By Soyun Chow
Special to the Reporter
Mercer Island families gathered together on December 7 to celebrate their diverse community at the West Mercer Culture Fair. Over 400 community members attended the event throughout the evening, which included: student culture projects; arts and crafts; food from around the world; and family tables representing Kenya, Korea, Mexico, China, Japan, India, Nigeria, Italy, and Turkey.
There were also exciting performances by the Mak Fai Kung Fu Lion Dancers, Haley Prendergast Irish Dancers, and student acts. Mercer Island High School students also participated in the event, with junior Grace Go being the MC; the Black Student Union and Student Voices for Change having displays; and KMIH 88.9 The Bridge student run radio station playing multicultural music.
Chris Cocklin-Ray, Inclusion Coach for the Mercer Island School District, thought that the event was “full of energy, love of culture, and people seemed to be overjoyed to be back together.”
West Mercer Principal Megan Isakson said that the event was “exemplary of our vibrant, diverse West Mercer community. The evening was an opportunity for all of us to honor, celebrate, and elevate the many cultures of our school community through food, music, performance, storytelling projects, and conversation. The event also was an opportunity to showcase and strengthen our West Mercer values of relationship and building a sense of belonging.”
Junga Chu’s daughter Dana Kim (3rd grade) performed the traditional Korean folk song “Jindo Arirang.” Chu and other families hosted a Korean table at the event and said that “it was emotional to participate in the event again after three years. It was a very meaningful time as many students showed interest in our culture.”