Cultural Exchange is the cornerstone of our J-1 program. We plan for at least 2 cultural activities a month, which means we have thousands of participants across the United States experiencing local culture. Cultural activities increase in the participant’s emotional ties to the community they’re living and working in, strengthens the relationships with their colleagues, and introduces Americans to invaluable experiences from the participant’s home culture.
During the weekend of July 16-17, Spirit Cultural Exchange took 39 participants living and working in Lake Harmony PA to a Native American Powwow. Spirit provided transportation and tickets for all of the attending participants. The 39 participants were from China, Turkey, Georgia, Jordan, Macedonia, Spain, and America.
Many of the participants did not know that Native American people still existed in America and were excited to learn that they were wrong, and they could attend a powwow.
The powwow consisted of Native American singing, dancing, and drumming, as well as crafts from native artisans and Native American food.
Participants on Saturday talked to the craft vendors and purchased a lot of handmade Native American crafts as souvenirs. The participants on Sunday were more interested in the dancing and they even got into the dance circle and danced with the performers! There was also a tomahawk throwing booth where the participants could learn the correct way to throw a tomahawk.
The participants from Jordan were very impressed that Spirit Rep Jessica Hines speaks Arabic and were excited to hear how she learned it.