If you haven’t heard of it before, I’m sure you’re wondering what that is. So, here’s some pictures!

Now polleras aren’t something you see everyday, right? That’s because they’re traditionally worn for specific events. Some of the places that you’ll notice polleras worn are for festivals, coming of age celebrations, weddings, parades, and parties. If there’s an occasion where a woman would want to dress up and look nice, there’s a good chance she’ll be wearing pollera, completing the look with her hair and make up done too. 

Women don’t just start wearing polleras as adults, it’s something that even little girls will wear. In Panama girls will start to wear polleras to the same celebrations that women do, and it becomes a lifelong tradition.

The first time I saw someone wearing a pollera, I thought it was just some kind of dress. The more and more I saw them in Panama, I figured it must just be that they all liked that style, or maybe it was some kind of uniform. Turns out I was wrong! The history of polleras actually has ties to Spain as well as Panama. It was decided that there should be something nice for the indigenous people to wear, and some of the Spanish people wore it too. Over time the pollera has become a symbol that people identify with historical traditions, including dancing. 

It’s important to learn about cultures and traditions because they differ from country to country. In many Spanish speaking countries there are different traditional dresses, and in Panama ours is called the pollera. It has ties to Spain and also indigenous people like I mentioned before. Wearing this distinctive style of clothing to different events shows your heritage and pride in your country.

Of course learning about these traditions is important to me, because… that’s where my family is from. Having ties to Panama means I want to learn more about the culture and traditions there. I’ve learned about the history of the United States, but since I’m Panamanian and Puerto Rican it’s important to me to learn about their history too. I’ve learned more about my Panamanian ancestry, and even gotten to experience some of the traditions for myself. 

As for the polleras, I just think they’re fascinating. I hope that one day I’ll have one of my own to wear, or even use it to share my culture with others!”

Fade to blue  and  yellow gradient background. Top, white wording: Shabbat- Jewish.

A video appears with two daughters and their mother  in a room with dark blue border.

Daughters: “Our family is Jewish.”

Mom: “That’s right. On Friday nights we celebrate Shabbat. Why do we celebrate Shabbat? We celebrate Shabbat with all of this, that’s true, but why do we celebrate it?”

Daughter: “Well, the whole world — the whole world was created in seven days but on the fourth day He rested. “

Mom: “That’s right. It was a rest day so we rest too. We don’t work or anything. There are other special things about Shabbat too. What are some of those? What do we do with this?”

Daughter: “We put coins in.”

Mom: “That’s right. We put coins in. We collect money in there. Why? Who is it for?”

Daughters: “Those are for people who don’t have food.”

Mom: “That’s right. What else do we do? These. Yes, and what is the sign for it? Can you share it?”

Daughters: “We light candles.”

Mom: “We light candles, that’s right, and we pray. This is our wine or grape juice. Okay, now there is this one more thing. It is a very special kind of bread and it has a name. What is this?”

Daughters: “It’s challah.”

Mom: “Good job. How do we sign that? How do we say challah in sign language?”

Daughters: “Challah.”

Mom: “That’s right, challah.” 

Daughters: “Yum yum yum!”

Fade to orange and pink gradient background. Top, white wording: Day of the Deaf- Mexican.

A video shows Emilio in a room with a green background. A second screen shows a powerpoint with a red border.

“Hi, my name is Emilio. I’m going to explain a little bit about the Mexican tradition of The Day of the Dead. On October 28th, the celebration begins by lighting a white candle and white flowers to honor those who have passed away. The next day, October 29th, a glass of water and another candle is lit to honor the helpless souls. On October 30th, a new white candle is lit, and water and bread are left for those who passed away suddenly. On October 31st, another candle is lit, and a glass of water, white bread, and fruit are left to honor our ancestors who have passed away. 

Then, on November 1st, it’s All Saints’ Day. My family sets up an altar with all of the favorite meals of our ancestors who have passed away. This includes foods like bread, fruits, soda, even candy and….. A small loaf of bread. On November 2nd, the souls of our deceased ancestors come to visit. That’s when we have a party. At the end of the party, our ancestors have to go back home. It is time for us to say goodbye to them. We use orange flowers to help guide their way back to Mexico. 

For Mexicans who live in Mexico, that night is a time when they celebrate people who have passed away. They’ll use black and white face paint to make them look like a skeleton and they’ll hold those orange flowers. If you go to a party you’ll see lots of people there, mostly speaking spanish. Mexican kids watch puppet shows where the puppets are skeletons. The skeletons are the stars of the show. There’s also candy skeletons too, they’re sugar skulls. 

As part of the celebration for Day of the Dead, pictures of our ancestors are put on the altar with small little skeletons, and some food too. Like bread, fruit, candy, and soda. Then our family comes to visit and see the altar, and we have a party. Finally on November 3rd, we still have the altar set up and hope that our ancestors’ spirits will visit again next year.” 

Fade to purple and yellow gradient background. Top, white wording: Eid Mubarak- Muslim.

A video shows Hazim outside of the PSD campus  with an off white  border.

