International Festival of Holland brings world closer to home

With a backdrop of flamenco, taiko drumming, traditional Celtic music, African songs and storytelling, and ballet folklórico dancers, the 2021 International Festival of Holland celebrated cultures from around the world Saturday, at Civic Center Place.

The day included a mercado with global gifts and food alongside the international performances.

Kids got a hands-on experience with international crafts. Many of the crafts might be familiar to the kids, but their origins would not, says Sammie Mikolitis, program assistant at CultureWorks, which organized the children’s crafts for the day.

“I’m sure kids are making connections in their minds about things they’ve seen that are similar to these crafts,” Mikolitis says.

Kids created Chinese porcelain, tessellation — a form of mosaic tile from Syria, mandela from India, and Ghanaian adinkra printmaking with authentic stamps from the African country.

“You’re learning about the people who are close to you and the people who are around the world,” Mikolitis says. “It really teaches you about your neighbor.”

Learning about world cultures gives children “a bigger sense of what the world is,” she says.

Members of the Holland community conga line dance to The Gratitude Steel Band's version of Buster Poindexter's 1987 single "Hot Hot Hot" in the Children's Fiesta section of the International Festival of Holland at the Holland Civic Center, August 21,


Fernando Gonzalez Saiffe, Michigan Consul General for Mexico, welcomes everyone to the International Festival of Holland at the Holland Civic Center, August 21, 2021.

Sangeeta Kar, of Sangeeta's Dance & Music of India in Midland, Michigan, performs a classical odissi dance at the International Festival of Holland in the Holland Civic Center, August 21, 2021.

Christopher Smith and Therese Miller, of Minneapolis, Minnesota, dance to a cha-cha song being performed by Tumbao Bravo, an Afro-Cuban jazz band of Ann Arbor, Michigan, while attending the International Festival of Holland at the Holland Civic Cente

Dulce Martinez, Monica Bernabe and Jacqueline Navarrete, of Mi Favorita in Holland, Michigan, serve cups of fruit and tacos in the Festival Mercado section of the International Festival of Holland at the Holland Civic Center, August 21, 2021.


Michelle Millman and Laura Alionte, dancers of Companeros de Flamenco from Farmington Hills, Michigan, teach members of the audience how to dance the "rumba" on stage of the Holland Civic Center during the International Festival of Holland, August 21

Jennifer Lindstrom, of Varna, Illinois, her daughter Brielle Lindstrom and her nephew Owen Lindstrom, look at the crafts of The Bridge in the Festival Mercado section of the International Festival of Holland at the Holland Civic Center, August 21, 20

Members of Ballet Folklorico Sol Azteca, of Holland, Michigan, perform during the International Festival of Holland at the Holland Civic Center, August 21, 2021. Assistant Editor Andrea Goodell contributed to this photo essay.



 
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