Globe Trotting

By Juli Gonzalez, Rebecca Ivey, and Christine McNew


Globe Trotting is a series of programs that invites teens to come together to take part in activities which introduce them to various cultures and or countries, fostering global knowledge and an understanding of the people and world around them. Alternately, the program can be a single event.

Teens will learn about festivals, holidays, and customs that are important to the featured cultures. They may also have the opportunity to sample foods, watch music or dance performances, as well as create handicrafts or play games representative of the culture or region.

Globe Trotting is a platform to promote discussion and to provide interactive activities and demonstrations that allow teens to become familiar with various cultures. Through celebrating a culture, teens gain insight into the people, their history and values, and how they fit into a global society. Teens may then begin to recognize that, although there are many fascinating differences between cultures, there are also many traits, beliefs, and values that we all share.

Key elements in a Globe Trotting program include providing interesting facts about the country, allowing discussion of three or four customs or festivals, and sharing books, videos, and live performances. Two sample programs about Polynesia and India are featured in this chapter. These programs will provide experiences and activities, visual aids, books, videos, and live performances to introduce traditional activities to teens.

Additional countries that libraries may wish to feature in a series of programs are Italy, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Japan, China, and France, or feature other countries represented in your community.


Prepare for the series by selecting key countries or cultures that may be of interest to the teens. After these have been selected, talk to local organizations, restaurants, or patrons that might have a tie to the culture or country and ask if they will donate time and resources to assist with the program. These partners will enrich the program and may be an avenue for additional information and resources for teens who are interested in furthering their education on these countries and cultures.

Obtain materials for the crafts, food, and other activities that will be included in the program.

Sample Program 1: Ticket to India

Three very important festivals pertaining to Indian culture are Diwali, Holi, and Raksha Bandha (Rakhi).

Diwali is celebrated between mid October to mid November. It is the exciting and colorful celebration of the Hindi New Year. It is celebrated by lighting diyas (Diwali clay lamps), which are wicks inserted into clay pots. Rangoli images are also created in doorways of homes and on walls to welcome Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth. Homes are cleaned and windows are opened in preparation for the visit of Lakshmi. It is believed that Lakshmi will not enter a house that is not lit up, so households make sure there are plenty of diyas to light Lakshmi's way. This is also why Diwali is known as the Festival of Lights.

Holi, also known as the festival of colors, celebrates the spring harvest season. A popular activity is to dance beneath water sprinklers while throwing colored powdered at each other.

The festival of Raksha Bandhan, or Rakhi, celebrates unconditional love between brothers and sisters. On the occasion of this holy festival, sisters tie a sacred thread on the wrists of their brothers. Brothers pledge to protect their sisters from all dangers. Brothers and sisters exchange cards, Rakhis and gifts. Today Rakhi also has a more global significance as it spreads harmony and love.

Books to Share

Celebrate Diwali by Carol Plum-Ucci
Hinduism: World Religions by Madhu Bazaz Wangu
India: a Portrait of the Country through Its Festivals and Traditions by Grolier Educational
My Hindu Year by Cath Senker

Books to Display or Booktalk

Born Confused by Tanuja Desai Hidier
Climbing the Stairs by Padma Venkatraman
Keeping Corner by Kashmira Sheth
Notes from a Spinning Planet by Melody Carlson
Now and Zen by Linda Gerber
Secret Keeper by Mitali Perkins
Shine, Coconut Moon by Neesha Meminger
What I Meant by Marie Lamba


Bollywood Dance

Bollywood movies and dance are extremely popular in India and America. Learning about Bollywood and watching movie clips and dance will give teens a sense of modern trends in Indian culture. Let teens learn about dance by inviting a local dance group or exercise group in your area to put on a dance show and teach teens some Bollywood dance moves. You might also show some of the YouTube videos of dancers from Bollybeatz,, a modern dance group based in North Texas pictured here.

Passport to India - May 12, 2009
(Photograph by Kavitha Victor of BollyBeatz; used with permission.)

In addition, to enhance this program, libraries can have a movie night playing Bollywood movies or movies that depict life in India. Librarians can also compile a list of must see Hindi/Bollywood movies for teens. Several web sites offer movie suggestions, including Wikipedia, A few mainstream Hollywood movies, including Monsoon Wedding, Bride and Prejudice, and Slumdog Millionaire, also depict Bollywood dance routines.

