News & Views

Eighth Grade Explores World Cultures at Met and Mosque

As part of their study of world cultures, eighth graders visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Islamic Cultural Center of New York in Manhattan on April 19.

At the museum, students augmented their understanding of Asian culture by viewing a variety of Chinese, Japanese, Hindu and Islamic artifacts and artwork, including sculpture, pottery, jewelry, scrolls, and manuscripts.

The day included a walk in the Astor Chinese Garden which dates back to the Ming dynasty. In this serene space, students experienced concepts of yin and yang through the arrangement and balance of natural materials. They also strolled through a reproduction of a Moroccan courtyard, appreciating the geometric tilework meant to invoke the divine and wood and plaster carvings. 
“We had read about a lot of artifacts before going to the museum,” said eighth grader Sydney Osinloye. “But up close you could really see how old they were; some of the statues were charred and missing pieces.”

The group then headed uptown to the mosque by bus. After observing the ritual afternoon prayer, they heard a presentation from the mosque’s imam about Muslim beliefs and customs, and an overview of the center’s congregation and activities. 

“It was interesting to dig more into the Muslim religion and see their worship in action,” said eighth grader Nick Lancaster.