First published in the Feb. 9 print issue of the Pasadena Outlook.
Photos courtesy MJS
January at Mayfield Junior School has become known as Mosaic Month — a schoolwide celebration of culture, customs and traditions from around the globe.
The monthlong festivities culminate with the Family Heritage Fair, an immersive day that offers an enriching cultural experience. The morning began with a Land Acknowledgment from a Mayfield 8th-grader.
Mayfield sits on the ancestral and traditional lands of the Hahamog’na Native Tongva people and is committed to honoring its members and being future stewards of the land. Throughout the day, Mayfield students learned about the uniqueness of various countries at the family heritage stations, enjoyed culinary offerings during a Japanese Tea ceremony and the Mexican quesadilla experience, and were educated and entertained by impressive Indigenous, Chinese/Taiwanese, and Armenian dance routines. Bachata and African dance lessons received rave reviews, too.
The inaugural MJS Global Cafe offered international cuisines that tantalized taste buds. Students enjoyed tasty delights ranging from Cuban potato balls to Filipino lumpia to Chinese pot stickers. Treats from the Middle East and Egyptian hibiscus lemonade satisfied all the sweet tooths.
Organizing this year’s event took three months of preparation. Co-chairs and Mayfield parents Valerie Yee and Rana Awad began planning in October.
“We are grateful we had over 100 parent volunteers representing different cultures all coming together for one goal,” Yee said.
Awad treasures opportunities to experience moments like these with her children.
“The event has always been near and dear to my heart,” Awad said. “It’s a wonderful day where everyone is celebrated.”
Dean of Student Life Juan Garcia said the scope and scale of the fair were the largest in school history. He is proud of the impact the event had on students.
“This fair is about building community by celebrating the many heritages from around the world that exists within our families,” Garcia said. “The fair transcended the school day by sparking many conversations at home. That’s when we know we’re onto something.”
Leading up to the fair, Mayfield community members, from the youngest students to alums to parents, shared at daily morning prayer insight about valued family traditions, long-treasured recipe and customs close to the heart.