Online Videos

Beedi song-Omkara
The video clip includes the song Beedi Jalaile from the Bollywood movie, Omkara.

Desi Girl - Anisah's Mehndi
This video clip features the song, Desi Girl, showing traditional Indian dance moves.

Desi Girl Full Video Song
This is a video clip from the band, Dostana, and includes traditional Indian dance moves.

Discowale Khisco by Dil Bole Hadippa
This video clip features a full-cast dancing to a popular Hindi song.

Jai Ho
A short clip from the Slum Dog Millionaire soundtrack is provided here.

Indian Language

Although India has at least 18 official languages recognized by the government, and most of these languages have multiple dialects and variations, it is possible teach the teens some basic Hindi phrases. If possible, let a native Hindi speaker pronounce the words for the teens. For more information, visit Hindi Language, at

Hi or Hello: Namaste
Thank you: Shukhriya
Sorry: Maaf kijiye
Please: Kripaya
How are you?: Aap kaise hain?
Where can I find?: Kahan milenge?
How much is this?: Ye kitne ka hai?

Hindi Slang

Fitoos: Absolutely perfect!
Fundoo: Cool, perfect
Gazab: Fantastic!

Mango Languages,, a learning tool found in many libraries, provides pronunciation guides and audio clips of many languages, including Hindi. The web site also offers sample language lessons.


Diwali Lamp (Glass Candle)
  • 8" clear glass, religious candles
  • Bright colored tissue paper
  • Mod Podge
  • Paint or sponge brushes
  • Scissors (optional)

Place the candles, assorted tissue papers, the containers of Mod Podge, and brushes on tables. Explain the importance of light and color to the Diwali holiday. Tell teens to be creative and use cut or ripped pieces of various colored tissue paper to decoupage the candle's glass container. Let the candles dry for approximately 20 minutes after they have been painted with the Mod Podge.

Lamp craft 1   Lamp craft 2   Lamp craft 3

Lamp craft 4

Lamp craft 5


Rakhi Bracelets (Raksha Bandha)
  • Embroidery thread
  • Yarn
  • Beads
  • Craft gems or jewels
  • Craft glue
  • Hot glue gun
  • Card stock, poster board, or thin cardboard
  • Plastic canvas
  • Needles
  • Other decorative items (optional)

These bracelets are an adventure in creativity because they really can be done with a variety of materials, in a variety of colors and decorated in any way. Distribute the supplies and provide a pre-made example and or pictures of rakhi. Make the bracelets by twisting or braiding several strings of yarn or embroidery thread, adding beads as desired. Plastic canvas, cardboard, and other sturdy papers can be used to place a shaped piece (looking something like a watch) in the middle of the bracelet, which is worn above the wrist. These platforms can then be adorned with the various other supplies that are available, such as craft gems and embellishments. For additional examples of rakhi crafts, including a traditional version, visit the web site Rakhi Festival,

Bracelet Craft 1   Bracelet Craft 2

Bracelet Craft 3   Bracelet Craft 4


Mehndi Art – Henna Tattoos

A popular Indian tradition is Mehndi Art or the art of applying henna tattoos. Dating back to ancient times, henna tattoos were originally used as artwork to adorn the bodies of women who were about to marry. Local businesses or Indian organizations may provide demonstrations of henna tattooing.

Passport to India - May 12, 2009

Mehndi Art or henna tattoos done by teens for teens

Ask a local business, organization, or patron to provide these tattoos or buy a kit and have the teens draw the designs on each other. Kits can be found online at various sites, including Henna Mehndi, and Earth Henna,


Due to the mess associated with throwing colored powders, libraries may not wish to literally celebrate this tradition of Holi by throwing powders. Teens can still experience Holi through various YouTube videos. An alternative to throwing colored powders or powdered paints that would have a similar effect would be to hold a water balloon fight. A drop or two of food coloring can be used to dye the water in the balloons, or water can be colored and then added into the balloons. Throwing the colored balloons and then having colored water appear on those involved and on the ground around them would simulate the color from the powders (which could cause clean up problems and could get in peoples' eyes). Be sure that the teens have parental permission before they are involved in a water balloon fight or are involved in throwing powders.

