Sage Takes Trip Around Globe at Multicultural Fair

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Traditional Chinese lion dancers from the Ane Thanh troupe check out a food booth while the parent volunteers laugh and take photos during the 15th Annual Sage Hill Multicultural Fair on Saturday. — Photo by Sara Hall ©
Traditional Chinese lion dancers from the Ane Thanh troupe check out a food booth while the parent volunteers laugh and take photos during the 15th Annual Sage Hill Multicultural Fair on Saturday.
— Photo by Sara Hall ©

Visitors to the 15th Annual Sage Hill Multicultural Fair on Saturday enjoyed sights, sounds, and tastes from cultures all around the world without ever leaving the Newport Coast campus.

The school’s town square transformed into a global village with 16 authentic international food booths, lively cultural entertainment, an ethnic bazaar, and hands-on craft making.

“The event is really meant to bring our community together and celebrate our diversity,” said Sage parent and event co-chair Darlene Brandt.

It’s also about reaching out to the surrounding community.

“This is our way of letting our neighbors know who we are while celebrating our heritage and traditions,” added fellow co-chair Soo Park, also a Sage parent.

Korean Nongak dancers from KAYPA perform during the 15th Annual Sage Hill Multicultural Fair on Saturday. — Photo by Sara Hall ©
Korean Nongak dancers from KAYPA perform during the 15th Annual Sage Hill Multicultural Fair on Saturday.
— Photo by Sara Hall ©

Attendance was better this year than 2015, with more than 1,100 people joining in the festivities throughout the day, they noted.

Both emphasized the hard work by the hundreds of volunteers that made the day possible, including parents, Sage students and kids from local middle schools.

“It’s a great way for us to bring the community together,” said school President Gordon McNeill. “It’s not about anything other than celebrating each other and for us (at Sage Hill) that’s a big part of our mission and who we are.”

This is a marquee event for the school, McNeill noted.

The purpose of the family fun event is to bring everyone together and celebrate, agreed Head of School Patricia Merz.

Parent volunteers cook chicken dumplings at the China food booth. — Photo by Sara Hall ©
Parent volunteers cook chicken dumplings at the China food booth.
— Photo by Sara Hall ©

 

“It’s our opportunity to celebrate the diversity of our entire Sage Hill community,” Merz said. “It’s nice to just take the time and sit back and enjoy and share with one another.”

It’s also a great occasion to share the incredible talent at Sage and the surrounding community, Merz added. Students, staff and performers from around Orange County take to the stage at the fair to sing, dance, and play music inspired by cultures from around the world.

Entertainment included Chinese Lion performances, Irish and Hawaiian dancing, Korean folk Nongak drumming, Korean K-pop/Nanta, Mexican Folkloric dancers, French singers, Sage Hill student bands, guitar duos, and many others.

“And the food is amazing,” Merz continued.

Visitors strolled along the plaza and tasted fresh cuisine from China, England, France, Germany, India, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Persia and Poland, and “Desserts Around the World.” New to the international food booths this year will be the flavors of Americana, Israel, Hawaii, and Croatia.

“The food is just the entrée to learning more about the country,” said Teresa Minke, the Sage parent who headed up the Croatia booth.

(left to right) Family members Bonnie Mihovilovich, Norma Chizek, and Teresa Minke help at the Croatia food booth during the Sage Hill Multicultural Fair on Saturday. — Photo by Sara Hall ©
(left to right) Family members Bonnie Mihovilovich, Norma Chizek, and Teresa Minke help at the Croatia food booth during the Sage Hill Multicultural Fair on Saturday.
— Photo by Sara Hall ©

 

Minke set out a book of information on Croatia and answered a lot of questions about the country. Many booths had traditional decorations, old photos hung up, or posted personal stories from their featured country.

“It’s a nice way for people to learn about other cultures,” Minke said.

To help share her heritage, customs, and food, Minke brought along her mother and aunt, both of whom were born in Croatia, among other relatives.

“It’s a wonderful thing to bring together three generations,” Minke said.

They worked on it together as a family project, cooking everything the day before the event, she added.

It’s wonderful for Minke’s mother and aunt to get to share the culture of their home country with the kids, she said. Minke’s sons Sam, a junior, and Ben, a freshman, both attend Sage Hill.

