Nala Jane Williams performs a ballet recital at the Sterling Heights Cultural Exchange event. Joe Powers Insitu Photography
Sterling Heights celebrated it's many cultures with a music, dance and culinary event on Friday at the city's new community center.
Organized by the city's Ethnic Community Committee, the donation-based event boasted food from over 25 city restaurateurs and over 50 educational tables and cultural displays from area groups and retailers. Cultures represented included African-American, Albanian, Assyrian, Bulgarian, Chaldean, Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Iraqi, Irish, Islamic, Japan, Polish, Romanian, Scottish, and Thai.
“The evening is really a great chance for people of various ethnic and cultural backgrounds to celebrate their similarities more than their differences,” said Willie Dechavez, chairman of the Ethnic Community Committee.
Metromode was on hand to capture the colorful display of culture.
Intricate shell art from Filipino cultural groups was on display at the event.
Food tables offered flavors from around the world.
Sterling Heights' representatives, including Mayor Michael Taylor, acknowledged it's sister city of Jaffna in Sri Lanka in a welcome ceremony. The Tamils in Michigan group performed a dance recital on the evening.Children from St. Mary's Macedonian Church performed a traditional Tanec dance.St. Mary's Macedonian Church members were all smiles as they graced the stage.The Marium Quran Academy read to the crowd on the evening.Onlookers were impressed by the Sunshine Chinese Dance academy performance.Cultural table displays showed off traditional garb from groups such as the Assyrian American Social Club.A colorful display from the Artistas Lantinx en Accion Siempre was one of the many table top displays on the evening.