Getting Painted at the Holi Festival in India - BBC
This clip from BBC shows the tradition, which is very important for families and communities, of throwing colored powders during Holi.

Holi-Festival of Colors
This clip shows some of the traditional activities and customs found during Holi.

Enhance this part of the program by serving savory and sweet Indian treats and drinking thandai (an almond-based drink) or kanji (a carrot drink).

The colors showered on friends and family members are generally made from dried flowers. Invite an herbalist to demonstrate how natural dyes are made from flowers. Pitara Children's Network,, has an example for making a water-based natural dye for Holi.


Contact local travel agencies and ask for travel brochures or posters on the countries featured. If none is available, find some relevant artwork online or ask patrons if they have vacation photographs to donate. Set up a display with information about the countries, including posters, brochures, and books. If available, add souvenirs or traditional handicrafts to the display. For example, for India, add a Sari or batik prints to the display.


Decorate the room with traditional prints, handicrafts, or typical items from the featured country to set the atmosphere. Party supply stores may have decorative items, such as items to create a German "root beer" garden, Japanese lanterns, and Polynesian flowers.

If India is your program's destination or theme, spread batik prints on the floor and tables. Use bold, rich colors with plenty of gold accents. Decorate with Bengal tiger figurines and lotus flowers. Bengal tigers are the national animal of India and are respected for their strength, grace, and power. The lotus, India's national flower, represents triumph, long life, honor, and good fortune. In addition, Hindus see the lotus as a symbol of God. Have Indian music playing in the background. General facts about India can be gathered from Greetings From India,

Traditional Indian music from artists like Ravi Shankar and Maneesh de Moor can be playing in the background to help set the mood of the program or while waiting for the program to begin.


Serve an assortment of culturally authentic refreshments. Indian cuisine could include samosas and other snacks and sweets, like coconut burfi, which may be purchased at a local restaurant or Indian food market. Food suggestions and recipes, with easy to follow cooking videos can be found at Manjula's Kitchen, If there is no Indian market in your community, check at natural food stores or purchase items from an online store. Even Amazon,, sells packaged foods from many countries.


If you are planning a series of programs on various countries, issue the teens a "boarding pass" at the start of the program. Create a pass that looks like an airline-boarding pass for each program. Let the teens fill in their name on the pass. Sugardoodle,, provides a sample that could easily be replicated. At the end of each program, these passes can be turned in for a drawing to be held at the end of the series of programs. The more programs each teen attends, the more chances of winning! Prizes could include books about the countries covered, travel gear, digital cameras, Mp3 players, or other prizes.

Web Based Activities

Virtual tours are a great way to provide a visual aspect to the program. For example, the web site, Explore the Taj Mahal at provides a virtual tour of this wonderful structure.

Web 2.0

The inclusion of YouTube videos incorporates the use of Web 2.0 and social networking into library programs. Share these with teens so that they can learn about life in India.

India Rising
This ABC movie clip depicts life in India, both the positive parts of India, and the negative aspects.

Sights and Sounds of India
This National Geographic video offers a glimpse into the many areas of India.

Professional Resources

Web Sites

8 Popular Festivals of India by Sharell Cook
This site provides information on the eight most popular festivals in India.

About Rangoli, Rangoli Designs, and How to Make a Rangoli
This web site gives information on the history and tradition of Rangoli and includes several decorating themes and patterns.

The Art of Mehndi by Karen L Hudson
This article discusses mehndi - The origin, the powder, and the recipes used.

Festivals in India-Fairs in India
This site discusses Diwali and several other festivals in India.

Indian Theme Party
This web site provides information on throwing traditional Indian parties and covers everything from food to decorations to games.

Rakhi Festival
This web site describes the tradition of Rakhi and gives several craft ideas for Rakhi.

Raksha Bandan
This web site discusses the significance of Raksha and its traditions, customs, and celebrations.

What is Bollywood?
This web site defines Bollywood and discusses the history and future of Bollywood dancing and films.