The family was serving stuffed cabbage rolls and apple strudel. The strudel was Minke’s aunt, Bonnie Mihovilovich’s own recipe. The creative culinary artist plans on making her family-famous cheese strudel next year.

Korean Nongak dancers from KAYPA practice their moves before heading on stage at the Sage Hill Multicultural Fair on Saturday. — Photo by Sara Hall ©
Korean Nongak dancers from KAYPA practice their moves before heading on stage at the Sage Hill Multicultural Fair on Saturday.
— Photo by Sara Hall ©

The Croatia stand got a lot of great feedback, the cooks behind the booth all agreed. Many people returned for seconds or a take-home box.

“Everyone loves the homemade strudel,” Minke noted.

A fond childhood memory of hers is her mother making the apple strudel and the smell filling up the house, Minke said. She never made it herself until Mihovilovich came from San Pedro to help with the food for the fair. Now that she knows the recipe, she can create those fond food memories for her own children, she said.

Visitors also browsed the Sage Hill student-run, philanthropic ethnic bazaar, which had items for sell like colorful jewelry, Tanzanian cloths and handmade goods from all over the world. While shopping, visitors learned about various organizations, including Sage’s own Garden and Environmental Club.

Juniors Lynn Fong and Ye Chen manned the booth, which sold hand-painted terracotta pots (including the optional seeds) to raise funds for the club.

It’s a really fun group and they’ve learned a lot, Fong said.

“You get to take care of something and watch it grow,” Fong said.

Both agreed that the fair sends an important message to students.

“Diversity and inclusion are such an integral part of what every community needs, especially a school community,” Fong said, “so it’s really great that we can have this time to celebrate who we are.”

