Community Meets showcases cultural diversity
The Pembroke Public Library honoured culture, diversity and community at their Community Meets celebration.
Taking place on Aug. 16, Community Meets was a smaller revival of the library’s Diversity Meets event held in 2014 in honour of their 100th anniversary.
Karthi Rajamani, the library’s chief executive officer, decided to organize a similar event this year as a way of bringing the community together and celebrating the multiculturalism that abounds in the area.
“Libraries not only provide educational, informational and recreational materials, but are also the hub of the community. They connect the community even though people of the community are from different walks of life and different cultural backgrounds,” said Rajamani during a speech at the beginning of the Community Meets event. “Pembroke Public Library is very active in being a cultural meeting point and a hub by providing programs of various types that range from music to outdoor adventure and all the way to psychic reading.”
As guests gathered in the library, the festivities kicked off with a number of colourful and exciting performances of international music and dance from various members of the community. Cindy Dagenais got everyone clapping along as she performed a traditional step dance routine, Marie Zettler entertained the crowd with a few traditional German folk songs on her accordion, Hannah Lundrigan and Leona Haley performed a couple of thai dance routines that were choreographed by Nita Polsri, and Rajamani ended the cultural talent show with her own Indian dance routine.
Following the entertainment, they had the chance to sample dishes from around the world including German, Chinese, Israeli, Thai, Ukrainian, Russian, French, Greek, Moroccan, Caribbean, Indian, Japanese and Irish. Guests feasted on a buffet of exotic cuisine and favourite cultural dishes that included pad thai, mango salad, potato salad, baked beans, spring rolls, dumplings and much more.
According to Janet Morel, the library’s adult programmer, they plan on making Community Meets an annual event with the hope of developing it into something larger.
“It's so exciting to see so many different people here and to be able to welcome them into the library and sometimes it's their first time here,” said Morel. “we're really hoping that each year we can build on it and that it can grow into something even larger. we'd like to see it as a whole community event and we'll definitely be working on that in the future.”