City to celebrate multiculturalism at exchange event

By: Eric Czarnik | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published February 25, 2015

 The Carpathia Club Children’s Dance Group does a traditional German dance at a previous Sterling Heights Cultural Exchange event.

The Carpathia Club Children’s Dance Group does a traditional German dance at a previous Sterling Heights Cultural Exchange event.

File photo by Patricia O’Blenes

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An upcoming annual event will welcome guests to see, hear and taste the traditions of people from around the world.

Sterling Heights and its Ethnic Community Committee will present the 2015 Cultural Exchange event March 13 at the Sterling Heights Senior Center.

City spokeswoman Bridget Doyle said in an email that the Cultural Exchange is an annual event that “highlights the beautiful and unique facets of the many ethnicities and cultures that make up our great city.”

She said the city is proud of its diversity and aims to promote cultural understanding, appreciation and inclusion.

“This year, we have about 20 restaurants serving as vendors and expect somewhere around 1,000 attendees,” she said. “We hope residents of Sterling Heights and surrounding communities will join us for this excellent event.”

Andrew Pulford, chairman of the Ethnic Community Committee, said he has played a role in approaching sponsors for this year’s event. He said organizers set up presentation tables that educate visitors about the various represented ethnic groups. Art displays and dance groups are also featured. Polish dancing and Macedonian music have been represented at previous cultural exchanges, he said.

Pulford said several local restaurants plan to donate food for people to taste. Past examples include Chinese food and Mediterranean cuisine, as well as soups derived from African-American recipes, he said.

“The food is really one of the key aspects,” he said. “We do get a lot of repeat visitors due to family members either being in the dance troupe or the family members of the people who have art displays.”

According to Pulford, some of the cultures that will be represented at this year’s exchange include Chaldean, Mexican, Macedonian, Filipino, Chinese, Turkish and African-American cultures. He said the event helps people understand how different ethnicities express themselves through their traditions.

“It actually brings different cultures together,” he said.

The 2015 Cultural Exchange will take place from 6-10 p.m. March 13 at the Sterling Heights Senior Center, 40200 Utica Road. The general public is invited, and admission is a suggested donation of at least $1. Overflow parking and shuttles will be available for free at Dodge Park, 40620 Utica Road.

Learn more about Sterling Heights by visiting www.sterling-heights.net or by calling (586) 446-2489.

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