Girl Meets The Great Lady of New York sparks up such a great motive for anyone in the family. Dig deep and see how far back you can go. Find out who you are and where you family comes from. Huge props to everyone in this episode. Thank You to Jeff Menell for sharing such a beautiful, meaningful, and powerful message.
This episode opens with Cory teaching the class about the Statue of Liberty because it’s Cultural Week at Abigail Adams High School. The school is finding out who they are and where they came from. Ha so the other students in the class have backstory as well. I love the depth of every character of this show.
When we open our eyes to the world we see that culture is all around us.
“What has your father done now that I need to pay for?” “We need to report on our cultural heritage.” “Ohh good idea. wish we had one.” “We’re not anything?” ” We are multi- generational American.”
I love when the stories between Riley and Auggie intersect. Raffi is from Cuba and Auggie just wants to make him feel welcome, but it’s Ava who goes way over the top. Oh my goodness what a character.
Back in class we learn that Maya has Irish roots within her mother’s side of the family, but her way of going about “researching is all wrong” HAHA Lucas and Zay a tad bit over the top don’t you think? Then to just add to the disaster Maya brings out bagpipes. All Cory wants is for the kids to really discover something new and really dig deep to find out where they came from. “You all have great stories. That’s what makes this world such a peaceful place.” “Unfortunately people have always feared the other. The unknown. Anybody who isn’t like you. From a different country, a different religion, a different look. Our first reaction to the unknown has always been fear.” “We all need to dig deeper…This is a week about discovering who you are. This is a week to understand that culture isn’t found in a souvenir shop.”
When we learn a little more about each other we appreciate and value who we all are as individuals a little more.
So at Topanga’s we learn that Farkle has relatives from Denmark, but also that he can’t find his great grandfathers birth records, so he keeps looking. “Good luck detective Coffee Cake” I love Maya’s one liners. We also learn that Zay is from Africa, brought from Ghana to Jamaica. (This is as subtle as Disney can get to mentioning slavery. This is something that was real and is a difficult part of history.) (Being a person of color tracing your heritage back is difficult. I’m lucky enough to have gone back as far as I’ve been able to. Like Zay said not everyone knows where they are from.)
Haha Cory went to the International House of Salads and Riley to the International House of Pancakes for a Hamburger. I love that this episode explores the many cultures represented in our everyday lives. “The Statue of Liberty is from France, we have a Ukrainian bakery, and the Mets are from all over the world?” “Nice country you’ve got here.”
The story Nigel’s grandmother tells of her living in Cambodia was very powerful and even I learned something I didn’t know before. Not all history is a “happy tale” of immigration. “You live in a good country,you know that.”
While we’ve learned of the kids learn that not all history is good, Maya learns of her Irish history and the beauty that can be found in it. Riley learns that her family, though from America, her family experienced many different cultures in their lives much like she is today. “This Country is one bug cultural fair”
Finally we learn that Farkle’s Great Grandfather left Denmark after World War II. “Just him?” “I think he was the only one left” (And this is Disney’s way of mentioning the Holocaust without mentioning it) “His great grandfather was Jewish” “Sometimes it’s real hard when you find out your story. My whole family….” “Yeah I’m here if you ever want to talk.” “Me too” An absolutely beautiful moment between Farkle and Zay whose families were forced to leave their countries through the Slave Trade and the Holocaust.
“My story will be about how lucky we are to live in a place that allows you to come here so you can be whoever you are”
Loved Ava and Marisol haha funny tag to a touching episode.
A little bit of my family history….
I know more about my mother’s family history than my fathers. My maternal great grand parents and great great grandparents were Choctaw Indian. My relatives can be found on the original Dawes roll call for the Five Civilized Tribes. I’m proud of that heritage within my family.
On my father’s side I really don’t know too much besides names of great great great grandparents on my dad’s side. I did just recently find out a Great Uncle of mine fought in World War II on D-Day on the beaches of Normandy and participated in the Berlin Airlift, which is incredible!
photo credit: Disney Channel