More than Just Stars and Stripes

The Somerville Council on Aging holds an annual holiday luncheon for their members. This year it was a multicultural festival celebrating the many parts of the world that neighborhood families come from.  They asked me to come up with a multicultural craft activity and after brainstorming a long list of possibilities we settled on my favorite: graham cracker flags.

What’s better than a craft activity?  One that you can eat!  And one that’s messy. And one that gets people talking to each other.  So…

I brought graham crackers, colored icing and a book called Flags of the World from the library.  I started the afternoon by decorating three of the crackers as the flags of Brazil, El Savador and the US.

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Each time someone came to the table they decorated a cracker with the design of the flag of one of the countries that their family came from. When they finished the placed it on the table and chose someone else’s flag to eat.

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The conversations were great. We talked about where families came from, about what it means to be “from the United States”, about what the flags’ colors and imagery represent, and about places that each person had visited in their travels.

At the end of the afternoon the staff of Teen Empowerment and I sat at the table having a slower and deeper conversation about politics and power inspired by the flags.  And then we ate them!