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Celebrating Cleveland's Cultural Diversity


Peruvian Cultural Garden in the works
Peruvian Cultural Garden in the works
An organization has been formed to establish a Peruvian Cultural Garden. Leaders from the Peruvian Cultural Association of NEO (Peru CAN-OH) met with the Cleveland Cultural Gardens Federation board last night and presented a well-thought out and exciting proposal.

Peruvian Cultural Garden leaders

Peruvian Cultural Garden leaders


Plus they brought Chicha morada and Inca Kola for us to drink.

The Chicha morada is purple - it's made from purple corn. You can taste the spices - to me the cloves and cinnamon stood out.

Inca Kola


Inca Kola is a soft drink that was created in Peru in 1935 by British immigrant Joseph Robinson Lindley. The soda has a sweet, fruity flavor that somewhat resembles its main ingredient, lemon verbena. You can taste vanilla - almost like cream soda or bubblegum.

From the presentation I learned that the NEO Peruvian population grew over 50% from 2015 to 2020. The 2020 Census shows 2,112 Peruvian immigrants in NEO. 44% of Peruvian Americans have college degrees (US national average is 24%)

Peruvian culture is rich and diverse with painters, writers, sculptors, architects, singers, composers and on film and TV.

Peruvian Cultural Garden leaders

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Fun with Maps - Great Britain (England, Scotland, Wales)
Fun with Maps - Great Britain
The recent passing of Queen Elizabeth led to some confusion, even in media reports, about the difference between England, the UK, Great Britain and so on. Was she Queen of England? Why was she in Scotland? What about the Prince of Wales? In this episode of Fun with Maps host Dan Hanson looks at the island of Great Britain which consists of England, Scotland and Wales. It is not the same as England or the United Kingdom. Great Britain is the largest of the British Isles, the largest European island and the ninth-largest island in the world. So what's the United Kingdom? The United Kingdom is a sovereign country in Europe that comprises England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and many smaller islands within the British Isles.

This episode also covers the English Channel, the Chunnel, the Mull of Kintyre, the character of Britannia, the Firth of Forth, Treaty of Union, the patron saints and flags of the 3 countries, the vast range of the British Empire and more. Subscribe to see more Fun with Maps episodes.



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Lajos Kossuth statue 120th anniversary
Lajos Kossuth statue 120th anniversary
Lajos Kossuth (1802-1894) was a Hungarian nobleman, lawyer, journalist, politician, statesman and governor-president of the Kingdom of Hungary during the revolution of 1848-1849.

Statue of Lajos Kossuth in Cleveland

Statue of Lajos Kossuth in Cleveland


Formed in 1902, the United Hungarian Societies (UHS) serves as an umbrella organization that unites the Greater Cleveland area Hungarian-American organizations and works to represent their interests, and in so doing, seeks to preserve, cultivate, develop and disseminate Hungarian culture.

In 1902 the 23 groups in UHS gathered to dedicate a statue in honor of Hungarian statesman Lajos Kossuth on the occasion of his 100th birthday and 50th anniversary of his visit to Cleveland Ohio. 60,000 people gathered for the statue unveiling.

120 years later there are again 23 organizations in the UHS and members gathered to commemorate the 120th anniversary of the Kossuth statue.

Dr. Endre Szentkiralyi at Kossuth statue

Dr. Endre Szentkiralyi speaks about the Kossuth statue

Photos and videos of the Kossuth Statue Anniversary event

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Mayo Society of Greater Cleveland Annual Mayo Ball2
Mayo Society of Greater Cleveland Annual Mayo Ball
TEach year the Mayo Society of Greater Cleveland honors a very special person as Mayo Person of the Year. In 2022 the honor went to Michael E. Gibbons, Senior Managing Director & Principal of investment bank Brown Gibbons Lang & Company and Chairman of the Board of Directors for Global M&A Partners Ltd, Dublin, Ireland.

2022 Mayo Person of the Year Mike Gibbons

2022 Mayo Person of the Year Mike Gibbons


See photos and video of the Mayo Ball

Part of the fun of events like this is seeing the people who attended and who you might know.

Mike Gibbons and Ed Crawford

Honoree Mike Gibbons and Ambassador Ed Crawford

Gerry Quinn table

Gerry Quinn table


Enjoy these photos of people at the 2022 Mayo Ball.