Dancers from Halau Hula Lani Ola perform during the 15th Annual Sage Hill Multicultural Fair on Saturday. — Photo by Sara Hall ©
Dancers from Halau Hula Lani Ola perform during the 15th Annual Sage Hill Multicultural Fair on Saturday.
— Photo by Sara Hall ©
Dancers from Halau Hula Lani Ola perform a traditional Hawaiian dance during the event. — Photo by Sara Hall ©
Dancers from Halau Hula Lani Ola perform a traditional Hawaiian dance during the event.
— Photo by Sara Hall ©
Rana Mohiuddin of Think Outside the Vase draws henna on the hand of Sage sophomore Genesis Gonzalez. — Photo by Sara Hall ©
Rana Mohiuddin of Think Outside the Vase draws henna on the hand of Sage sophomore Genesis Gonzalez.
— Photo by Sara Hall ©
Rana Mohiuddin of Think Outside the Vase draws henna on the hand of Sage sophomore Genesis Gonzalez. — Photo by Sara Hall ©
Rana Mohiuddin of Think Outside the Vase draws henna on the hand of Sage sophomore Genesis Gonzalez.
— Photo by Sara Hall ©
A Korean Nongak dancer from KAYPA gets her bow adjusted and enjoys a drink before heading on stage to perform. — Photo by Sara Hall ©
A Korean Nongak dancer from KAYPA gets her bow adjusted and enjoys a drink before heading on stage to perform.
— Photo by Sara Hall ©
Arianna Soto, 2, watches as her “passport” booklet gets stamped. Her aunt, Melissa Iglesias, is a senior at Sage Hill. — Photo by Sara Hall ©
Arianna Soto, 2, watches as her “passport” booklet gets stamped. Her aunt, Melissa Iglesias, is a senior at Sage Hill.
— Photo by Sara Hall ©
Decorations at the Korea booth. — Photo by Sara Hall ©
Decorations at the Korea booth.
— Photo by Sara Hall ©
Laguna Niguel student Devonte Boos of 100 Black Men organization checks out some Tanzanian bracelets at the Ethnic Bazaar at the fair. — Photo by Sara Hall ©
Laguna Niguel student Devonte Boos of 100 Black Men organization checks out some Tanzanian bracelets at the Ethnic Bazaar at the fair.
— Photo by Sara Hall ©
Laguna Niguel student Devonte Boos of the 100 Black Men organization looks through Tanzanian bracelets at the Ethnic Bazaar at the fair. — Photo by Sara Hall ©
Laguna Niguel student Devonte Boos of the 100 Black Men organization looks through Tanzanian bracelets at the Ethnic Bazaar at the fair.
— Photo by Sara Hall ©
Sage Hill students perform Nanta drumming at the fair. — Photo by Sara Hall ©
Sage Hill students perform Nanta drumming at the fair. — Photo by Sara Hall ©
Sage Hill students perform Nanta drumming at the fair. — Photo by Sara Hall ©
Sage Hill students perform Nanta drumming at the fair. — Photo by Sara Hall ©
Traditional Chinese lion dancers from the Ane Thanh troupe perform during the 15th Annual Sage Hill Multicultural Fair on Saturday. — Photo by Sara Hall ©
Traditional Chinese lion dancers from the Ane Thanh troupe perform during the 15th Annual Sage Hill Multicultural Fair on Saturday.
— Photo by Sara Hall ©
Traditional Chinese lion dancers from the Ane Thanh troupe perform during the 15th Annual Sage Hill Multicultural Fair on Saturday. — Photo by Sara Hall ©
Traditional Chinese lion dancers from the Ane Thanh troupe perform during the 15th Annual Sage Hill Multicultural Fair on Saturday.
— Photo by Sara Hall ©
Traditional Chinese lion dancers from the Ane Thanh troupe interact with the crowd during the 15th Annual Sage Hill Multicultural Fair on Saturday. — Photo by Sara Hall ©
Traditional Chinese lion dancers from the Ane Thanh troupe interact with the crowd during the 15th Annual Sage Hill Multicultural Fair on Saturday.
— Photo by Sara Hall ©
Traditional Chinese lion dancers from the Ane Thanh troupe interact with the crowd during the 15th Annual Sage Hill Multicultural Fair on Saturday. — Photo by Sara Hall ©
Traditional Chinese lion dancers from the Ane Thanh troupe interact with the crowd during the 15th Annual Sage Hill Multicultural Fair on Saturday.
— Photo by Sara Hall ©
Sage Hill counselor Nicole Thompson sings during the fair. — Photo by Sara Hall ©
Sage Hill counselor Nicole Thompson sings during the fair.
— Photo by Sara Hall ©
Sage sophomore Genesis Gonzalez does a twirl during the multicultural fashion show. — Photo by Sara Hall ©
Sage sophomore Genesis Gonzalez does a twirl during the multicultural fashion show. — Photo by Sara Hall ©
A tray of jelly-filled pacskis (Polish donuts). — Photo by Sara Hall ©
A tray of jelly-filled pacskis (Polish donuts).
— Photo by Sara Hall ©
(clockwise, from top right in blue) Gillian Ippoliti, McKenna Walsh, Eva Stanton, Samantha Stoke, and Kaitlin Ryan from Anair Irish Dance School pose for a photo before performing. — Photo by Sara Hall ©
(clockwise, from top right in blue) Gillian Ippoliti, McKenna Walsh, Eva Stanton, Samantha Stoke, and Kaitlin Ryan from Anair Irish Dance School pose for a photo before performing.
— Photo by Sara Hall ©
McKenna Walsh (front) leaps in the air while she and Kaitlin Ryan (front right), Samantha Stoke (back right), Eva Stanton (front left) and Gillian Ippoliti (hidden in back) from Anair Irish Dance School perform a traditional Irish dance. — Photo by Sara Hall ©
McKenna Walsh (front) leaps in the air while she and Kaitlin Ryan (front right), Samantha Stoke (back right), Eva Stanton (front left) and Gillian Ippoliti (hidden in back) from Anair Irish Dance School perform a traditional Irish dance.
— Photo by Sara Hall ©
A doll dressed in traditional clothing decorates the Poland booth. — Photo by Sara Hall ©
A doll dressed in traditional clothing decorates the Poland booth.
— Photo by Sara Hall ©
Dancers from Halau Hula Lani Ola perform during the 15th Annual Sage Hill Multicultural Fair on Saturday. — Photo by Sara Hall ©
Dancers from Halau Hula Lani Ola perform during the 15th Annual Sage Hill Multicultural Fair on Saturday.
— Photo by Sara Hall ©
Visitors walk around the town square at the 15th Annual Sage Hill Multicultural Fair on Saturday. — Photo by Sara Hall ©
Visitors walk around the town square at the 15th Annual Sage Hill Multicultural Fair on Saturday.
— Photo by Sara Hall ©

 

 

 

 

 

 

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