During Welcoming Week, September 13th through the 22nd, our communities gathered together to celebrate New Americans and their contributions to the social fabric of our country. The week was filled with welcoming stickers, smiling faces, and events the highlighted different cultures that make up our community. We took a closer look into three of our communities, Coppell, School Age Services, and White Rock, to see how they celebrated!   

Coppell YMCA danced the night away during their two-day Dandiya celebration. Daniyda, also known as Dandiya Raas, is a traditional Indian dance form of Gujarat and Rajasthan India. The origins of the dance come to honor the goddess Durga, who defeated the demon Mahishasur in just nine days. The dance includes colorful bamboo sticks to represent the sword fight between the goddess and the demon. Women wear colorful embroidered traditional dresses while men wear men wear traditional sherwani or kurta pyjama. On both Friday and Saturday of the 21st and 22nd, families and friends of the Coppell community gathered in the gymnasium for food, dance, and the celebration of Dandiya.   

Our kids in School Age Services took the time to create welcoming cards to all our new YMCA members welcoming them to the community. Each student drew a picture and introduced themselves on their card to welcome a new member to the YMCA. If you are a new member, be on the lookout for your card in the mail soon! 

White Rock YMCA gathered for a Multicultural Dinner on the 21st of September, where members of the community shared traditional family recipes from all around the world. The celebration also included a live performance from the Bandan Koro African Drum and Dance Ensemble, which is an organization whose mission is to study and share experiences associated with African culture and history through music and dance. We can’t think of a better way to unite people together than through music, dance, and food!  

At the Y, we are honored to be a part of a nationwide event celebrating immigrants and Americans from all different backgrounds. We want to thank all our volunteers, staff, and members who took part in the celebration! While Welcoming Week is held every year, inclusive and welcoming practices can be used 365 days of the year. We believe in practicing cross-cultural understanding and inviting all members of our community into our programs and doors everyday.  


Authored by: cmccauley