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Thousands Celebrate Cultural Diversity at 22nd Annual Irvine Global Village Festival

Thousands Celebrate Cultural Diversity at 22nd Annual Irvine Global Village Festival

Children interact with animals at the petting zoo at the 22nd annual Irvine Global Village Festival in Irvine, Calif., on Oct. 14, 2023. (Sophie Li/The Epoch Times)

Sophie Li
Sophie Li

10/16/2023

Updated: 10/16/2023

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IRVINE, Calif.—Thousands of people from across Southern California gathered at the Great Park Oct. 14 celebrating the 22nd annual Irvine Global Village Festival with live performances, games, and food from across the globe.
This year’s festival featured around 150 booths showcasing local businesses, cultural organizations, local agencies, restaurants, and children’s activities.
“The Irvine Global Village Festival serves as a cherished tradition commemorating the diversity of our community and shared experience,” Mayor Farrah Khan wrote in a welcome letter published in the event’s program. “[It] promotes a spirit of unity and a recognition of how these distinct cultural threads weave together to form the stunning vibrancy of the City of Irvine.”
Throughout the day, over 50 groups on five stages performed live music, martial arts, and dances from different countries and ethnic groups.
The Consulate of Mexico in Santa Ana brought several performances to the event, showcasing the country’s vibrant culture and bright spirit.
“I welcome you all to the festival today where Mexico is participating with all the culture we have,” Audrey Rivera, head of the Mexico Consulate division, told The Epoch Times. “We have these … artists from Mexico to [perform] so that the people know more about Mexican culture.”
Audrey Rivera, head of the Consulate of Mexico in Santa Ana, participates at the 22nd annual Irvine Global Village Festival in Irvine, Calif., on Oct. 14, 2023. (Sophie Li/The Epoch Times)

Audrey Rivera, head of the Consulate of Mexico in Santa Ana, participates at the 22nd annual Irvine Global Village Festival in Irvine, Calif., on Oct. 14, 2023. (Sophie Li/The Epoch Times)

Chinelos, a kind of traditional costumed dancer from Mexico, performed at the 22nd annual Irvine Global Village Festival in Irvine, Calif., on Oct. 14, 2023. (Sophie Li/The Epoch Times)

Chinelos, a kind of traditional costumed dancer from Mexico, performed at the 22nd annual Irvine Global Village Festival in Irvine, Calif., on Oct. 14, 2023. (Sophie Li/The Epoch Times)

Lea Dumortier, 1st princess of the Miss Taiwanese American Pageant—an annual competition held by the Taiwan Center of Greater Los Angeles to showcase young Taiwanese American women of their culture, intelligence, and talent—and a recent University of California–Berkeley graduate, also shared her joy to represent her culture.
“I think it’s a really beautiful thing to see so many cultures, be able to come together in one space and celebrate each other,” Ms. Dumortier told The Epoch Times. “There’s been people from all around the world from various different cultures who come to our booth to ask about Taiwan … [and] what we do.”
Lea Dumortier, 1st princess of Miss Taiwanese American, participates at the 22nd annual Irvine Global Village Festival in Irvine, Calif., on Oct. 14, 2023. (Sophie Li/The Epoch Times)

Lea Dumortier, 1st princess of Miss Taiwanese American, participates at the 22nd annual Irvine Global Village Festival in Irvine, Calif., on Oct. 14, 2023. (Sophie Li/The Epoch Times)

Also participating were adherents of the spiritual practice Falun Dafa, sharing its core principles of truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance, and the physical and mental benefits gained from the practice.
“It’s been more than 20 years [for our organization] participating in this event. And I can say that I’m the second generation volunteering,” local practitioner Alina Jin told The Epoch Times. “Falun Dafa is practiced worldwide in so many countries. I think it truly represents what’s happening in China.”
The group also displayed pieces of artwork to help spread awareness of millions of practitioners who have been persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party since 1999, due to its popularity.
People checking out the Falun Dafa art exhibit at the 22nd annual Irvine Global Village Festival in Irvine, Calif., on Oct. 14, 2023. (Sophie Li/The Epoch Times)

People checking out the Falun Dafa art exhibit at the 22nd annual Irvine Global Village Festival in Irvine, Calif., on Oct. 14, 2023. (Sophie Li/The Epoch Times)

The Falun Dafa art exhibit at the 22nd annual Irvine Global Village Festival in Irvine, Calif., on Oct. 14, 2023. (Sophie Li/The Epoch Times)

The Falun Dafa art exhibit at the 22nd annual Irvine Global Village Festival in Irvine, Calif., on Oct. 14, 2023. (Sophie Li/The Epoch Times)

Many locals were on hand for the festivities, but the event also attracted spectators from other cities.
Mark Newman, from Downey, brought his wife and their three children.
“[It was] very nice and very well organized. ... We got to try lots of different kinds of foods. The kids played at the petting zoo,” Mr. Newman told The Epoch Times.
Downey resident Mark Newmanand his family participate at the 22nd annual Irvine Global Village Festival in Irvine, Calif., on Oct. 14, 2023. (Sophie Li/The Epoch Times)

Downey resident Mark Newmanand his family participate at the 22nd annual Irvine Global Village Festival in Irvine, Calif., on Oct. 14, 2023. (Sophie Li/The Epoch Times)

The festival featured over 30 food vendors that offered a wide variety ranging from Indian cuisine to boba milk tea.
Another Irvine resident said that he and his family enjoyed the cultural diversity at the festival.
“[My kid has] no idea … what diversity means. So, if I come here, then I can show her [the] different kinds of people around and that’s how diversity looks like. [There’s also] the food and the culture, everything they can experience,” Ramkumar Srini said.
Long lines of children were also spotted throughout the event in front of the Irvine Police Department’s booth taking pictures with the police car and asking for police badges.
“Coming out and seeing people from different cultures and different groups all within our community and nearby is really nice. It’s a good way for our department to connect with the people that we’re actually working for,” Detective Alex Mena told The Epoch Times.
Irvine Police Department Detective Alex Mena at the 22nd annual Irvine Global Village Festival in Irvine, Calif., on Oct. 14, 2023. (Sophie Li/The Epoch Times)

Irvine Police Department Detective Alex Mena at the 22nd annual Irvine Global Village Festival in Irvine, Calif., on Oct. 14, 2023. (Sophie Li/The Epoch Times)

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Sophie Li
Sophie Li
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Sophie Li is a Southern California-based reporter covering local daily news, state policies, and breaking news for The Epoch Times. Besides writing, she is also passionate about reading, photography, and tennis.

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