Kwanzaa, Hanukkah and Christmas! St. Andrew's Elementary hosts inclusive holiday concert

Students at St. Andrew's Elementary in St. John's are learning all about what it means to have an inclusive holiday season, without sacrificing their own traditions.

Students perform Paint the Town December at seasonal performance

Logan White, Aluai Ring, Jane Green and Noshin Khan hang out before their holiday concert in St. John's. (Andrew Sampson/CBC)

Students at St. Andrew's Elementary in St. John's are learning about what it means to have an inclusive holiday season — without sacrificing their own traditions.

The one thing that's the same with all of the cultures is love.- Jane Green

Around 130 of them performed the play Paint the Town December at their annual holiday concert on Wednesday, a production that included songs about Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Christmas, and mentions of Ramadan.

Music teacher Beth Reckling says it's one of her favourite plays to have students perform this time of year.

"We have a very diverse population here … and we have a lot of students of different cultures that come here and different faiths," she said.

"It's great that we can include all of them in there, as well as some extras that none of them may know about."

A scene from the performance at St. Andrew's Elementary. (Andrew Sampson/CBC)

Students said the production was a fantastic way to learn new things and celebrate diversity.

"I feel really good because there might be people in the audience that don't know very much about these religions and I feel like this is a way to teach them a lot about it," said Grade 5 student Jane Green.

"We got to know each other better and we got to work together as a team," added classmate Aluai Ring.

"I liked that we get to show people different religions that different people celebrate," said Grade 4 student Noshin Khan.

"My favourite thing is the drama. It's actually a play, not just a bunch of songs being sung," said Grade 5 student Logan White. 

As the kids got up on stage and started to perform, it was clear the experiment was working out just fine.

Green had one key takeaway — that while we might not all celebrate the same holiday this season, the reason why we celebrate comes from a similar place.

"The one thing that's the same with all of the cultures is love," she said.