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Cleveland Armenian Festival 2022
Cleveland Armenian Festival 2022
The annual Armenian Festival was held September 16 and 17 at St. Gregory of Narek Armenian Church. There was food, music, church tours and fun for all ages.

Baked goods ladies

Parishioners grilling lamb and chicken


Photos and videos of the 2022 Armenian Festival

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Novak Djokovic bust unveiled in the Serbian Cultural Garden
Novak Djokovic bust unveiled in the Serbian Cultural Garden
Novak Djokovic is a Serbian professional tennis player. He has been ranked world No. 1 for a record total 373 weeks and has won 21 Grand Slam titles and 88 ATP singles titles, which include a record 64 Big Titles and a record 38 Masters titles.

Novak Djokovic bust in Serbian Garden in Cleveland Ohio

Djokovic has completed a non-calendar year Grand Slam in singles, becoming the only man in tennis history to be the reigning champion of the four majors at once across three different surfaces. Most recently he was the 2022 Wimbledon Champion. He was unable to compete in the 2022 US Open because of US laws about people unvaccinated from Covid.

Beyond competition, Djokovic is an active philanthropist. Through the Novak Djokovic Foundation, he and his wife Jelena have directed their humanitarian efforts to creating a lasting change in the lives of children in need in Serbia through childhood education projects.

Lex and Alex Machaskee at Djokovic bust unveiling

Lex and Alex Machaskee with the unveiled Djokovic bust

On Sunday September 11, 2022 a bust of Novak Djokovic was unveiled in the Serbian Cultural Garden in Cleveland led by Alex Machaskee. Over 100 people attended including many clergy.

See photos and video of the Djokovic bust unveiling.

After the unveiling, the crowd gathered for music, food, prayer and speeches. Mim Bizic and Alex Machaskee were awarded the Tesla medal.

Anastasija, Teodora and Andjelina Kosic

Anastasija, Teodora and Andjelina Kosic sang Serbian songs


See more photos and videos from the ceremony after the unveiling

Part of the fun of a large event like this is the people watching. View the Photo Page. Who do you recognize?

Clergy

Clergy at the ceremony


Be sure to visit all 3 pages

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Józef Elsner, teacher of Chopin - Preview of duodrama "Echo in the Woods"
Józef Elsner, teacher of Chopin - Preview of duodrama "Echo in the Woods"
Józef Elsner (1769 - 1854) was a composer, music teacher, and music theoretician, active mainly in Warsaw, Poland. He was one of the first composers in Poland to weave elements of folk music into his works. He is perhaps best known as the principal composition teacher of the young composer Frédéric Chopin.

Maestro Grzegorz Nowak is a Polish conductor. He has served as music director of the Polish National Opera, the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, the SWR Radio Orchestra in Kaiserslautern, Germany), and Sinfonia Helvetica and festival Musique and Amitié in Switzerland. He is the Principal Associate Conductor of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London. He came from Poland to Cleveland to conduct Elsner's "Echo in the Woods" a duodrama in 1 act (1808). At the time many thought an opera had to be in Italian or German but Elsner brought in the Polish language.

Maestro Grzegorz Nowak

Maestro Grzegorz Nowak


A few days before the concert he spoke at the John Paul II Polish Cultural Center in Cleveland and told about Józef Elsner and his duodrama "Echo in the Woods."

Dorota Sobieska (Cleveland Opera), Andrezj Stec and pianist Jacek Sobieski gave a preview taste of their upcoming performance of Józef Elsner's duodrama "Echo in the Woods" at the Polish Cultural Center in Cleveland's Slavic Village on September 9, 2022.

Andrezj Stec and Dorota Sobieska

Andrezj Stec and Dorota Sobieska

Photos and videos of the Polish Cultural Center event

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Syrian Artist Diana Al-Hadid in the Syrian Cultural Garden
Syrian Artist Diana Al-Hadid in the Syrian Cultural Garden
The Syrian Cultural Garden hosted a special event to showcase the art of Diana Al-Hadid in the Garden. About 150 attended despite the rainy weather. They socialized, viewed the art, ate Syrian food and listened to Dr. Wael Khoury and the artist talk about the Garden and the art.

