Festival at ODU highlights cultures of many, special language of one

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by Joe Flanagan, 13News Now

WVEC.com

Posted on March 30, 2014 at 7:23 PM

Updated Sunday, Mar 30 at 7:40 PM

NORFOLK -- The International Festival at Old Dominion University offered thousands of people the opportunity to experience the cultures of Hampton Roads through food and entertainment Sunday.

The crowd of people translates into huge volume for vendors who participate in the annual event.

"Last year, we sold over 5,000 pieces of lumpia in four hours," said Lisa Mago of Jeepney Food Truck Company, referring to the Filipino version of egg/spring rolls made by the business.

With many languages represented, there was one in particular that stood out at Scratch Bakery, where Najan Bell works.

Bell is deaf, and owner Lashonda Sanford worried that could make communication get tricky.

"Like butter cream or like fondant.  We wanted to shorthand those things, so me and her came up with different sign languages for things like fondant and butter cream and things like that to help us so we have our own little sign language too," Sanford told 13News Now. "She watched me. She learned. She got better, and now, she is hired as a part-time head decorator of our bakery."

This was the sixth year for the International Festival.

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