Saturday, March 24, 2012

Heritage Language Competition

A few months ago, Rachel called me from the school, asking if she could stay after with her friend Tasiah.  I told her that was probably fine.  Then, she told me she had gone to Heritage Group with her friend and she really liked it.  She wanted my permission to go to the Heritage Language classes at school, and to go to the Heritage Group practices after school.  I think it is good for my kids to learn about the cultures they are surrounded by, and I believe it can be to their benefit to learn another language.  Grandpa Worthy speaks Navajo, and Rachel has been so excited to work on some of the things she is learning with her grandpa.

It wasn't long after that, Olivia asked if she could go to Heritage Language classes also.  Olivia didn't go to very many practices after school, though.  She just didn't want to miss an opportunity to play with her friends.  My good friend Jenifer Warren offered to make traditional dresses for my girls so they could perform with the group.  Olivia did not get to compete with the group in the San Juan School District Heritage Competition, though, because she didn't participate in the practices.  She was so excited to get a dress, and Jenifer and I brought her with us to the performance down at Monument Valley High School.  Jen warned me it would probably be boring, but since I have never experienced one of these competitions before, I thought it was fun and fascinating.

The funnest part was that our group won in every event they competed in.  They did awesome!

This is the group dance 

 Presentation (corn grinding, etc.)

Rachel swaddles the baby in a cradleboard.  It was fun for me to be able to tell her that my parents kept me in a cradleboard when I was a baby.

This is a skit they performed, reading in Navajo.  That is Rachel behind the monkey mask. 

The winning group.  They won six awards and had the highest overall score. 

And here is Olivia, posing with the group also. 

Jenifer did an awesome job on their dresses.  I didn't get a picture of the girls together, because Rachel had changed out of her traditional dress for the skit. 

I had to stop and be a tourist for a minute on the way home.

One of the judges, Nelson Yellowman, who is the San Juan School Board President, was curious about my little white girls performing with the group.  I just told him they love learning the language and they love being with their friends.  It was a fun day for all of us.  Thanks again, Jen.

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