Burnaby library recognized for multilingual diversity project
Burnaby Public Library has been awarded a 2012 Representative’s Award of Excellence: Cultural Heritage and Diversity by B.C.’s Representative for Children and Youth, May Ellen Turpel-Lafond.
The award recognizes its Embracing Diversity: Sharing Our Songs and Rhymes Project, a web-based project that uses children’s songs and rhymes in more than a dozen languages to encourage cultural diversity and inclusiveness.
The project started in 2010 with local families being invited to perform their favourite childhood songs and rhymes. Languages featured are Arabic, Cantonese, Dari, English, Farsi, Filipino, French, Hindi, Korean, Mandarin, Punjabi, Russian, Spanish, Vietnamese and Urdu.
The performances were videotaped by the SFU Teaching and Learning Centre and showcase some of the world’s most popular children’s melodies, including The Wheels on the Bus and the Korean Tadpole Song.
Each performance is accompanied by scrolling phonetic text, allowing people to join in, no matter what language they speak. All the songs and rhymes are also translated into English, to encourage sharing between cultures.
“What makes this project truly unique is that you are also given the opportunity to get to learn about the person sharing the song or rhyme as they share their own personal stories,” says Edel Toner-Rogala, Burnaby's chief librarian. “It is through the sharing of our stories that we build communities that are more tolerant, more understanding and, ultimately, more compassionate.”
The project was developed by Burnaby Public Library in partnership with the Burnaby Intercultural Planning Table and Burnaby Family Life, and funded by the federal and provincial governments.
View the 30 videos at http://www.embracingdiversity.bpl.bc.ca