“Many friends” discussed “many lands” at the Morgan County Library’s family fun night Feb. 24.
Morgan County Librarian, Valerie Hancock said there were approximately 75 people in attendance.
While a planned presentation on Tonga did not materialize, six other countries were highlighted that evening including England, South Korea, Russia, Malaysia, Australia and Guyana. Each presenter shared interesting facts about their country.
Dwayne Toney presented England. Toney mentioned different words for things such as “bonnet” for car hood; “flat” for apartment; “boot” for trunk; “Wellington Boots” for galoshes or rubber boots; and “pants” for underwear. In his slide presentation he shared some of his favorite things: beautiful bluebell flowers; the River Chess, his fishing place near his home; English countryside with the rolling hills; English architecture, country cottages and gardens.
He showed pictures of where he lived, worked and socialized. He shared pictures of England’s flag; Great Westminster Clock and the bells inside were really Big Ben; the Tower Bridge was the London Bridge the world knows; the actual London Bridge; parades; and Queen Elizabeth.
Toney’s father is from America and his mother is from England. At age 3, he returned to England to live until he was about 25 years old. When jobs were scarce, he returned to the United States and enlisted in the U.S. Air Force. He is now a civil service worker at Hill Air Force Base and lives in Morgan with his wife Soyeon, who is from South Korea.
Toney’s wife Soyeon presented Korea with the help of her daughter and husband, who modeled their Korean wedding dress and suit. Soyeon explained where she lived. South Korea is a peninsula surrounded by ocean on three sides. She grew up in a providence that doesn’t have direct view or access to the ocean.
This land dates back to 33 B.C. with a population of 50 million. A video gave additional information that stated, “A century ago, Korea was one of the poorest. Now Korea is the most industrious. Crediting the country with cuisine that has gained international attention, along with culture, music, dance, and breathtaking winter landscapes.”
On display were beautifully handcrafted figurines, toys and furniture.
Liisa Mecham presented Russia. She described, “Russia was baptized or came to be in 998 A.D. “
Mecham demonstrated a Matryoshka, or “Little Mother” doll, nestle inside smaller dolls, inside of even smaller dolls, made from wood and hand painted. The Matryoshka has been around since 1890.
Russia has one of the world’s highest percentages of forest land. This country spans nine time zones. She informed the audience that it used to be 11 time zones, but they consolidated. On one side of the country you can see mostly light and the other side it mostly dark, all in the same day.
Mecham told the story of a beautiful palace and showed a picture of it. She asked the audience, “Who had this built?” a child answered, “A Russian!” She continued the story and said that Ivan the Terrible had it built and just to make sure the designers of this beautiful structure would not be able to build another thing as beautiful, he poked out their eyes.
She also taught some words and spellings of various things like Russia, bread, and book. The Russians have many kinds of breads, fried potatoes, fried cabbage, tiny cinnamon rolls and borsch. The food Mecham shared that night was a cake with apple slices on top.
Mecham is originally from Morgan and a member of the London family. She first got acquainted with the Russian culture while serving a mission there for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and then she returned for a time while in college.
Dawna and Azmie Zukirmi presented Malaysia. They and their daughter, Mia, dressed in the traditional attire for social occasions. For the women in public, the head is covered with cloth just allowing her face show. Malaysia is a tropical climate, a small country Zukirmi called “a melting pot of Asians.” This society is made up of a blend of Indian-Moslem, Hindu- Buddhist and some Christians.
Zukirmi explained some of the customs. The right hand is used for just about everything including: working, eating and shaking hands. Women shake hands with only women. Men shake hands with only men. Also the people there are into ear piercing, ear stretching and tattooing.
Zukirmi is originally from Morgan, a member of the Little family. After high school she wanted to go places and see things. Accompanied by a friend, she made her first trip to Malaysia. She found it quite interesting. She returned two more times before meeting Azmie.
Recently returning from a visit to Malaysia, the Zukirmi family had some Malaysian candy made from coconut and sugar cane to share at the family fun night.
Matt Barr presented Australia, a multi-culture country. In the 1770s, England had an abundance of prisoners that they sent to Australia. Then in 1788, Australia was colonized.
Australia is famous for their unusual animals. Barr discussed with the audience kangaroos, wallabies, dingo dogs, emus, koalas, and animals similar to America’s porcupines. Australia also has seven of the top 10 venomous snakes in the world!
He shared the language with such words: “bin,” or trash can; “chewy,” or chewing gum; “loo,” or the bathroom; “uni,” or school or university; “chips,” or French fries; and “bangers,” or sausages.
The Barr family displayed didgeridoo (musical instruments); the country’s flag; and a laptop that viewed two kangaroos fighting over a female kangaroo. They also shared vegemite, a food made from yeast extracted from barley and wheat.
Barr left Australia when he was 15 years old. He later served a mission in Korea. He is married to Kerilyn, who is a member of the Judy family of Morgan.
Lisa Andersen presented Guyana. Guyana was discovered through great exploration of gold, sugar cane and rice. This country was founded in the 1400s and is the only country in South America that speaks English. The country is known for its many waterfalls, its exotic animals, insects and the macaw parrots. Her display included a beautiful collection of butterflies and other flying insects.
This tropical climate is hot and humid. Guyana is a very poor country. Often the people would become indentured slaves to be able to survive. Andersen describes in Guyana they eat a lot of rice, cow, mutton and chicken. The cook and eat the entire animal, even the bone.
She shared a snack of plantain chips and told of the legend of El Dorado, the lost city of gold.
Andersen was born in Georgetown, Guyana, South America. She is half Indian and Portuguese. Andersen and her husband Chris live in Morgan with their four children.
Books that tell about the individual countries were included in most displays.
The arts and crafts amused the children with making a Tongan mask, a Malaysian totem, origami boomerang, Korean paper boy and girl, and learning how to write your name in Russian. Thus another successful quarterly activity came to a close at the library.