Diana Al-Hadid and Dr. Wael Khoury

Diana Al-Hadid and Dr. Wael Khoury

Diana Al-Hadid, who was raised in Ohio and is a Kent State University graduate, converted the fountain into a symbolic ancient water-clock whose design is based on several instructions left behind by the twelfth-century Islamic polymath Ismail Al-Jazari.

Art in the Syrian Cultural Garden


See photos and video from the artist in the Syrian Cultural Garden

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Greek Cultural Garden Signing Ceremony
Greek Cultural Garden Signing Ceremony
The Hellenic Preservation Society (HPS) is commissioning an ambitious and exciting work for the Greek Cultural Garden, one of 35 (and growing) in a chain of Cultural Gardens in Cleveland Ohio. The Garden was dedicated in 1940 and has been sponsored by the HPS since 1992. The Hellenic Preservation Society has commissioned Master Stone Carver Nicholas Fairplay to sculpt a 5 x 15' stone relief to be installed on the Parthenon Wall featuring dozens of Greek cultural figures.

Banner for Greek Parthenon wall

The ceremony was held in the Greek Garden on September 4, 2022 with over 100 people attending despite the rain.

HPS Board, Nicholas Fairplay and ceremonial check

HPS Board, Nicholas Fairplay and ceremonial check


See photos and videos from the Greek Cultural Garden event

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George Voinovich Memorial Dedication in the Serbian Garden
George Voinovich Memorial Dedication in the Serbian Cultural Garden
George Voinovich served as Mayor of Cleveland and then Governor of Ohio and then US Senator from Ohio. He was of Serbian (father) and Slovenian (mother) heritage. He was very proud of his ethnic heritage and was a tremendous supporter of the ethnic diversity in Cleveland, Ohio and the United States.

On August 31, 2022 a memorial to the Senator was dedicated in the Serbian Cultural Garden in Cleveland.

Senator George Voinovich memorial

Senator George Voinovich memorial


Serbian Garden leader Alex Machaskee shared some stories with the crowd which included several members of the Senator's family. Then other's shared memories.

Group at Voinovich dedication

Group at Senator Voinovich memorial


See photos and video of the George Voinovich memorial dedication

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India Independence Day and Cultural Garden on One World Day
India Independence Day and Cultural Garden on One World Day
The Cleveland Indian community demonstrated their proud heritage with a very large group of people at One World Day in the Cleveland Cultural Gardens. One World Day has been the official event of the Cleveland Cultural Gardens Federation since 1946. Over 40,000 people visited the gardens on One World Day 2022.

India Cultural Garden in Parade of Flags 2022

India Cultural Garden in Parade of Flags 2022

Since One World Day was held just a few weeks after India Independence Day, the India Cultural Garden and Federation of India Community Associations (FICA) combined their Independence Day celebration with One World Day. The Indian community celebrated the 76th India Independence Day at One World Day participating in the Parade of Flags and then having cultural performances and Indian delicacies in the Garden. Attendees were encouraged to wear their regional/state dress so it was a colorful affair.

India Cultural Garden on One World Day 2022

Dancing in India Cultural Garden on One World Day


See photos and videos of the Indian Community on One World Day

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One World Day
One World Day
Thanks to the over 40,000 people who came through the Cleveland Cultural Gardens on One World Day on Sunday. I think that is a record. There were so many highlights and I will be posting text, pictures and videos soon but I have to comment now on the amazing Parade of Flags.

As our Grand Marshal Dominique Moceanu said "It was like a mini Olympics Opening Ceremony." She followed the Cleveland Police Color Guard and marched with Gardens Board Chair Dr. Wael Khoury and Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb. They were followed by the large Ukrainian contingent who were given the leadoff spot of honor to show the support that the community has for the people of Ukraine.

What made it even better than the Olympics opening is that when units approached the Centennial Plaza and our 4 wonderful MCs, Maia Belay, Tracy Carlos, Kelly Dobeck and Danielle Wiggins, told a little about the groups marching many/most of the groups had some kind of performance or greeting. It was like the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade when units stop at the reviewing stand and perform. The Parade was so colorful and energetic and was a snapshot of what Cleveland and America are all about.

Here is a video of much of the Parade of Flags. Make it full-screen, turn up the sound and be proud of your city.



