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Exploring Culture Through Traditional Clothing

Posted by on December 30, 2015

We are increasingly recognizing and accepting, respecting and celebrating, our cultural diversity.

Julie Bishop

Just before our winter break, we had the privilege of borrowing an amazing kit from Fort Calgary. This treasure box was FILLED with artifacts and traditional clothing from the four countries we explore in our Grade Three Social Studies curriculum: Peru, Ukraine, India and Tunisia. It was an amazing week filled with smiles and discovery. This is the first of two posts reflecting on our adventures with the kit. We hope you enjoy our thoughts:



“On Monday, the Fort Calgary kit came into the classroom. All the tri-folds were so cool and very well painted as well. It was awesome to try the clothes on. It was lots of fun doing it. Each tri-fold I did was awesome and all the clothes looked so nice and beautiful! My favourite is the Indian tri-fold. Why? Because the Indian tri-fold looked too cool and awesome as well!” ~Aboudi

“I thought the Tunisian tri-fold looked nice because I kind of like camels. But, I don’t like the Tunisian traditional clothing! I loved the Peru tri-fold and the traditional clothing because I loved the decorations. They were so beautiful. My other favourite one was India because it had a lot of decorations and I also loved the traditional clothing. But, the Ukrainian traditional clothing was so funny. I am so happy that we got the Fort Calgary kit!” Fahad

“Hey, guys! We are learning about Ukraine, Tunisia, India and Peru. My favourite part was trying on the traditional clothes. My sister told me about the traditional clothes because she was in Mrs. Renton’s class last year. She told me that some of the tri-folds were made by Mrs. Renton!” ~Madison



“Earlier this month we tried on the traditional clothing from: Tunisia, India, Peru and Ukraine. In the class almost all the desks were moved around because of the tri-folds. My favourite tri-fold was the Indian one. The Indian one was interesting because it had the Taj Mahal and mountains. The Ukrainian boys pants were really puffy. The traditional clothing came from Fort Calgary. I enjoyed the traditional clothing. Back to the Indian tri-fold. The grass for the Indian one was very green. The Ukrainian tri-fold was very nice too. I liked all of them, actually. I had SUCH a good time!” ~Ryan

“These Ukrainian puffy pants are really annoying! I wonder why the INdian and Ukrainian pants are so puffy? I think drawing the Indian tri-fold was quite hard. I felt that wearing the Ukrainian clothing felt a bit funny. I wonder why the Tunisian clothing is so big. I wonder why the Peruvian clothing has no sleeves. I wish we actually went to Fort Calgary.” ~Omar

“Yay! We get the Fort Calgary kit today!!! We get to try on traditional clothes from India, Tunisia, Ukraine and Peru. My favourite traditional clothes were the Indian clothes. I liked the Indian clothes the best because they were comfy inside and they were big and the top was gold. My favourite tri-fold was the Tunisian one because it had a camel on it and camels are one of my favourite animals. They are really fun to draw. Today was the best day ever. I can’t wait until we get to look at all the artifacts from our four countries!” ~Jamie



“Scratch, scratch, scratch! Ooops. Me and my class just did some things with traditional Indian, Peruvian, Tunisian and Ukrainian clothing. And, it still itches! One of my favourite parts was the Ukrainian clothing. I really liked it because it had a sash. But, I also liked how puffy it was. Some of the men on the tri-folds were very tall. I liked trying on the traditional clothing. Some were easy to stick on. Others were not. The tallest guy is the Indian man. He was hard to get into. I liked the Indian background. But, I also liked the Tunisian background. It had a camel. But there is only one fact to go into. My favourite clothing is from India and Ukraine.” ~Tanek

“Wow! Everyone shrieked! Me and everyone else saw big … well … cardboard things. We were all getting all our mittens and coats and other winter gear off when Mrs. Renton called us to the carpet for a quick announcement. All of us got off our snow gear, got on our indoor shoes and came to the carpet. When we got to the carpet Mrs. Renton told us that it was our Fort Calgary kit day. We were all SO excited to learn a little bit more about our four countries: Peru, India, Tunisia and Ukraine. When Mrs. Renton finished going over the rules and telling us how to control the tri-folds we got to go to our desks. Our first tri-fold was the Ukrainian tri-fold. When we were there we got to try on Ukrainian clothing and then Mrs. Renton took a picture each time someone changed the clothes or put their faces in the holes on the tri-folds. Our next stations was the Tunisia, then Peru and then India. On all the tri-folds there were people from their culture dressed in some of the traditional clothing. My favourite pair of clothing was the Indian ones. The Indian clothing had beautiful flower designs in gold. I will NEVER forget that AWESOME day. It was SOOOO fun!” ~Sarah

“We had the Fort Calgary kit. It was very fun. Let me tell you about the traditional clothing and tri-folds. Some of the clothing was puffy, fluffy and itchy. It was hard not to scratch. The Tunisian tri-fold had a desert and a camel with a master who somebody could stick their head in. The Indian one had the Taj Mahal. The Peruvian one had a village. I heard a lot of excited people. I said this is very fun. I wonder if we will have a Fort Calgary kit in Grade Four?” ~Daniel B



“My favourite tri-fold was the Ukrainian one and it was my second tri-fold. I like how they thought of white traditional clothing. I want to put the traditional clothing on again because it was fun in the tri-fold and clothing! I liked the Peruvian hat because it felt soft. It felt like I was snuggling with my stuffie. The one I saw had deers and had a fluffy ball on the top and black and gray patterns on the hat. It was manmade.” ~Alvin

“My class was trying on traditional clothing from India, Peru, Tunisia and Ukraine. My favourite tri-fold was Peru and my favourite clothing is Ukraine. The highlights I have were:

  1. getting to try on the clothing from the other countries.
  2. seeing the tri-folds.
  3. looking at other countries through the pictures on the tri-folds
  4. seeing what other countries wear.

