Denver Sister Cities

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  You can try crepes, samosas and many more multicultural foods at the Denver Sister Cities festival, which was held on Sunday September 7, and Monday September 8.

  You can try crepes, samosas and many more multicultural foods at the Denver Sister Cities festival, which was held on Sunday September 7, and Monday September 8. It included booths, snacks, and lectures from Denver’s sister cities, which are Akureyri Iceland, Axum Ethiopia, Brest France (the origin of crepes, and the first Sister City), Chennai India, Karmiel Israel, Kunming China, Nairobi Kenya (samosas), Potenza Italy, TakaYama Japan, and Ulaanbaatar Mongolia. These have been sister cities since 1975, but this festival was the official first festival of its kind.

Gayle Stalling, the head of the Denver Sister Cities International board told me that the daytime festival is aiming toward families with younger kids, as Sister Cities, has too long been a formal organization that runs things like exchange programs for adults and high schoolers. I think they are reaching the right audience, as Zayla, a 7 year old Kenyan dancer told me that she loved learning about other cultures, and that the festival had made her very interested in Chinese culture. This helps them in their goal, which I asked many people about what they thought it was. Shambe, a volunteer on the Kenyan council said that the Denver Sister Cities shows people that there are other cultures out there that are important, while Gayle Stalling said it was to showcase cultures to younger children.

This festival was a test, but I think it was a huge success that should be repeated next year. Some of the activities offered were having your name written in Chinese characters, learning about a trip to Tamayama, eating Kenyan food like samosas, watching shockingly strong and flexible Mongolian contortionists, and eating crepes and French Onion Soup. We also learned about a student exchange trip to Brest, France. Isabella Fawson, a student I talked to about her trip, said that her French teacher worked with Denver Sister Cities, and was one of the teachers asked to nominate students for a trip to Brest, France, one of the many trips they organize. Denver Sister Cities provide many opportunities, and as they expand their focus, many more will follow.