Penn Museum's Free Holiday Family Celebration
Sunday December 6, 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Grab your "Passport" and get into the spirit of the holiday season Sunday, December 6th, 1:00 to 4:00 pm, with the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology's 14th annual FREE Peace Around the World family afternoon. All visitors receive Museum "passports" with itineraries to visit ten countries via ten International Classroom speakers and explore holiday traditions in countries around the world. The day also features holiday choir music by children and adults, Maya storytelling, face painting, balloon art, international family crafts, free treats for children, and more!
Peace Around the World is co-sponsored by the Museum's volunteer Women's Committee, Penn's Middle East Center, Center for East Asian Studies, South Asian Center and African Studies Center, the Bharatiya Cultural Center, the Bharatiya Vidayalaya of Montgomeryville, Pennsylvania, and Canada Dry.
"We are delighted to offer this free, annual holiday ‘gift' to the community," noted Richard Hodges, Penn Museum's Williams Director. "As the holiday season approaches, all of our thoughts naturally turn to connecting with others, near and far-and to our higher aspirations of one world at peace."
Guests can pick up their "passports" when they enter the Penn Museum, before "departing" on their world tour. International Classroom program presenters in different galleries will stamp visitors' passports after sharing aspects of their country's history, festivals, language and social customs. Passports stamped with four or more countries can be taken to the Pyramid Shop for Children to receive a small world-traveler prize.
Chioma Ancholonu, a drummer and artist from Nigeria, introduces guests to a Nigerian celebration, Moonlight Games, and teaching Igbo dance steps and drumming in the Museum's African Gallery.
In the Lower Egyptian Gallery, Turkey native Gozde Senel Ayaz, a graduate student at Drexel University, shares Turkey's rich culture, heritage, religion, and traditions. Ms. Ayaz focuses on Turkey's legendary hero and father, Mustafa Kemal, who revolutionized Turkey's culture and policies and eternalized his political view with the motto "peace at home, peace around the world."
In the Central American Gallery, native Peruvians Milagros Chiri, Jason Holloway, and Carmen Violeta Vincente talk about the culture of Peru, delving deep into politics, social customs, art, music, and native costumes. Milagros Chiri will share her favorite Peruvian dish called Lomo Saltado made with rice, beef and potatoes.
In the Upper Egyptian Gallery, sisters Hala and Maha Attia from Egypt introduces visitors to cultural and urban life in Egypt and offer guests a taste of traditional kushri made with rice, lentils, tomatoes and spices.
Surrounded by South and Southeast Asian artifacts, student Muqaddas Ejaz from Pakistan shares aspects of her country's biggest and most celebrated festival: the Festival of Eid. The festival marks the end of Ramadaan, the Muslim holy month, and involves performing charitable acts and visiting with family and friends.
In the Mosaics Gallery, Marta Garriga shares festivities of a Catalonian Christmas in Spain. Ms. Garriga is a public school teacher who has taught for the Government of Spain in Barcelona and for the Education Department of Tate Britain in London. She will recreate a Catalonian Christmas celebration through photos, music, and food.
In the Southwest Gallery, Carla Conti from Sante Fe, Argentina shares her love of music with a presentation about the folklore of the tango.
Guests can create Origami figures as Takaaki Ishikawa, from Tokyo, demonstrates this traditional Japanese craft in the Chinese Rotunda.
Students from Penn-PCCW International Young Scholar Program introduce visitors to Chinese holidays including the Chinese Spring Festival, Chinese Lover's Day, Mid-Autumn Festival, and the Dragon Boat Festival.
Prema Deshmukh, coordinator of the International Classroom at the Penn Museum and originally from Hirehonnihali, India, introduces guests to Diwali, the Festival of Lights. During Diwali, lights are lit to celebrate the victory of good over evil and welcome the goddess of wealth and prosperity, Lakshmi.
In-between traveling to these different "countries," visitors can enjoy musical performances. Regional school children join in the celebration, offering holiday-themed choral music that fills the galleries. At 1:00 pm, the Episcopal Academy Middle School Choir and Orchestra lend their voices to the festivities. The Haverford School Notables, an a cappella group, performs more holiday songs at 3:00 pm
Elin Danien, Penn Museum American section consulting scholar, leads Maya storytelling sessions with readers Berta Harvey and Carlos Hernandez, and musicians John Burkhalter and Max Lavery. At 2:00 pm and 3:00 pm in the Rainey Auditorium, Maya tales are interpreted with a modern twist and recited alongside the sounds of ancient Maya instruments.
Throughout the day, Peanutbutter's face painting troupe and balloon artists entertain young guests. In the Chinese Rotunda, young visitors can refuel between activities with a free cupcake and soda at special craft tables.
New to Peace Around the World is Richard Aldorasi's Ebru workshop on the Turkish art of "cloud painting" on paper. For an additional charge, Mr. Aldorasi offers visitors the chance to create their own silk scarf. Families can create cultural items inspired by the Penn Museum's special exhibitions, such as jewelry and masks inspired by Ur's famous artifacts, and assembling Maya puzzles and crafts, all perfect for holiday gifts.
The two shops join in the festivities as well, offering 10% discounts on all purchases (20% off for Museum members). Plus, on this special day only, Penn Museum offers visitors a $25 discount on family memberships. The Museum Café gets into the spirit, with a variety of hot entrees and holiday desserts available for purchase.
Visitors are invited to join in the holiday spirit of giving; a Toys For Tots Philadelphia official gift drop box will be accepting all new, unwrapped toy donations.
Penn Museum's International Classroom strives to promote intercultural understanding between residents of the Delaware Valley area and people from around the world. Drawing from a pool of about 150 speakers from 50 countries and six continents, the international Classroom is a rich resource for classrooms and teachers to facilitate learning about other cultures.
The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology is dedicated to the study and understanding of human history and diversity. Founded in 1887, the Museum has sent more than 400 archaeological and anthropological expeditions to all the inhabited continents of the world. With an active exhibition schedule and educational programming for children and adults, the Museum offers the public an opportunity to share in the ongoing discovery of humankind's collective heritage.
Penn Museum is located at 3260 South Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (on Penn's campus, across from Franklin Field and adjacent to SEPTA's University City Regional Rail station serving the R1, R2 and R3 lines). Museum hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 am to 4:30 pm, Sunday 1 to 5 pm. Closed Mondays and holidays. Admission donation is $10 for adults; $7 for senior citizens (65 and above); $6 children (6 to 17) and full-time students with ID; free to Members, Penncard holders, and children 5 and younger; "pay-what-you-want" after 3:30 pm Tuesday through Saturday, and after 4:00 pm Sunday. Penn Museum can be found on the web at www.penn.museum. For general information call (215) 898-4000.