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Celebrating Cleveland's Cultural Diversity


Cleveland Cultural Gardens Federation honored by Cleveland Rotary
Cleveland Cultural Gardens Federation honored by Cleveland Rotary
he Rotary Club of Cleveland's International Service Award was presented to the Cleveland Cultural Gardens Federation on February 20, 2020. This award celebrates Rotary International's vision of a "world where people unite and take action to create lasting change - across the globe, in our communities, and in ourselves." It was presented to an organization that for more than 100 years has served as a celebration of our city's diversity, sharing a common goal of peace through mutual understanding.

Cleveland Rotary leaaders with Dr. Wael Khoury

Cleveland Rotary leaders with Dr. Wael Khoury:
Yunus Badat, Dr. Wael Khoury, Rotary President Art Ward,
Ingrida Bublys and Jerry Smith


Photos and videos of the Rotary honoring the Cultural Gardens

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CWRU Vietnamese Students Association Tet Celebration
CWRU Vietnamese Students Association Tet Celebration
On February 8, 2020, members of the Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) Vietnamese Students Association (VSA) held their first ever Tet Celebration, a cultural show to celebrate the Lunar New Year, on campus. The event aimed to share Vietnamese cultural with the campus community while creating the festive atmosphere of the New Year that many international students miss while studying abroad.

CWRU Vietnamese students at Tet celebration

Photos and more from the Tet celebration at CWRU

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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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71st India Republic Day event hosted by FICA
71st India Republic Day event hosted by FICA
A sell out crowd of 450 attended the Federation of India Community Associations (FICA) Republic Day event on Saturday February 1, 2020. Republic Day honors the date on which the Constitution of India came into effect on January 26, 1950 replacing the Government of India Act as the governing document of India.

At the event, FICA Board of Trustees Chairman Sudarshan Sathe spoke about the projects - past, current and future - of the organization such as Project Seva, Shiksha Daan, India Cultural Garden and others. The Chief Guest and Keynote speaker was Samir Kapadia, MD the Cleveland Clinic Department Chair of Cardiovascular Medicine. He gave some facts about Republic Day and also offered advice about how to stay heart healthy.

Samir Kapadia, MD

Samir Kapadia, MD


See photos and videos from the 71st Republic Day event

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Republic Day Dances
Republic Day Dances
Before dinner at the FICA Republic Day event several talented dance groups performed a variety of Indian dances.

First Indian dance at 71st Republic Day event hosted by FICA in Cleveland

Indian dance at 71st Republic Day event hosted by FICA in Cleveland

Indian dance at 71st Republic Day event hosted by FICA in Cleveland


See photos and video of the dancers at the 71st Republic Day

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Vietnamese Theme of Orchid Mania at Cleveland Botanical Garden
Vietnamese Theme of Orchid Mania at Cleveland Botanical Garden
Cleveland Botanical Garden celebrates one of the world’s most exotic and beautiful flowers at their annual flower show, Orchid Mania. The theme of the 2020 Orchid Mania is Vibrant Vietnam.

This year Orchid Mania celebrates the natural beauty of Vietnam, and the Vietnamese culture that cherishes nature and plants. From the warm tropical forests and expansive coastline to rolling hills and mountains, plant diversity thrives throughout Vietnam. Orchids grown in the region are diverse and celebrated throughout the year. Orchid Mania explores four highlights of plant culture in Vietnam – natural areas, agriculture, food, and flowers.

Ms. Gia Hoa Ryan, a leader of the local Vietnamese community and Vietnam Cultural Garden, assisted with the design and items in the presentation such as food items, bicycles, musical instruments and more.

Vietnam street display at Orchid Mania

Vietnam street display at Orchid Mania

See photos and videos of Vibrant Vietnam at Orchid Mania

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New Mexican Ambassador
New Mexican Ambassador
Bienvenida Andrea Villalon Welcome to our new ambassador to the Mexican community - Andrea Villalon.

Andrea Villalon was born and raised in the Northeast of Mexico (Monterrey, N.L.) in a family with a diverse ethnic background. Her heritage is a blend of Spaniard and Indigenous Mexican Ancestors. Her bachelor’s degree is in International Relationships, as her personal interest always has been to work in an inclusive and multicultural environment understanding the importance to be part of an interconnected world and to be able to develop the communication skills that let her navigate the worldwide work force and be part of innovative thinking focus groups that drive change internationally. She has specialized for more than 20 years in the fields of Education, International Business, Foreign Trade with Educational Institutions, Multinational Companies and the Mexican Government.

Andrea Villalon

The last few years she has been collaborating with Multinational Foundations, Employee Resources Groups (Women/Hispanic). She actively collaborates either to act as a Liaison or Diplomatic Volunteer with nonprofit organizations such as the Cleveland Council on World Affairs with the International Visitors Leadership Program (IVLP) and Dancing with the Stars fundraising with Lupus Foundation of America, Cleveland Chapter. She is a leader in the Committee (begun under the umbrella of the Hispanic Alliance, Inc.) to establish a Cultural Garden for Mexico.

Among her awards are being named Diplomatic Citizen of 2017 Year by the Cleveland Council on World Affairs and Spanish Teacher of the Year by Entrepreneurs Universal Communication Educational Programs Company. Andrea was the Lead of Fundraising Christmas Holiday Coat’s Seasonal Collection for Hurricane Maria Survivors relocating in Cleveland with Esperanza, Inc. She was also lead of Hispanic Heritage Month Corporate Lunch and Learns Speakers Series and more.