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Rest in Peace Silver B
Rest in Peace Silver B
Sorry to hear of the passing of Cleveland DJ and community activist Silver B - Bill Richards. We had some great conversations at Councilman Jeff Johnson's Glenville Festival, Juneteenth in the African American Cultural Garden and more. A true member of the community and in the Mix, mix, mix, mix.



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Dominique Moceanu - Grand Marshal at OWD
Dominique Moceanu - Grand Marshal at OWD
August 28, 2022 is the 76th One World Day in the Cleveland Cultural Gardens. A highlight of One World Day is the Parade of Flags where hundreds of marchers from dozens of heritages will march down MLK Blvd. wearing the costumes of their heritage and carrying their flags. Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb, the Cleveland Police and Fire Chiefs will march and there will be a special tribute from the Ukrainian Garden.

The big news is that Olympic Gold Medalist Dominique Moceanu will be the Grand Marshal of the parade. At the young age of 13 she became the youngest US Senior National Champion in American gymnastics history. Then, of course, she was part of the Magnificent Seven that won the gold medal for the US for the first time in 1996. She was the youngest member of the gold-medal-winning 1996 Olympics team and, in fact, she was the last gymnast to compete legally in the Olympics at the age of 14.

She has also spoken out and even testified about the abuses in gymnastics. She runs the Dominique Moceanu Gymnastics Center and Carmen's Yoga Studio. Dominque is of Romanian and Greek/Macedonian heritage and is excited to be the Grand Marshal of the Parade of Flags at One World Day. She sees it as a kind of mini Olympics Opening Ceremony.

The Parade and all of One World Day are free and open to the public. Free parking too.

Watch the video interview with Dominique Moceanu below



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2022 Sts. Constantine and Helen Greek Festival
2022 Sts. Constantine and Helen Greek Festival
The annual Greek Festival at Sts. Constantine & Helen Cathedral featured delicious food and drink, Greek culture, camaraderie and music and dancing.

Food included gyros, souvlaki, smelts, keftethes, saganaki, stifado, fish piaki, baked lamb shank, moussaka, pastitsio, dolmades, spanakopita and much more. And of course there were desserts such as rizogalo, baklava, finikia, galaktobouriko, kataifi, koulourakia, tsoureki, loukoumathes and more.

Greek chef apron


A highlight was the dances performed by both the Junior and Senior Hellenic Dancers.

Senior Hellenic Dancers at Greek Festival

We have many videos of their performances of dances from all around Greece.

See videos and photos of the Greek Festival.

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Sts. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Cathedral
Sts. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Cathedral
Saints Constantine & Helen Cathedral is a parish of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. The word “Greek” in the church’s name refers both to the ethnic heritage of its founders and to the cultural roots of its history and theology. The church is open to people of all nationalities. Its mission is “To lead people to God through Orthodox Christianity and to provide ways for them to live and share God’s love.”

Each year they hold a very popular Greek festival sharing culture and friendship, music & dancing, as well great food, with neighbors.

They also offer tours of the beautiful Church.

In this video, Father Tom told about the Church and about Greek Orthodox liturgy. He told about the icons and shared the story of St. Constantine and his mother St. Helen.



See some pictures from inside the Saints Constantine & Helen Cathedral.

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Jain community packs 10,000 meals for Refugees
Jain community packs 10,000 meals for Refugees
The Jain Temple in Richfield held a working event called Compassion in Action where the group packed 10,000 meals for Refugees around the World.

Jain Society volunteers packing 10,000 meals for refugees


Pictures and video from the Jain community event.

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Annual Puerto Rican Parade
Annual Puerto Rican Parade
The annual Cleveland Puerto Rican Parade was held Sunday August 7th. The Parade was put on by the Hispanic Police Officers' Association (HPOA) which has been proudly serving it's members and the greater Cleveland community since it was founded in 1986.

The 2022 Parade Honorees were:

  • Ramonita Vargas, Grand Marshal
  • Victor Ruiz, Padrino
  • Keisha González, Madrina
  • Zaria Ivelisse Ortiz, Miss Teen Puerto Rico 2022

Click on the white arrow below to watch a video of some highlights of the Parade including former Cleveland Indians Carlos Baerga and Candy Maldonado. I did not include the cars and other vehicles in the parade - they will be in a separate video. I also did not include the many politicians in the parade.