Sample Program 2: Ticket to Polynesia

This Globetrotting program features four Polynesian cultures: Hawaiian, Tahitian, Maori, and Samoan. Librarians will enjoy this armchair vacation as much as the teens!

Polynesia is a group Pacific Islands within the Polynesian Triangle as seen in this map from the Polynesian Cultural Center at The top of the triangle, or apex, is Hawaii, and the base is New Zealand in the west and Easter Island in the East. Islands within the triangle include Samoa, Tonga, Pitcairn Island, the Cook Islands, French Polynesia with 100+ islands including Tahiti, and many others. "Polynesia" means "many islands" from the Greek words, "poly", which means many, and "nēsoi" which means "islands". The islands are mostly small coral atolls and some are of volcanic origin. The ancient Polynesians were skilled navigators and sailors.

Read more about Polynesia in the Professional Resources at the end of this program or in Wikipedia at

Books to Share

Burned: A Novel (Soul Surfer Series) by Rick Bundschuh and Bethany Hamilton.
Hunter by Joy Crowley
Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell
Island Boyz by Graham Salisbury
Punga the Goddess of Ugly by Deborah Nourse Lattimore
Whale Rider by Witi Ihimaera

Books to Display or Booktalk

The Americas and the Pacific by Sean Connolly
Notes from a Spinning Planet by Melody Carlson
Pacific Islands by Katherine Kristen
The Pacific Islands: An Encyclopedia by Brij Lal and Kate Fortune


Maori Poi Balls

Poi is a performance art in which performers hold one or more balls attached to chords and swing them in circular patterns. Poi performances can incorporate dance, juggling, and spinning a variety of objects, including torches, fluorescent streamers, and glow sticks that make beautiful circular patterns in the air. Poi originated with the MĀori people of New Zealand. In this craft, teens will make poi balls and learn some basic movement patterns. Instructions for making simple poi balls may be found at

Invite a poi artist to teach the teens some basic movements, or let them view the YouTube video with basic skills instruction produced by the Polynesian Cultural Center at For more information on poi, see Wikipedia at

Seashell Picture Frame

Let the teens hot glue shells to picture frames following the directions at eHow,


Island Photo Shoot

Take photos of teens either solo or with their friends to place in their seashell frames. Bring luau party themed clothes such as leis and grass skirts and Hawaiian shirts for the teens to wear in photos. Either create a tropical backdrop or purchase one from a party store or from a site such as Shindigz at,, and

Ti Rakau - Maori Stick Game

Teach teens some simple Ti Rakau, a Maori Stick Game that may performed with rolled up and taped newspaper. The Polynesian Cultural Center has an introduction to Ti Rakau at A performance/instructional video by the Kansas City Chorus is on TeacherTube at

Hula Dancing

Invite a hula instructor to teach a simple dance, or let the teens view these videos and create their own hulas.

YouTube Videos

Brief History of Hula

How to Hula

Monkey See - How to Hula Dance

Symbolic Hula Movement

Web sites with Hula Dance Steps

Hula Dance

eHow - Hukilau Dance Steps

Samoan Tattoos

Let teens design a Samoan tattoo using motifs found on Samoan Sensations at

Travel Brochures

Let the teens design travel brochures to Tahiti, New Zealand, Samoa, and Hawaii using Microsoft Publisher Brochure Templates or templates from free sites such as My Brochure Maker at Print the brochures in color and display them in the teen section of your library.

Polynesian Languages

Teach the teens some simple Polynesian words and phrases such as "Hello", which is "Aloha" in
Hawaiian, "Kia ora" in Maori, "Talofa, malo" in Samoan, and "Ia Orana" (yo-rah-nah) in Tahitian. - Hawaiian Phrases - Maori Phrases – Samoan Phrases

Polynesian – Tahitian Phrases

Web 2.0

Animoto Travel Videos

Let the teens make free, 30-second Animoto Short travel videos about Tahiti, New Zealand, Samoa, Hawaii, surfing, hula, etc. First, teens must select photos from Creative Commons and music from either Creative Commons or Freeplay Music and save them. Then they will be ready to upload them quickly into Animoto for their videos.

