Northwest NEWS

March 25, 2002

Features

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City offers 'Passport to the World' at celebration

by Bronwyn Wilson
   Senior Staff Reporter
   Children can explore the world in one day without ever leaving Woodinville at the coming 'Passport to the World' celebration on March 30th. They'll journey to foreign destinations, such as China, Japan, and Russia, while learning a little more about their own USA.
   Every child embarking on the adventure will be issued a passport, which will be stamped as they visit each destination. At the end of the globetrotting trip, each child will collect a special souvenir.
   First stop, the lobby at Woodinville City Hall where a traditional colonial quilt will showcase the American spirit in a colorful mˇlange of red, white and blue. Created by sixty-six fifth graders from Wellington Elementary, the four-patch patterned quilt is the result of a class research project on colonial life. The students stitched colonial shapes, such as a red star, plaid heart or blue Liberty Bell, onto squares and then sewed the squares into sections. Made from hand-dyed yarns and hand-woven fabrics, the quilt is the type of quilt made in colonial times.
   Teacher Leora Willis, a quilter herself, led the quilting project along with teachers Dave Shelton and Cindy Horst. Willis mentions that quilting was a social gathering for the early American colonists. "Quilting just brings people together," she remarks.
   The combined fifth grade classes assembled the quilt's top in two hours with the help of parents who stitched on machines. Parents later stretched the quilt on a frame, laid the batting down and pinned. The students contributed with basting. A number of the fifth graders will be on hand at the community celebration to discuss their quilting work when the handcrafted quilt makes its debut in the lobby.
   Children viewing the quilt will have the opportunity to discover more about America's history just a few steps beyond the lobby. The Woodinville Heritage Society will present a picture display of Woodinville's past on the first floor. The pictures will give children and their parents an idea of what their hometown of Woodinville looked like many years ago.
   Next stop, the Council Chambers on the other side of the lobby where China awaits. There, students from the Washington Chinese School in Bothell will highlight aspects of the culture. Says Principal ChuNi Kao, "We will be more interactive."
   Her students will demonstrate the unusual Chinese yo-yo, the art of paper folding called origami and Chinese knotting which is similar to macramˇ. They'll also let their young visitors have the chance to try the different activities for themselves. "The Chinese knotting is tricky," Principal Kao explains. "Some of the knotting can get quite elaborate." Time is set aside for Chinese painting, calligraphy and translating children's names into Chinese. One of Kao's students will play the Erhu, a Chinese type of violin with two strings and another will perform T'ai Chi Ch'uan, a meditative exercise basic to Chinese martial arts form of Chinese Kung Fu. According to Principal Kao, who is originally from Taiwan, there are many wonderful things about China. She says she won't be able to share all of China's wonders with the children and the parents, only a sample of the culture.
   "This is just a snapshot of it," says Kao. She would like people to know, however, that there's much more to China. "Chinese culture has good teas," she says. "We have opera, dance and artwork."
   Then referring back to the cultural display at City Hall, she comments, "That's the whole purpose-to introduce the difference of the culture to the public so that they can be aware."
   And as visitors become aware of China, they'll also learn more about Russia over in the Police Department where Russian artifacts will be on exhibit.
   At the Community Center next door to City Hall, children will experience Japanese culture as eight women from Seto, Japan demonstrate a Ceremonial Tea, a ceremony that strives for spiritual refreshment and harmony with the universe. Origami and calligraphy are some of the planned Japanese activities.
   In addition to the 'Passport to the World' celebration, the Celebrate Woodinville event has plenty of other fun on the day's agenda. A Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast, the All Fool's Day Parade, the Basset Bash, the Woodinville Farmer's Market Arts and Crafts Fair and the serving of Woodinville's 9th Birthday cake make up some of the revelry included on the schedule.
   For further event information, contact the City's official website: www.ci.woodinville.wa.us