More pictures and video from the 2022 Puerto Rican Parade in Cleveland.

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Annual Puerto Rican Festival
Annual Puerto Rican Festival
After the 2022 Cleveland Puerto Rican Parade, the crowds gathered at Roberto Clemente Park for a Festival with music, food, camaraderie and dignitaries.

Mayor Justin Bibb, Council President Blaine Griffin, Councils Jasmin Santana, Kerry McCormack and others spoke as well as Cleveland Indians great Carlos Baerga.

People at 2022 Puerto Rican Festival in Cleveland


See photos and videos of the 2022 Cleveland Puerto Rican Festival

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Cleveland International Hall of Fame - What a Night!
Cleveland International Hall of Fame - What a Night!
Since 2010, the Cleveland International Hall of Fame (CIHF) has inducted people who have made significant and lasting contributions to our multicultural society. Cleveland is home to people representing about 120 different ethnic groups. The CIHF exists not only to honor those special people but also to inspire a new generation of leaders to follow in their footsteps.

Over 150 worthy candidates were nominated for both the 2020 and 2022 Classes of the Cleveland International Hall of Fame. The selection committee was advised by previously inducted members of the Cleveland International Hall of Fame.

Covid-19 forced the always sold out induction ceremonies to be cancelled in 2020 and 2021. We tried to induct the 2020 class virtually but it was not the same. So once we were able to gather together again, we included the 2020 class in the induction ceremony along with the 2022 class on June 7, 2022. The event at Windows on the River was a sell out and the 2020 class finally got their moment in the spotlight.

2022 Class of the Cleveland International Hall of Fame

2022 Class of the Cleveland International Hall of Fame

2022 Class of the Cleveland International Hall of Fame
Seated (l-r) Anda Cook, Taras Szmagala
Standing - Victor Ruiz, Carl Robson MD


2020 Class of the Cleveland International Hall of Fame

2020 Class of the Cleveland International Hall of Fame

2020 Class of the Cleveland International Hall of Fame
Seated (l-r) Margaret Lynch, May Chen, Valarie McCall
Standing Berj Shakarian, Joe Valencic, Ramesh Shah


See the entire Cleveland International Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

See pictures of many of the attendees at the event

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Fun with Maps - Kaliningrad aka Königsberg
Fun with Maps - Kaliningrad aka Königsberg
This episode of Fun with Maps takes a look at a very strategic piece of land called Königsberg or Kaliningrad. Kaliningrad is actually a city in the administrative center of Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave between Poland and Lithuania on the Baltic Sea. Remember that an enclave is a piece of land that is totally surrounded by a foreign territory. An exclave is a piece of land that is politically attached to a larger piece but not physically having the same borders with it because of surrounding foreign territory. Many entities are both enclaves and exclaves. Kaliningrad is an exclave because while politically attached to Russia it is bordered by Poland and Lithuania and the Baltic Sea.

An oblast is a political and administrative division of a country. Oblast is a term used by many former Soviet countries that is something like states or provinces.

So how did Russia get territory to the west of Lithuania and north of Poland? It's a long story starting with Prussia. For much of the last 700 years or so this land was Königsberg, an historic Prussian city that then became German. As you will see, Germany was forced to give up huge patches of its conquered land at the end of WWII. In 1945 the Potsdam Agreement was signed by the USSR, Britain and the USA. It specifically gave Kaliningrad (known as the German Königsberg at the time) to Russia, without opposition. As you can tell from the map, it's very important as Russia's Baltic Navy base. It was also a center of knowledge and culture with people such as Immanuel Kant, Leonard Euler, Christian Goldbach and others there.



More Fun with Maps episodes

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Fun with Maps - Ukraine
Fun with Maps - Ukraine
We had always planned on doing a Fun with Maps episode about Ukraine but due to the tragic current situation we moved it up in order. People are understandably very curious to know more about the country of Ukraine. And yes it is a country. It is not THE Ukraine; it is the country of Ukraine. Using the term THE Ukraine makes it sound like a region of another country as opposed to a sovereign nation.