Follow these steps to find images on Creative Commons.
Open The Creative Commons,

  1. Click on the "Find" tab.
  2. On the screen that appears, make sure that the box "modify, adapt, or build upon" is checked at the top of the screen in the green-boxed area.
  3. Type in a search term for images in the search box and click on either "Google (Image)" or "Flicker (Image)". Search terms might include "Hawaii", "Tahiti", "Hula", "Surfing", "Snorkling Hawaii, "Bora Bora", etc. These results will be filtered for images. On the results page, make sure that either Google "image" or Flickr "image" is highlighted. (Note: To search for a new term it is imperative that the search term be typed in the search bar in the green box, otherwise the results might be copyrighted material.)
  4. Right click on the desired images. Animoto Shorts use about 12 images for a 30-second video. Save the images to the desired location on the computer. (When saving the picture, tell teens to create a name for the image that includes the name of the person who uploaded the image. This will help teens keep track of images and their creators so that they can easily create a list of credits at the end of the video.)
  5. Teens may upload the photos to a photo-sharing site such as Flickr, Picasa, Photobucket, or Facebook, but this is not necessary.

Follow these steps to find music to use for the on Freeplay Music. Alternatively, search for music on Creative Commons in the same way that you searched for images, selecting the "jamendo" tab for music (rather than Google or Flickr). When you find music, download it and save it to a file that can be imported into Movie Maker.

  1. Go to Freeplay Music at
  2. Scroll to the right side of the page and locate the box labeled "feel." In this box is a list of words that represent moods. Teens scroll down the list to find a mood for their movie. Click on the desired mood.
  3. Teens can also search by style, keyword, and volume. Suggested keyword search terms are "Hawaii", "Hawaiian Music", beach, surf, hula, etc.
  4. On the next screen a list of songs will appear. Highlighted in orange are various lengths of the music. A 30-second recording will fit the 30-second Animoto video.
  5. Right click on a 30-second MP3. Choose "save target as" and save the file to a desired location.
  6. Before leaving the page, teens should write the credit information in a Word document, record the title, creator, and the web site for the credits page.

Now teens are ready to go to Animoto at and follow the three easy steps to make a 30-second video. Step 1 is uploading photos, Step 2 is uploading music, and step 3 is making the video.

  1. Click on "Get Started"
  2. Click on "Create Video"
  3. Click on "Make 30-Second Video for Free"
  4. Sign in or Create an Account
  5. Upload the photos
  6. Click "Done"
  7. Upload Music
  8. Enter the Song Title and Artist
  9. Click Save and Continue
  10. Click on "Finalize the Video."
  11. Select Video Pacing and Video Style (May wish to use Fire or Water for Style)
  12. Click "Continue"
  13. Enter the Title and Description
  14. Click "Create Video". This may take a few minutes.
  15. Animoto will send an e-mail to the teens' account. They must open their e-mail and click on the link to view the video.


Ask local travel agencies for brochures or posters of Polynesia. Display posters, brochures, and books about the countries. Add souvenirs or traditional handicrafts, or items for a luau from a party store. Invite teens or adults who have been to Polynesia to bring photos to display.


Decorate the room with traditional prints, handicrafts, or typical items from Polynesian countries.


Prepare a table with a luau theme and serve a variety of dishes from Polynesia. Here are some recipes for deserts. – How to Make Hawaiian Banana Delight

Samoa Live - Samoan Puligi

Samoa Live - Samoan Keke Faasaina


Give teens a "boarding pass" at the beginning of the program. At the end of each program, let teens will them. Hold a drawing held at the end of the series. Prizes might include books on the countries featured, digital cameras, and Mp3 players.

Guest Presenters

Invite a Polynesian Dance Group to group put on a show and invite teens to participate and learn a dance such as the hula.

Invite a person who has snorkeled or gone scuba diving in Polynesia to talk about their experience and show underwater photos or videos of fish and coral reefs.

Invite a Poi performance artist or performing group to demonstrate Poi dancing and juggling. Provide glow sticks or balls so the artists can teach teens some Glo Poi.

Invite a drum circle to perform Polynesian rhythms.

Online Videos

Let teens watch some of these videos about Polynesia.