The things that I didn’t like:

  1. the Tunisian girl’s clothing.

That’s the only thing I didn’t like! The Ukrainian clothing looked like this: the Ukrainian clothing for girls looked like a short dress with some colourful lines going around. I really liked the clothing. I wish we could do it next year! ” ~Aimee


“My class and I were trying out the Fort Calgary kit. My favourite tri-fold was the Indian one and my favourite clothing was Peru. My highlights were: getting to try all the four countries clothes and getting to try all the tri-folds. My lowlights were: that we couldn’t stay longer at the tri-folds. After, at almost the end, my class and I drew our favourite tri-folds. I finished mine just in time. My best friend Aimee couldn’t because she drew the hardest one. What would your favourite clothing be?” ~Ella

“Giant tri-folds? I walked in Monday and there were gigantic tri-folds of our four countries: Ukraine, India, Peru and Tunisia. I was SO surprised and excited. My favourite tri-fold is India. On the Tunisia tri-fold there was a person holding a camel. The boys wore a dress sort of thing that was red. The girls wore a skirt overtop of a dress shirt. On the Peru tri-fold there was a home with pots and there are two girls and two boys. The oldest boy is holding a guitar. The girl’s clothing is a skirt with a shawl that you wrap around yourself. On India’s tri-fold there is the Taj Mahal and two girls and two boys. The girl’s clothes are a dress and sari. The boys clothes are puffy pants and a gold jacket. On the Ukraine tri-fold there is two boys and two girls. The girl’s clothes are a skirt and a shirt. The boy’s clothes are puffy pants and a shirt with pompoms on it. I loved the tri-folds.” ~Elise


“Guess what? Have you ever wondered if you could try on Ukrainian, Tunisian, Peruvian and Indian clothing? I do not think you could try it on but I can tell you what they look like. Why don’t we start with Ukraine. The boys have golden pants and a white shirt with red designs on it and some strings with pompoms and a hat with ribbon on it. The girl’s clothing has a green skirt with flowers on it. The shirt is the same but without the pompoms and there is a crown made of flowers. That is all for Ukraine. Now for Tunisia. The girls clothing is a little shirt and some BIG overalls with buttons. The boy’s clothing is a round and circle hat. Now the Peru clothing. Why don’t we start with the boy, okay? The boy’s clothing is a long dress and a hat. The girl’s clothing is a skirt and a shawl. Now for the Indian clothing. The girl’s clothing is a dress with a scarf to put on your head. The boy’s is fluffy pants and a button shirt. What is your favourite clothing?” ~Mary

“Yay! We got to try on traditional clothing from Peru, India, Tunisia and Ukraine!!! It was SO much fun. My favourite part was when I got to try on the Ukrainian clothing because it was really puffy and the tri-fold was really cool because I have Ukrainian blood. So, that’s why I like Ukraine. But, my second favourite one was Tunisia because I thought the girl’s clothing was the boy’s clothing!” ~Matthew


“YES! We are getting the Fort Calgary kit! I love getting the Fort Calgary kits! They have always been SO fun! At first we went to Peru! I loved the traditional clothing. I wonder if I could make my OWN tri-fold? I loved it!” ~Cooper

“Wow! Look! I think it’s traditional clothing day and we are going to fly to four different COUNTRIES! Well … tri-folds! My favourite thing was the Ukrainian tri-fold. I loved all the different colours on it. I noticed that the colours on it made it pop out! I also liked the Indian tri-fold because all the clothing was really pretty and shiny. But, the pants were not comfortable at all. And, the one from Peru was really pretty because it had a lot of detail!” ~Mila

“I liked the Ukrainian clothing because it had pompoms! We tried on clothing from Peru, Tunisia, India and Ukraine. There were hats that came with the clothing. I liked the tri-fold from Tunisia. It had camels. Camels are my favourite animals. I wonder, is it really hot there or cold there? I hope I go to Tunisia one day.” ~Evan

“Have you ever gone to Tunisia, Ukraine, India or Peru? Our teacher made tri-folds of Tunisia, Ukraine, Peru and India. We got to put on traditional clothes from our four countries. There were holes in the tri-folds for us to put our heads through. When we got to put the clothes on I felt like I was in the four countries. The tri-folds actually looked like our four countries. The Ukrainian clothes were my favourite because there was a fedora. I didn’t like the Tunisian one because it was so big. I liked the Indian one because it made me look rich. All the tri-folds looked like the real places. It was awesome. It was very fun.” ~Simos


“Yay!!! The Fort Calgary kit is here!!! Starting in Tunisia! Wow! I was not expecting the clothing they wear in Tunisia to be like that. It’s a men’s shirt with overalls. (The overalls are actually a long skirt.) Next, I’m flying to Peru. The clothing is SO cool. The skirt … well … it was SO hard to get on. Next stop: India! My favourite place. I loved the sari. It was velvet purple with gold designs. Now … the last, but not the least, UKRAINE!!! The clothing was itchy, puffy and hard to get on. Finally we were done. Then we sketched the backgrounds. Well, of course I did India! India was hard to do, but, in the end it was great!!!” ~Carissa

We sure hope you enjoy the slideshow that shows you just SOME of our adventures with the Fort Calgary traditional clothing! Our next post will show you our adventures with the ARTIFACTS from Ukraine, Tunisia, India and Peru!

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It is time … to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength.

Maya Angelou

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