Ukraine is the second-largest country by area in Europe after Russia, which it borders to the east and north-east. Ukraine also shares borders with Belarus to the north; Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary to the west; Romania and Moldova to the south; and has a coastline along the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea. It spans an area of 233,062 sq. miles with a population of 43.6 million. That makes it the eighth-most populous country in Europe.

We briefly talk about the history of Ukraine including the tragedy at Chernobyl and the Holodomor. We also touch on the great writer Lesya Ukrainka and pysanky Easter eggs.



More Fun with Maps episodes

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Fun with Maps - Afghanistan and other "-Stan" Countries
Fun with Maps - Afghanistan and other "-Stan" Countries
We have always planned on doing a Fun with Maps episode on one or more of the "Stan" countries. Just not yet. Unfortunately, the news has made me change the schedule and focus on the map of a very troubled place - Afghanistan.

This episode looks at the group of seven countries known as the "Stan" countries in the heart of Central and South Asia. Then we drill down more into the map of Afghanistan, its capital Kabul and more.



See more Fun with Maps Episodes

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Murder in the Cultural Gardens
Murder in the Cultural Gardens
"It just didn't seem right to DJ. A body found bludgeoned in a place known for "Peace through Mutual Understanding." But there she was, crumpled behind a bust of composer Franz Liszt in the Hungarian Cultural Garden. He pulled out his cell phone and dialed 911. "What is the nature of your emergency?" the dispatcher queried. With a suddenly very dry mouth DJ managed to get out, "There's been a murder in the Cultural Gardens."

That's the beginning of the recently published first novel by Dan Hanson.

Murder in the Cultural Gardens book cover - Franz Liszt statue


The whodunit, titled Murder in the Cultural Gardens, takes place in the Cleveland Cultural Gardens and all 30+ gardens are featured during the mystery. You may even recognize some of the characters.



Click the link above to learn more or to purchase in paperback or Kindle version from Amazon. Or contact Dan via the Murder in the Cultural Gardens webpage to have a signed book delivered.

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Cleveland's Ethnic Diversity on Display
Cleveland's Ethnic Diversity on Display
Cleveland is a diverse city with about 120 distinct ethnic heritages represented. We at ClevelandPeople.com and the Cleveland International Hall of Fame believe that this ethnic diversity makes us a much richer city and that we should all celebrate this fact.

We asked people from various ethnic groups to create a tile representing their heritage. These 3 quilts are a product of that effort. We hope that other ethnic groups will want to add their own tile to these patchworks showcasing our ethnic diversity.

Cleveland ethnic diversity quilts

The quilts are available for loan to ethnic museums and organizations and for special events. See more about the ethnic heritage display

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Welcome to Cleveland
Welcome to Cleveland



Members of the Stabrova Youth Ballet
welcome you to Cleveland


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We Pray the Rosary - Living Rosary DVD
We Pray the Rosary - Living Rosary DVD
Hail Mary, Full of Grace…

This DVD is a Living Rosary in the sense that over 200 people participated in saying a prayer. 3 bishops, numerous priests and sisters and a variety of lay people all said a prayer (Creed, Our Father, Hail Mary or Glory Be) that when put together combine to form the complete Rosary.

We hope that you will pray along with the diverse group of people on this DVD. They are young and old, different races and ethnicities, in Church and outside, alone and in groups. The prayers are said in English, but occasionally there is a prayer in another language. You may not know the language but will understand, and be able to pray along, because of the context.

  1. American Sign Language
  2. English
  3. Gaelic
  4. German
  5. Hindi
  6. Italian
  7. Konkani
  8. Korean
  9. Lebanese
  10. Polish
  11. Portuguese
  12. Slovenian
  13. Spanish
  14. Swahili

Lourdes Shrine in Cleveland


More about the We Pray the Rosary DVD

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Submit Your Group's Event

If you want your group's events listed in our Calendar, please send an e-mail to events@clevelandpeople.com with the details. Please allow at least 2 weeks lead time.

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On-line store for browsing and shopping

Do you need a Hungarian Flag? A shirt that says "I love Slovenian girls"? How about a sign that says No Parking except for Irish Grandmother?

These and hundreds of other items for your particular ethnic group are available for browsing at our on-line store. It's safe, fast, easy and fun. And there is a wide selection you will never find in the stores!

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