National Anthem of French Polynesia

National Geographic Society Xpeditions: The College of Exploration of Exploration Video Showcase - A Polynesian Story

National Geographic Society Xpeditions: The College of Exploration of Exploration Video Showcase - Hawaiian Hot Spots

Polynesian Cultural Center – Fijian Evening Show

Polynesian Cultural Center - Introduction

Polynesian Cultural Center – Maori Village – The Haka

Polynesian Cultural Center – New Zealand

Polynesian Cultural Center – Samoa Fire Knife

Polynesian Cultural Center – Samoan Tattoos

Polynesian Cultural Center - Samoan Village (Tree Climbing)

Polynesian Cultural Center – Tahiti - Horizon Evening Show

Seacology's Morea Island French Polynesia Project

Tititorea (Stick Games) at Polynesian Cultural Center

Whales in Polynesia

Video recordings

Island Girl Hula Workout for Beginners (40 minutes)
Globe Trekker: New Zealand (60 minutes)
Globe Trekker: Tahiti and Samoa (60 minutes)
Hidden Hawaii – National Parks Collection (50 minutes)
Living Landscapes: Hawaii (BluRay) (60 minutes)

Professional Resources

Web Sites

'Aha Pūnana Leo - Ka PĪ 'ĀpĀ Hawai'i (The Hawaiian Alphabet) Pronunciation
This site covers pronunciation, common words and phrases, phone answering and even how to write checks in the Hawaiian language.

CIA World Fact Book
The CIA World Fact Book features articles on a wide variety of aspects about countries throughout the world, including history, maps, flags, demographics, etc.

CIA World Fact Book French Polynesia

CIA World Fact Book New Zealand

CIA World Fact Book American Samoa

Conservation International Biodiversity Hot Spots: Polynesia-Micronesia
Discussion of the ecosystems and endangered species within this area.

The Hawaiian Luau – How to Make a Lei
Easy-to-follow instructions, including pictures, types and quantities of flowers, and sewing materials needed for both a regular- and a head-type lei.
The Lonely

The Lonely Planet
Travel guide with great pictures, practical information, places to go, and links for the weather.

Introducing Samoa
The Lonely Planet guide to Samoa, including great pictures, practical information, places to go, and links for the weather.

Introducing American Samoa

Introducing Hawaii

Introducing New Zealand

Mythology of the Polynesian Islands
Learn about the Polynesian myths related to objects in the sky, and aspects of their world.

National Geographic: A Polynesian Story: Fagatele Bay National Marine Sanctuary
Includes a Polynesian Story video (4 min), lesson plan, related Web sites, and the Ocean Literacy principle.

National Geographic Xpeditions Lesson Plans (Grade 6-8) A Polynesian Story
Students will explore the geography and history of Polynesia; become familiar with ancient and modern Polynesian culture and the relationship of Polynesian people with the sea; study American Samoa and Fagatele Bay National Marine Sanctuary; and develop a public action plan to protect the marine resources of the area, drawing upon aspects of local Polynesian culture. – Hawaiian Writing
Information, links, and recordings of the Hawaiian language. – Tahitian Writing
Information and links about the Tahitian language.

Polynesian Cultural Center
The Polynesian Cultural Center features information about the geography, history and culture of Polynesia, with links to related information, including maps and languages.

Polynesian Cultural Center – Aotearoa (New Zealand)

Polynesian Cultural Center - Hawaii

Polynesian Cultural Center – Samoa

Polynesian Cultural Center - Tahiti

Samoan Sensations – Tattoos
This link contains an extensive discussion of the Traditional Samoan practice of tattooing of the pe'a, or a full body tattoo, including history, pictures and songs.

South Pacific Travel Organizer – Tahiti Travel Guide
Includes information on the land and customs, the weather, the history and activities for tourists.

Tahiti – Tahiti Travel
Links and information about each of the Tahitian Islands.

The Tahiti Traveler – The Origin of Polynesian Languages
History, characteristics and a lexicon for the Tahitian language.

WikiTravel – Oceanna
Collaborative web page with links and descriptions about all of Oceania.

Texas Teens Read 2011! Programming Manual / Going Global, Staying Connected!
Published by the Library Development Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Page last modified: September 18, 2012