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MBUSD Hosts Popular 'International Day'

Oct 24, 2017 01:25PM ● By Jeanne Fratello
The Manhattan Beach Unified School District hosted its 2nd annual International Day on Saturday, inviting local families to share cuisine, music, and traditions from their home countries.

In just its second  year, the event has become extremely popular, with 22 countries represented and more than 150 attendees, according to Jim Hands, the school district's TOSA (teacher on special assignment) for English learners and CELDT coordinator.

Families set up tables and booths at the MBUSD district office parking lot. Countries represented  included Mexico, Portugal, Brazil, Japan, Mongolia, Myanmar, Spain, China/Taiwan/Hong Kong, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Egypt, France, Turkey, Bangladesh, Iran, Israel, Honduras, Romania, and USA.

Participants got a chance to sample treats ranging from Turkish coffee to Greek pastries, and enjoy snippets of international culture ranging from music to books to games.

Ganna Sanjperenlei Herzog brought foods and cultural items from her country of Mongolia, which hadn't been represented before. "It went very well. A lot of people were surprised - They had never met anyone from Mongolia, and lots of people didn't even know Mongolia was a country," she said.

Herzog brought Mongolian treats including aaruul (dried yogurt bites that taste similar to cheese), boortsog (Mongolian biscuits or cookies made with flour, butter, sugar and lightly fried), and Mongolian chocolates. She also made Mongolian dumplings called khuushuur, which look similar to empanadas and have beef and vegetables.

She also brought items to help people learn about Mongolia, including samples of Mongolian writing, which uses the Cyrillic alphabet and is more similar to Russian than Chinese; as well as a model of a ger, or traditional Mongolian home.

"The school district helps us so much, and I’m so glad we have an international community that helps each other," said Herzog. "I really had so much fun - I cannot wait for next year."

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