Mini-Language Lessons, Performances and Displays at the 3rd Annual Language Capital of the World Cultural Festival

Publicity Contact: Wendy Brickman

(831) 594-1500 or [email protected]

3rd Annual Language Capital of the World® Cultural Festival in Monterey, CA will offer an outstanding array of international cultural experiences and languages on Sunday, May 7, 2017

April 24, 2017. Monterey.  Coming up in two weeks! Enjoy dozens of exciting international performances and unique cultural activities at the free 3rd Annual Language Capital of the World® Cultural Festival on Sunday, May 7, 2017 at the Custom House Plaza in Downtown Monterey, CA.

Festival at a Glance:

What: The City of Monterey and The Rotary Club of Monterey present the 3rd Annual Language Capital of the World Cultural Festival

Held in the heart of historic Old Monterey, adjacent to Downtown Monterey and Monterey’s Old Fisherman’s Wharf, the 3rd Annual “Language Capital of the World® Cultural Festival” will highlight Monterey's rich language, culture, and international affairs capabilities, as well as its Sister City relationships.  Fun for all ages, the free Festival features hundreds of performers of dances and authentic music from a variety of international cultures that represent many different languages. The performances will be coordinated for the third year by Sameera Sharif, Assistant Professor at the Defense Language Institute. The Festival offers an array of ethnic crafts, interactive exhibits from the flagship foreign language and culture institutions of higher learning, as well as language and culture mini-lessons. There will be delicious international food offered by many vendors from around the world.

When: Sunday, May 7, 2017. The Festival kicks off with a very colorful procession on Alvarado Street in Downtown Monterey at 10:30 am. The Festival continues until 6:00 p.m.

Where: Custom House Plaza, 20 Custom House Plaza, Monterey, CA 93940

Cost: Free

More information: Contact Bob Massaro (831) 649-6544 Email: [email protected] or contact Jaclyn Jordan at [email protected].

Mini-Language Lessons at the Festival

There will be many mini-language lesson booths for attendees to enjoy:

•           Arabic – Learn how to write your name in Arabic calligraphy with teacher, Hiba Al Ghabra.

•           American Sign Language (ASL) – Learn how to communicate different colors, numbers, and greetings without saying a word! You will learn all of this and more from teacher, Kelly Stack, who will show you all of this and more through a variety of fast-paced games.

•           German – Join teacher, Neil Hetrick, as you learn about the historical and cultural relevance of the infamous Oktoberfest. Participants will learn basic greetings in German, craft a Lebkuchenherz, and even learn several common dances.

•           Greek – Through the use of a short dialogue, teacher, Maria Leontis, will help learners recognize modern words that derive from Greek. She will also introduce different types of Greek food and teach the learners a children’s song!

•           Korean – Learn how to form your name by using stamps of Korean vowels and consonants. If time permits, the instructor, Minwa Lim, will also show participants how to write different words in Korean calligraphy.

•           Mandarin – Come learn how to sing “Twinkle, twinkle little star” in Chinese with teacher, Yang Li.

•           Mandarin – Come make a bookmark with your name in Chinese calligraphy with instructor, Yu-Chi (Vickie) Rockower.

•           Persian-Farsi – Participants will be introduced to the Persian alphabet, learn simple greetings, and even learn a traditional Persian dance with teacher, Art Koulakani.

•           Russian – Be introduced to some basic Russian vocabulary through an interactive painting activity with teachers Irene Krasher and Olga Barabanova. There will also be an opportunity to snap a picture of yourself wearing a traditional Russian costume.

•           Russian – Learn how to talk about your likes and dislikes with this introduction to the Russian language with teacher, Polina Korchagina.

•           Spanish – Come listen to teachers, Nicolas Morales and Willow Barnosky, read the story “My Abuelita” by Tony Johnston. Through the context of the story, participants will be familiarized with Spanish vocabulary relating to family and food.

•           Spanish – Create a multimedia art work that explores the many dimensions of culture (e.g., people, traditions, products, as well as connections and comparisons).

And more lessons to be announced!

Fascinating Cultural Displays:

There will also be a 19 Cultural Displays including a Kurdish cultural booth, Monterey Bay Lion Dance, Hellenic Cultural Institute, Monterey Bay Chinese Association, Om Shanti OM – Indian Cultural Booth, Sadat Barazki Afghan Cultural Display, International Language Culture Foundation, Farsi/Calligraphy, Moravia, Alliance Francois de Monterey, Buddhist Text Translation Society, Middlebury Institute of International Studies, a cultural booth about Spain, Naval Postgraduate School, a cultural booth about Spain, one about Tibetan Culture and Education First.

