Mayfield Junior School Celebrates Cultural Diversity with International Heritage Fair

Published : Thursday, February 6, 2014 | 1:41 AM

Alafia at Ayo! Pace e Gioia! Mir I radost’ vam! Throughout January, students, faculty and staff wished “peace and joy” to each other in a variety of different languages as part of Mosaic Month, a celebration of diversity. At Morning Prayer throughout the month members of the MJS community generously shared the language and perhaps a favorite prayer from their cultural heritage.

Organized by MJS teacher Myvonwynn Hopton, this year the languages presented included Russian, Italian, Korean, Hindi and even Tagalog. As a special treat, the students had the opportunity to learn a song in Yoruba from the Superior General of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus, Sr. Veronica Openibo, who is a native of Nigeria, during her brief visit to Southern California.

The Mosaic Month celebration culminated on Friday, January 31 with an International Fair. Students were given passports and guided as visitors to colorful booths representing nine different countries including Cuba, Guatemala, Vietnam, Italy, Greece, Peru, Russia, Armenia and Puerto Rico. They were invited to taste authentic foods from the regions, examine maps and clothing, and learn about the history and traditions unique to the culture. The booths were generously decorated and hosted by MJS parents and extended family with the Armenia presentation proudly hosted by a seventh-grade student who explained traditional iconography, offered samplings of pastries, and answered questions while dressed in a traditional Armenian costume.

As the student traveled through the Fair their passports were stamped with stickers after each visit to a new country. Ultimately, students had the opportunity to gain a tangible sense of our school community’s diverse and fascinating global connections. From the tasty food samples to the personal stories shared with pride by each of the parent volunteers, the International Heritage Fair was the best of both worlds- educational and fun!

Mayfield Junior School, 405 South Euclid Ave., Pasadena, (626) 796-2774 or visit www.mayfieldjs.org.

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