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Celebrating Cleveland's Cultural Diversity


May Chen inducted in Cleveland International Hall of Fame
May Chen inducted in Cleveland International Hall of Fame
May Chen and her family immigrated to the United States from Hong Kong. She started Asian Services in Action (ASIA Inc.) to advocate for immigrants, especially Asian American immigrants, and it has grown to be the largest Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) focused health and social services 501(c)(3) organization in the State of Ohio. ASIA has taken on the most challenging tasks to help the underserved, low-income, and immigrant communities across the state.

Due to the Covid pandemic there could not be the usual Hall of Fame induction ceremony with 500 people attending so May Chen was inducted in the office of her longtime friend Margaret Wong who was an inductee in the inaugural class of the Cleveland International Hall of Fame in 2010.

Michael Byun, her successor as CEO of ASIA Inc., sent his congratulations from Seattle and then May Chen gave her inspiring acceptance speech..



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Bishop Anthony Pilla
Bishop Anthony Pilla
We just heard the news about the passing of Bishop Anthony Pilla. Instead of doing disservice to the man by rushing a few lines to post, here are two videos. First is the video of Sam Miller inducting Bishop Pilla into the Cleveland International Hall of Fame in 2015.



This is Bishop Pilla's acceptance speech.

I am sure that Sam and the Bishop are joyfully reconnecting in Heaven. RIP Bishop Pilla.

Bishop Pilla bio from Cleveland International Hall of Fame

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Czech Cultural Garden Virtual Tour
Czech Cultural Garden Virtual Tour
The Cleveland Cultural Gardens are a collection of over 30 gardens each dedicated to a particular heritage. They feature busts, statues and monuments to their cultural icons. The Czech Cultural Garden was dedicated in 1935. Paul Burik has been caretaker of the Czech Garden for over 20 years and he leads a virtual tour explaining the busts and monuments.

Statues and busts include Antonin Dvorak, Karel Havlicek, Bedrich Smetana, Tomas Masaryk, Jindrich Simon Baar, Frantisek Palacky, Jan Amos Komesnky and a tribute to Czech Immigrants.



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Rocky Colavito statue unveiling and 88th Birthday
Rocky Colavito statue unveiling and 88th Birthday
Rocky Colavito was an All-Star for six seasons (9 All-Star Games). He is the fifth player in the history of the AL to have eleven consecutive 20-home run seasons (1956–1966). During that span, he exceeded 40 home runs three times and 100 runs batted in, six times. He also led the AL in home runs, RBI, and slugging average once each. Colavito ranked third among AL right-handed hitters for home runs (371) and eighth for AL games played at right field (1272), at the end of his MLB playing career in 1968.

But Rocky is so much more than a bunch of all-star caliber achievements. He was a hero to a generation of Clevelanders and every kid in little league copied the stretch and other batting nuances of #6.

Rocky Colavito speaking at the ceremony

Rocky Colavito speaking at the ceremony


Rocky was in Cleveland to celebrate his 88th birthday and the dedication of his statue in Little Italy.

Photos and videos of Rocky Colavito's birthday and statue unveiling

The Rocky Colavito statue in Tony Brush Park in Cleveland's Little Italy

Rocky Colavito statue in Little Italy in Cleveland

Rocky Colavito statue in Little Italy in Cleveland


Lots of photos of the statue of the iconic Cleveland Indian ballplayer.

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Berj Shakarian inducted in Cleveland International Hall of Fame
Berj Shakarian inducted in Cleveland International Hall of Fame
Architect Berj Shakarian was inducted into the Cleveland International Hall of Fame. Berj was the driving force behind the Armenian Cultural Garden in Cleveland as well as the Centennial Peace Plaza among other projects. Cleveland Cultural Garden Federation president Dr. Wael Khoury introduced Berj and then previous inductee Paul Burik presented Berj and gave him his CIHF award and pin. Berj is the first Armenian to be inducted.



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Parade of Flags at One World Day
Parade of Flags at One World Day
The Parade of Flags is always a highlight of the annual One World Day in the Cleveland Cultural Gardens and the 75th annual One World Day in 2021 was no exception.

MCs from all 4 major TV networks (Chris Tanaka, Danielle Wiggins, Tracy Carloss and Maia Belay) joined Cultural Gardens past-president Sheila Murphy Crawford in announcing the Parade which featured about 50 groups marching in traditional costumes and carrying the flags of their heritage.

The sudden downpour about an hour after the Parade destroyed my camera on the tripod but luckily I had this handheld camera as a backup. I apologize that the Pipes and Drums of the Irish American Club East Side cut off in the video and the Ukrainian group (with their huge flag!) after them did not make the video. Also only the end of the Chinese group made the backup video. Sorry.

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One World Day
One World Day
The 75th annual One World Day took place this Sunday August 29 from 11 AM to 6PM in the Cleveland Cultural Gardens.

It was a blast! Look for lots of photos and videos soon.

Djapo African drummers at 2021 One World Day

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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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58th Annual Captive Nations Dinner and Awards
58th Annual Captive Nations Dinner and Awards
Captive Nations Week was first recognized in 1959 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower at the urging of future Cleveland Mayor Ralph Perk Sr. and Congressmen Charles Vanik and US Senator Frank Lausche. Captive Nations Week has been supported each 3rd week in July by every US president since. The American Nationalities Movement prsented the Feedom Award to Ambasador Edward F. Crawford and Ohio Supreme Court Justice Sharon L. Kennedy.