2017 Festival Performers

Scheduled for this year’s 3rd Annual Festival are an outstanding array of performers and 29 different performances, including Estampa De Las Americas, performing music and dance of the ancient Americas Continent (Mexico/Spanish); Om Shanti Om, a dance group performing songs and dances from popular Bollywood films (India); Azhar Flamenco de Monterey, performing traditional songs and dances of Southern Spain (Spanish); Presidio of Monterey Dragon Dance Team, featuring a long dragon, a symbol of good fortune (Chinese); MBCA Chinese Dance Group, performing Yangge, a Chinese folk dance developed in the Song Dynasty; Chiffon Fu Gu-Zheng Ensemble from San Jose, playing a Gu Zheng, a traditional Chinese zither instrument with a 2500-year history (Chinese); Emily Zhang and Isaac Lin, two 7 year old children performing a piano duet (Chinese); Van Tho from San Jose, performing Vietnamese folk dances, a magic show and a fashion show with traditional and modern clothing (Vietnamese); New Star Dance Group performing traditional Vietnamese dances and drumming (Vietnamese); Monsori Korean Drum Group, a percussion quartet comprised of traditional barrel and hourglass-shaped drums and two gongs (Korean), DLI Korean Traditional Fan Dance (Korean), POPreKa Korean Pop Tunes (Korean), Kalinka Russian folk dance and singing group(Russian), DLI Russian Folk Dancers (DLI), Afghanan Music and Dance (Afghan) Monterey Peninsula College American Sign Language (ASL). Babylon folk dance (Lebanese), O’no Band Songs in 10 languages (mixed languages), California’s Official Dance West Coast Swing Dancers (English) and more groups to be announced.

The Procession and Color Guard starting on Alvarado Street in Downtown Monterey and leading into the Custom House Plaza begins at 10:30 a.m. with many international performers in costumes coordinated by Leonard Han.

Opening Remarks will be made by Colonel Philip J. Deppert, Commandant of the Defense Language Institute, followed by the National Anthem.

International Food

There will be a number of food vendors who will offer delicious international cuisine from Lebanon, Japanese, Korean, American BBQ, and Indian.

The Festival’s Significance

The trademarked slogan of “Language Capital of the World®” for Monterey County was approved by the Library of Congress. It has been used for many years to reflect the many institutions and businesses involved with international studies and language instruction in Monterey County.

Monterey County organizations also play an important role in providing translation (written word) and interpretation (spoken) services around the globe such as Morovia, LanguageLine Solutions and MediaLocate USA, among others. Organizations such as the Defense Language Institute at the Presidio of Monterey, Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, Monterey Peninsula College, California State University of Monterey Bay and other local entities provide instruction in many languages.  The Naval Postgraduate School has hosted students from more than 100 nations and provides professional, service-oriented educational programs for the U.S. armed forces and international militaries. Monterey County is also a very popular destination from visitors throughout the world, and Monterey's languages and cultural diversity are reflected in its Native American, Chinese, Filipino, Italian, Korean, Japanese, Mexican, Portuguese, Spanish and Vietnamese roots.

According to Bob Massaro, Executive Director of the Language Capital of the World Cultural Festival, “We are pleased to spotlight all of our institutions of higher learning, military installations and businesses that teach many languages such as MIIS, DLI, Moravia and LanguageLine Solutions at our very special event. These organizations and their world-class faculty, staff and students help to make Monterey an important ‘Language Capital of the World’.

Representatives from consulates and Sister Cities will also be on hand at the Festival.

Festival Sponsors

Supporting the importance of this unique event, Festival sponsors include Presenting Sponsor, The Rotary Club of Monterey. Other sponsors include Fisherman’s Wharf Association, Old Monterey Business Association, Kiwanis Club of Monterey, Monterey Commercial Property Owners Association, Middlebury Institute of International Studies (MIIS), CalAm, Alvarado Street Brewery & Grill, MediaLocate, Inc. Richard Schneider Language Services, Hellenic Cultural Institute, International Language Culture, 1st Capital Bank and more. Special thanks to the Arts Council for Monterey Council and California State Parks. Media sponsors include the Monterey County Weekly, KSBW 8, Central Coast ABC, Estrella TV Central Coast and KAZU 90.3 FM Radio. Additional sponsors are welcome.

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