Adoptees Celebrate Their Cultures with Rhythm and Song

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Also-Known-As presents: Culture Day 2003: Rhythms of Our Lands March 29, 2003 12:00PM - 5:00 PM McIntosh Hall Student Center (117th Street & Broadway) Barnard College New York, New York During a day of fun children born in Korea, China, Vietnam, and India and adopted by American families will celebrate and learn about their heritage during Culture Day 2003: Rhythms of Our Lands. The day's theme will be illustrated by games, arts & crafts, food, and performances through dancers and musicians.

"This may be the one time all year that children adopted internationally have to experience elements of their birth countries. We try to make the opportunity fun and exciting for the kids" says Hollee McGinnis, a Korean born adoptee who founded Also-Known-As in 1996 and currently heads the planning committee for Culture Day.

Anticipating more than 350 adopted children, their families, adult adoptees, and volunteers, the Culture Day planners continue the tradition established by GIFT (Gathering International Families Together)that began with Korean Culture Day over 10 years ago.

The day will include Korean, Chinese, Indian, and Vietnamese performances and games that they might have played if they remained in the countries where they were born. Arts & crafts, which further illustrate the theme, are the most popular with the kids after they sample some Asian cuisine for lunch.

While the activities are geared toward some of the newest arrivals who are up to 10 years old, older adoptees participate by volunteering their time. Also-Known-As is a completely volunteer organization that serves the entire adoption community with many programs for children, adults and adoptive parents. This annual event has grown so much that it also has to rely on other volunteers, largely from the Korean American community.

Asian American Alliance, a Columbia University organization, is a co-sponsor of the event. Also contributing are yKAN (young Korean American Network) and Spence-Chapin Services for Families and Children.

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Kristin Rutherford