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Prism Program Members Talk Holiday Traditions with Individuals from Cork Ireland

Published by TJ Scalese on

Triangle, Inc.’s Prism Program provides services to autistic young adults (22 years old and up), including a wide array of employment, independent living, peer connection, and social skills programs. Thanks to the Department of Developmental Services Metro North Area Office and Bonnie Hungler, last month we were able to have an amazing opportunity for several Prism Program members participate in a virtual cross-cultural conversation with other neurodivergent individuals from Cork, Ireland!

This virtual gathering, which marked the second in a series of meetings, brought together five individuals from Cork, Ireland and five Prism Program members. The aim was to foster connections and broaden cultural understanding, creating an environment where participants could share not only their unique experiences but also learn about the experiences of other neurodivergent individuals from a different part in the world. During the session, participants delved into the realm of Irish holiday customs, exchanging tales of Wren Folklore and St. Stephen’s Day, along with unraveling the myths surrounding Christmas traditions like the origin of stockings and placing coins in shoes.

A particularly delightful aspect of the cultural exchange was the discussion of festive meals. The members discovered that in Ireland, a typical Christmas dinner might feature chicken, turkey, and ham, while their American counterparts might indulge in ham, roast beef, or prime rib. The cultural food exploration didn’t stop at conversation; both groups took a delicious plunge into each other’s culinary worlds by exchanging classic holiday dessert recipes. Prism members savored the taste of brown oaty bread and Irish cookies, while their Irish counterparts delighted in the flavors of American treats such as chocolate crinkle cookies and thumbprint cookies.

The meeting also sparked intriguing discussions on holiday entertainment traditions. Participants shared insights into Irish Pantomimes, a unique form of dramatic theatrical entertainment, drawing parallels to American customs like attending the ballet or Nutcracker for festive entertainment. They discussed the nuances of Women’s Little Christmas in Ireland, a day that celebrates women’s contributions during the holiday season, contrasting it with the frenzied shopping spree of Black Friday in the United States.

As the virtual bridges continue to connect the members of Triangle, Inc.’s Prism Program with their counterparts in Cork, Ireland, there is a lot of excitement for the future. There’s so much more to explore – from chatting about other unique holiday traditions to swapping cultural food recipes and even diving into some virtual games. As the series unfolds, we are excited to share more fun moments and newfound cultural insights!

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