Justice Sharon Kennedy, Justice Terry O'Donnell, Judge Ralph Perk, Irene Morrow and Doug Bugie

Justice Sharon Kennedy, Justice Terry O'Donnell, Judge Ralph Perk,
Irene Morrow and Doug Bugie (for Ambassador Crawford)


Photos and videos of the Captive Nations Award Dinner

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Ramesh Shah in Cleveland International Hall of Fame
Ramesh Shah in Cleveland International Hall of Fame
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.

Covid-19 forced the always sold out (500+ people) induction ceremonies to be cancelled in 2020 and 2021 so the Class is being inducted virtually.

Ramesh Shah was inducted by Federation of India Community Associations Board Chairman Sudarshan Sathe and welcomed to the Hall by Inaugural CIHF inductee Paramjit Singh.

Sudarsha Sathe, Ramesh Shah and Paramjit Singh

Sudarshan Sathe, Ramesh Shah and Paramjit Singh


See video/photos of the induction of Ramesh Shah

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Cleveland Ethnic Radio
Cleveland Ethnic Radio
Radio seems old-fashioned to many but almost everyone has access to it (even via an Internet or cellphone app). Ethnic radio in Cleveland has a long tradition of serving various communities. The radio show often creates or encourages ethnic events.

See a list of Cleveland Ethnic Radio shows

Let us know if we missed any.

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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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2020 Class of the Cleveland International Hall of Fame
2020 Class of the Cleveland International Hall of Fame
With over 100 worthy nominations, the committee and previous inductees of the Cleveland International Hall of Fame had a difficult time selecting the 2020 class. After due diligence, the unanimous results have been finalized.

On April 21, 2020 the 11th class of the Cleveland International Hall of Fame will be inducted. They are:

  • May Chen
  • Margaret Lynch
  • Valarie McCall
  • Ramesh Shah
  • Berj Shakarian
  • Joe Valencic

Stay tuned for details, photos, bios and more. Congratulations!

Buy your tickets now before it sells out.



Cleveland International Hall of Fame


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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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Cleveland Non-Violence Pledge
Cleveland Non-Violence Pledge
"As chairman and on behalf of the Hispanic Roundtable, we enthusiastically take the pledge of peace and nonviolence. We are honored to be associated with two of the greatest human beings whoever lived: Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King. Most importantly, we want to be associated with the universal and eternal value of peace and dignity for all human beings, who are all created in God's image.
José C Feliciano

Have you signed the Cyber Wall of Peace and Nonviolence yet?

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Cultural and Ethnic Store
Cultural and Ethnic Store
No matter what your cultural or ethnic background is, you will find products tailored to that group in our On-Line Store.

For example, do you know a Slovenian (or Irish or Polish or Italian or...) Grandma or Grandpa who would love their own Parking Sign? Check it out. Books, DVDs, Music, Flags, Baby Items, Gourmet Foods and much more.

All at great prices and shipped securely from Amazon.com

Please help support ClevelandPeople.Com by shopping in our Online Store.

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 What is Cleveland's greatest asset?
Cleveland People

Sure we love the distinct 4 seasons (most of the time). And we love the great cultural and civic resources such as University Circle, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Cultural Gardens, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Lake Erie, the Browns, Cavaliers and Indians and so much more.

But it's the people that make Cleveland special. The rich culture, traditions and, of course, food from over 100 ethnic groups makes Cleveland a much richer city.

ClevelandPeople.Com Philosophy

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Welcome to Cleveland

Helping Monika

Over 1,500 of the daily visitors to ClevelandPeople.Com visit from outside the US. The website has been serving as a Virtual Welcoming Center to people from all over the world. We ask the appropriate Ambassador to assist us with specific cases.

For example, we received an e-mail from a visitor named Monika in Poland. The message was in Polish so we asked Polish Ambassador John Borkowski to translate for us.

Basically, Monika is coming to the Cleveland Clinic and is nervous. She doesn't know anyone or the language.

We sent Monika's information to many on our Polish (and other) lists and the response was terrific. Several organizations and individuals will be assisting and welcoming Monika.

What a terrific group of Cleveland People!

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ClevelandPeople.Com News & Events

See all of the latest news on the ClevelandPeople.Com News page and a Calendar of Events on the Calendar page.

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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!


What is Cleveland's greatest asset?
Cleveland People Sure we love the distinct 4 seasons (most of the time).

And we love the great cultural and civic resources such as University Circle, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Lake Erie, the Browns, Cavaliers and Indians and so much more.

But it's the people that make Cleveland special. The rich culture, traditions and, of course, food from over 100 ethnic groups makes Cleveland a much richer city.

This site serves as a portal to reach the many interesting groups of people that make up Cleveland. While you will want to click on a link of a group that you belong to or are familiar with, why not check out some other groups and see what they have to offer?

If you are from outside the Cleveland area, even outside the US, please contact us to see what our area has to offer you and your family. We think you will be amazed at the opportunities.

Learn more about ClevelandPeople.Com



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