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Cultural Gardens Plaza Progress
Cultural Gardens Plaza Progress
Jose Casanova with Lakeland Construction gave Dan Hanson an update on the construction of the Centennial Peace Plaza project of the Cleveland Cultural Gardens Federation. Architect Berj Shakarian is seen at the end. Look for the ribbon cutting in May 2020.



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Scottish Language
Scottish Language
Watch this special video showcasing favorite Scottish words as well as a translation of Robert Burns' poem, To a Mouse.



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Mexican Cultural Garden Committee approved
Mexican Cultural Garden Committee approved
On January 20, 2020 the newly formed Comite Mexicano de Cleveland presented their plans for a Mexican Cultural Garden to the Board of Directors of the Cleveland Cultural Gardens Federation.

Comite Mexicano de Cleveland repesntatives with CCGF president Wael Kaoury, past-president Sheila Crawford and Director Lori Ashyk

Comite Mexicano de Cleveland representatives with CCGF president Wael Koury, past-president Sheila Crawford and Director Lori Ashyk

See more from the Mexican Garden proposal

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New Chilean Ambassador
New Chilean Ambassador
Bienvenida Marcia Moreno! Welcome to our new ambassador to the Chilean community - Marcia Moreno.

Marcia has been very active in the Chilean community in Cleveland since she arrived from Chile back in 2005 to pursue her Master's Degree in Communications at Cleveland State University. She plays guitar and sings Chilean folk music so since the very beginning she volunteered for participating in various international events and activities not only at CSU but in the community in general. She has also organized various fundraising events to help raise fund for the natural disasters happening in Chile since 2005.

Marica MorenoEach year she organizes the Chilean Independence Party that is celebrated in September 18 every year. Last year about 100 Chilean community members participated in this event which is open to the community. Personally, and professionally, Marcia is very involved in the Hispanic community in general, as she has always worked in workforce development and talent attraction of Hispanic talent in various organizations such as El Barrio, Esperanza, and most recently, Thompson Hine, as their diversity manager.

She currently owns a consulting firm specializing in recruitment and retention of Hispanic Talent in Cleveland. She belongs to the board of Young Latino Network, College of Liberal Arts at CSU and informally supports other community groups and organizations.

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New Indian Ambassador
New Indian Ambassador
Welcome to our new ambassador to the Indian community - Deepa Rao.

Deepa Rao has been involved with Kasturi Kannada Sangha from past 3 years. She is the social media coordinator and communicator. She is also involved with Team Awesome IndiaFest USA for the last 3 years. Deepa is social media coordinator for Nartanam Academy of Dance and a student as well.

Deepa RaoShe is also a board of director (social media coordinator) for NEOWIT (North East Ohio Women in IT). She is one of the Key Communicators for Olmsted Falls School District. She is involved in the LLS society as volunteer for the past 8 years.

Professionally she is a software engineer. And is one of the board of directors for her community HOA. Deepa's passions are dance and community volunteering.


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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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Parade of Flags at 74th annual One World Day
Parade of Flags at 74th annual One World Day
A highlight of One World Day is the Parade of Flags where people in costumes of their heritage carry the flags. This year was undoubtedly the largest and most colorful in memory. Efforts were made to include communities that do not (yet) have a Cultural Garden and they were warmly welcomed.

Parade of Flags at 2019 Cleveland One World Day - Puerto Rican

Puerto Rico in the Parade of Flags

Photos and videos of the Parade of Flags

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Baltic Way remembered and reenacted
Baltic Way remembered and reenacted
A very special event took place just as the Parade units reached the reviewing stand. The Baltic Way or Baltic Chain was a peaceful political demonstration that occurred on 23 August 1989. Approximately two million people joined their hands to form a human chain spanning 675.5 kilometers (419.7 mi) across the three Baltic states – Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, which were considered at the time to be constituent republics of the Soviet Union.

To commemorate this historic event and in keeping with the Cultural Gardens motto of "Peace through Mutual Understanding" a remembrance of the Baltic Way took place.

Baltic Way in Cleveland on One World Day

The beginning of the lengthy Baltic Way remembrance


Photos and videos of the Baltic Way

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Naturalization Ceremony on One World Day
Naturalization Ceremony on One World Day
After the Parade of Flags, people gathered in the Serbian Garden for the traditional Welcome and Naturalization Ceremony. This began with the posting of the colors by a Cleveland Police Color Guard and the singing of the National Anthem led by the Kosovo Choir.

Then there were remarks from Serbian Cultural Garden president Alex Machaskee, Cleveland Cultural Gardens president Dr. Wael Khoury, past-president Sheila Crawford, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson, County Council's Yvonne Conwell and City Council's Kevin Conwell.

Judge Solomon Oliver Jr.

Judge Solomon Oliver Jr. administered the Oath of Citizenship


That was followed by the highlight of the Naturalization Ceremony: the swearing in of almost 2 dozen new citizens from all over the world.

Photos and videos of the Naturalization Ceremony

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Welcome to Cleveland
Welcome to Cleveland



Members of the Stabrova Youth Ballet
welcome you to Cleveland


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Thank You Mayor Jackson
Thank You Mayor Jackson
Letter from Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson to Dan and Debbie Hanson of ClevelandPeople.com


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Thank You Governor Kasich
Thank You Governor Kasich
Letter from Ohio Governor Kasich to Dan and Debbie Hanson of ClevelandPeople.com


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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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