Sharing Our Cultures

Blue Ridge School’s international students shared several of their traditional holidays with the entire School community last week.

On Tuesday, February 13, the Spanish and Portuguese students and teachers helped prepare dishes celebrating Carnival. Director of Food Services Jonathan Ballato and his SAGE staff prepared Mexican Capirotada, Croquetes de Jamon, Tortilla de Patatas and Puerto Rican Mofongo for the festive occasion that marks the beginning of Lent. The dining hall was decorated for the occasion, and the masks painted by students were on display. (Jaab Veskijkul won first place for his mask!)

On several evenings, Dr. Chrisantha Hermanson arranged for dinner trips to local Korean and Mexican restaurants.

On Friday, the community celebrated the Lunar New Year with a raffle drawing (tickets were included in traditional New Year’s red envelopes) at morning assembly, at lunch the dining hall was again draped in festive New Year decorations. Jonathan and his staff prepared a number of traditional Asian dishes including steamed fish, noodles, a special Korean soup, Kimchi bar and more. He also served a sampling of dumplings assembled by several students and prepared in a variety of ways.

That evening, the Asian international students had set up hot pot tables after the musical for their guests from Foxcroft School. Americans and our international students shared the hot pot dishes they could prepare at each table, and danced to traditional Chinese and Korean pop music.

Senior Yilin Kong said that he was most appreciative of all the hard work of Dr. Chrisantha Hermanson who encouraged students to try new things (like the hot pot tables), and helped them execute a great celebration. “This meant a lot to us since we really miss our homes on days like the New Year. The red envelope raffle Dr. Hermanson organized, the great lunch with all the traditional dishes, and the hot pot party made us feel like we really had a New Year here at Blue Ridge School.

For photos of the week’s festivities, click here.