“Hi, my name is Hazim. I’ll share a cultural tradition from my family. It is called Eid Mubarak. My family celebrates Ramadan so this cultural tradition happens at the end of the fasting. During Ramadan we don’t eat except for at night, so we come together for Eid Mubarak. We celebrate together with multiple families. We meet each other at this social event and it becomes a real celebration. Eid Mubarak is something we do every year at the end of Ramadan.”

Fade to blue and red gradient background. Top, white wording: Joumou Soup- Haitian.

A video shows Anel in a room  with a light blue  border.

“Hello everyone. My name is Anel Petion, and I’m from Haiti. Haiti is a small island that’s south of the United States and just off the coast of Cuba. While Haiti will always be my home, now I live in the United States. Families all have their own ways of celebrating, and I wanted to share one of our cultural traditions. One of the ways that we celebrate is by making Joumou soup. I’ll show you a picture of what it looks like, but first let me tell you about the ingredients. There’s squash, tomatoes, carrots, potatoes, pasta… and a whole bunch of other things too. 

Usually we make Joumou soup for a special occasion, and every year one of those is New Year’s day, which is celebrated on the same day as Hatian Independence Day. On that day our family always comes together to share a meal, and joumou soup is one of the special dishes that we make. 

My family follows a recipe for joumou from Zoe. It’s one version of joumou that my whole family follows because it’s a good representation of our culture. I’ll show you a picture of it at the end here. But joumou is something that everyone in the family loves to eat. We look forward to coming together and having joumou every year, and I can’t imagine that ever changing. It’s celebrated on January 1st because that is New Year’s Day and also Hatian Independence Day. It’s important to pay respect to our home country of Haiti and carry on the tradition. 

My family has always enjoyed coming together on this special day to celebrate with joumou soup, and I hope that if you ever have the opportunity to try joumou you’ll enjoy it too. Thank you for watching!”

Fade to green and red gradient background. Top, white wording: Feast of Seven Fishes- Italian.

A video shows a student  in a room  with a white border.

“On Christmas Eve we celebrate the Feast of Seven Fishes. We eat shrimp and fish and all kinds of seafood. We do seven because of the seven Catholic sacraments. Also, we have a tradition because my family is Italian. We go to church and at 1:00 or 1:30 after church is over we get together. The whole family comes together, we have grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and everyone gathers around the table and we eat together. We have spaghetti and meatballs. The red sauce that goes on top? We don’t call it “sauce.” For us we call it “gravy.” Also, every year in August we get all the tomatoes and with my grandmother we mix up a big pot of homemade gravy.”

Fade to orange and green gradient background. Top, white wording: Celebration of Live Ceremony.

A video shows Gia  outside of the PSD campus  with a brown border.

“Hi, I’m Gia, and I’ll tell you a bit about one of my family traditions. In my family, we celebrate the life of anyone in our family who has passed away with a balloon, like I have here. For this, I’ve picked one family member who’s life we celebrate together every year, and that’s my brother, James Lee Hennessey. We celebrate his birthday together every year by releasing balloons. It doesn’t have to be with just one balloon, but it might be one balloon that several kids release together, or each family member might have their own balloon to release. I have one here now to show you what it would look like. 

After we release the balloon, we reflect on the significance of that person’s life, and remember what they meant to us. We want them to know that we’re thinking of them, we love them, and even though they are gone, they haven’t been forgotten. Our lives have been and will continue to be touched by their impact on us. By coming together like this it also keeps our family united and strong. So, yeah that’s it.”

Fade to yellow and red gradient background. Top, white wording: Lunar New Year- Chinese

A video shows Peter in a room with a gold border.

“Hi everyone. My name is Peter Dammer. I am two things. I am Asian American and I’m a snake. In China we have a tradition of celebrating a special holiday. It is called the Lunar New Year. If you haven’t heard of the Lunar New Year before, I’ll talk a little bit about it. It uses 12 different animals. The Lunar New Year falls on a day sometime in January or February but it depends on the year. This year, for example, it is February 12th and 2021 is the year of the Ox. To celebrate this holiday everyone comes together to celebrate traditions between parents and children. Families recognize the Lunar New Year by coming being together. They go to each other’s home and eat dinner together. It is traditional to eat Chinese food. Also, gifts are given and usually in a red envelope or “pocket” with money inside. The reason for the red envelopes is that it is considered lucky. We also watch the lion dance where people put on the costume and perform. We also celebrate with firecrackers or fireworks. Watching them explode in the sky is one of my favorite parts. I’d also like to share some other things from Chinese culture. We eat whole fish, rice and dumplings. We also eat sweet rice balls which are soft and round. We also have a lot of different kinds of noodles. For dessert we eat things like sesame and moon cakes, which are really good. We also have traditional clothing. We have the Tang Suit and cheongsam. These are clothing that is worn on special occasions. My family and I typically celebrate by watching some of the festivities on TV. After that there’s usually dancing and the fireworks. Sometimes we buy Chinese food to help celebrate. If you want to say good wishes to someone on that day you would say: Happy Lunar New Year!”

Fade to Dark and light blue gradient background.