Celebrating Different Cultural Roots

Fargo-Moorhead continues to grow, and within the population are many diverse backgrounds. On Nov. 18, the Historical and Cultural Society of Clay County hosted its 23rd annual Pangea — Cultivate Our Cultures festival, celebrating the global roots in the F-M community.

The festival took place at the Hjemkomst Center located in Moorhead, Minnesota and is held annually in November. The event was free to the public and had delicious global foods, live music, dances, arts and crafts demonstrators, vendors selling imported goods and local goods, educators and community organizers sharing stories of diversity and community in Fargo-Moorhead. Attendees also had the opportunity to see the largest art exhibition to exist today, “Illuminating the Word: The Saint John’s Bible.”

People were able to purchase and enjoy Danish, Southeast Asian, Filipino, Mexican, West African, Haitian, French-Canadian, Iraqi, German, Somalian and Indian Chai.

The main stage in Heritage Hall featured performances from the Buffalo River Singers & Dancers, Hung Ngo, Emy Miller, Poco Fuego, Race Hoglund, Ricot Aladin, Selena Rios, the St. John the Divine Choir, Indian, Bhutanese & Nepalese Dancers and stories from Green Card Voices.

Pangea was a supercontinent that included all current land masses, believed to have been in existence before the continents broke apart.

The event was like walking into an undivided world of people with different ethnicities, all under one roof. Everyone was connected through their willingness to share and learn about each other’s cultures. I was able to talk with people who have attended the event each year and first-time goers.

Janet Tumaini| THE SPECTRUM
Narman Rai’s Nepalese Dancers performed to show their cultural dances.

Subika, a young Nepalese dancer, gave a great performance with her team, showing a variety of Nepalese dance styles. “We are very thankful that they invited us because we really love to show our talents,” Subika said.

Narman Rai, the choreographer of the Nepalese dancers, said, “It’s all so overwhelming and such a great opportunity for us. It’s actually my first time here at Pangea, and I wasn’t expecting a wide audience and so that really surprised me … We wish to perform again in the years to come.”

Kris Carlson has been the program’s host for the main stage for four years. “It is a much needed and joyful event for the community,” Carlson said “We are always in need of reminding the community of its diverse cultures … we get a taste and sense of how rich we are. We see all the things that connect us while we celebrate our uniqueness.”

Janet Tumani| THE SPECTRUM
There were many different types of food, such as, East African Sambusa, West African fried plantains and French Canadian Crepes

Kelly Yang, a fellow NDSU student, was at the event. “It was pretty amazing and is definitely something everyone should go and experience,” Yang said. “If (you) are open to such opportunities, you (get to) learn about new cultures and food while supporting the community. It’s a lot to take in, but slowly take your time and the experience will be worth it. My favorite had to be the dance performances and, of course, the great food.”

Srijana Lamitare, another fellow NDSU student, said, “It was a wonderful experience … You know it’s not necessary to travel around the world to get intercultural exposure, if such events are held in our community. It felt like a small world in there. In daily hassles, we often forget that there are people who have different practices and perspectives. We often forget to see how unique each of us are. Such events really give us great opportunities to experience other cultures via food, dances and music. I wish we could have more events like these.”

Janet Tumaini| THE SPECTRUM
Margaret Sam’s Dances of India performed during the event.

It was truly a great opportunity to get to know the fantastic diversity right in our community. It’s not only about learning about different cultures, but for people from different cultures to explore other cultures and bring people together from around the community.

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