Rocky Mount’s Diversity to be Displayed at International Festival of Cultures

Photo from 2016 International Festival of Cultures in Rocky Mount. Source: City of Rocky Mount, North Carolina.
Photo from 2016 International Festival of Cultures in Rocky Mount. Source: City of Rocky Mount, North Carolina.

By Tameka Kenan-Norman, City of Rocky Mount

The cultural diversity of Rocky Mount will be on display Saturday, March 4, 2017, from noon to 4pm at Nash Community College’s Brown Auditorium during the International Festival of Cultures.

The event, sponsored by the Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission, the city of Rocky Mount, Cummins Rocky Mount Engine Plant, Nash Community College, PNC Bank and Southern Bank, serves to highlight the variety of cultures that call Rocky Mount home.

Says Archie Jones, Human Relations director for the city of Rocky Mount:

“We have so many different cultures here in Rocky Mount, and this event showcases the diversity that helps make our city special.”

At least six cultures will be on display, including Malaysian, Indian, Pakistani, Mexican, Costa Rican, and Palestinian. Food from each group will be offered for tasting, and ethnic items will be available for viewing. Several local restaurants will be on hand to provide samples to attendees. The International Club from Rocky Mount High School will also highlight several countries through displays and edible delicacies.

“The sampling of native food really is one of the hallmarks of the festival,” says Jones. “Each culture is so different, and it is those differences and that diversity that adds to our quality of life.”

In addition to the food and cultural displays, vocal performances and demonstrations will also be part of the event, including a cultural fashion show featuring attire from various ethnic groups.

“In many countries and cultures, clothing and regalia have specific meanings,” says Jones. “We gain a better understanding and a deeper respect for these cultures when we take the time to find out the meaning behind what they wear.”

Admission to the International Festival of Cultures is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Human Relations Department at 252.972.1181.

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Kay Whatley serves as Editor and Reporter with The Grey Area News. Kay is a published author with over 20 years of experience in the publishing industry. Kay Whatley is wife to Frank Whatley, founder of The Grey Area™ newspaper and The Grey Area News online news website.