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Time To Celebrate

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MPTF’s mission of taking care of our own means treating each other with dignity, empathy and understanding. While our Activities and Recreation Department has long held celebrations of holidays Two women in traditional Mexican dresses stand beside a colorful map of Mexico labeled "Republica Mexicana" outdoors. Both are wearing green sashes and smiling at the camera.for our residents, and our Spiritual Care department has offered observances of religious traditions, just recently they began collaborating on a program that marks time in new and joyful ways. The Celebrations of Culture series in 2023 and 2024 offered opportunities for lifelong learning and recognizes that our campus, staff, and the industry at large are increasingly more diverse across race, religion, and culture. We continue to provide opportunities for ritual practices and worship, but we’re also fostering more cultural exchange to grow, enjoy, and feel a sense of community and neighborhood.

Among our celebrations in 2023 was a program for National Arab American Heritage Month in April, led by an Arab-American A child smiles and holds a red envelope while interacting with a performer in a vibrant red and yellow lion costume. Several adults observe and take photos in the background.employee and her sister who shared family heirlooms, held an Arab folk dance, and offered insights into the community’s role in America’s arts, sciences, and communal service. A Buddha Day gathering took place with Venerable Master Shantha Sobhana, a Buddhist monk, leading meditation and teaching about living in the present moment, while Cinco de Mayo featured a festive staff talent show. In June, we marked Juneteenth with education and reflection about Black American history, art, and culture. And our colorful, highly attended, and lively Pride Parade took place on June 28. Our Hospitality Services and Dietary Departments also got more heavily involved, designing special menus so everyone could get a taste of different countries and cultures.

July and August saw staff from Nursing, Transportation, and other departments taking the reins to share beloved customs. Philippines Independence Day was marked with a potluck feast, games, and a singing performance from one of our nurses, a former pageant contestant in the Philippines. El Salvador del Mundo (a.k.a. Las Fiestas Agostinas, “The August Feasts”) featured a Salvadoran menu and staff in traditional blue and white dress. On Ukrainian Independence Day, an Activities Department staff member honored the country’s traditions and holiday practices with testimony from her nephew, a recent Ukrainian A group of people in vibrant, feathered costumes perform a traditional dance outdoors, while onlookers watch from the background.refugee.

A group of eight people posing for a photo indoors, some holding pride flags and wearing colorful clothing and accessories, smiling towards the camera.November was especially vibrant with dance and attire as Danza Guadalupana de Nuestra Señora del Valle, a traditional Aztec dance troupe led by a senior staff leader, Lorena Soria, honored deceased loved ones in our community for Día de los Muertos, and as MPTF community member Monica Sarin taught Indian dance as visual storytelling for Diwali. Other highlights included Lunar New Year, St. Patrick’s Day, Nowruz, Easter, Passover, Eid al-Fitr, Indigenous Peoples’ Day, Thanksgiving, Hannukah, Christmas, and many more. These celebrations are open for anyone on campus to learn, grow, and be inspired by this beautiful evolving tapestry at MPTF.

Chaplain Dina Kuperstock from our Spiritual Care Department finds deep meaning in teaming up with colleagues on the program series: “As a chaplain who practices with people of all different spiritual identities, it’s easy to observe that a growing part of the American population doesn’t closely affiliate with a single religious tradition or institution, though many still find important spiritual meaning in cultural observances. This program is meant to be spiritual care that offers a sense of belonging by celebrating heritage and identity, and through mutuality. It offers a sense of home where all kinds of differences have space and respect.”

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