February 6, 2024

Ethnic Cleveland eNews
February 6, 2024
A Perfect Storm
The Calendar has aligned in a way to make this an extremely busy time for ethnic events. The Slovenians would say we are as busy as a bee. 

With an early Lent (Ash Wednesday is next Wednesday) there are the Mardi Gras/Carnivale events including Paczki Day! Not to mention 8 days of Slovenian fun leading up to the big Cleveland Kurentovanje Parade and Festival on Saturday. (That’s Krampus of Cleveland members scaring away winter at the 2023 Cleveland Kurentovanje parade in photo above)

The same day is a big Lunar New Year celebration at Asia Plaza with the Kwan Family Lion Dance and many more acts, food trucks and more. There are also Black History Month events and Valentine’s Day and, as you will see below, the usual array of ethnic events (Latvian, Hungarian, Middle Eastern, Polish, Vietnamese, German and so on.) Whew!

It’s going to be a whirlwind but how great to live in a city that has so many diverse options!
54th Annual Black History Flag Raising Ceremony
For 54 years the City of Cleveland has celebrated Black History Month with a Flag Raising Celebration which was started by former Cleveland Mayor Carl B. Stokes. The 2024 event was held on February 3.

A highlight of the event was the marching out to the City Hall steps to see the African Flag raised above Cleveland City Hall. 

Back inside the Rotunda there were speeches, music, drums, a libation ceremony, community organizations and more. 

Another highlight was the special recognition for El Hajj Amir Khalid A. Samad for his decades of service. (Angela Shute-Woodson and Khalid in the photo below) Khalid was inducted into the Cleveland International Hall of Fame in 2016.
Lots of photos and videos including this video of the Hue People leading the singing of the African Anthem 'Lift Every Voice and Sing' at the celebration. 
Represent your heritage at the largest International Event ever in Cleveland

This July, Cleveland will be the host of the Pan-American Masters Games with 10,000 international athletes and another 10,000 spectators expected. There will be a welcoming ceremony on Mall C on July 13 and you have a chance to represent your heritage. 

They are looking for Flag Bearers (flags will be provided) to represent your heritage and hold the flag. 

The current list of countries represented (with more to come) is:
  • Australia
  • Brazil
  • Bolivia
  • Canada
  • Chinese Taipei
  • Colombia
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Ghana
  • Guatemala
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Jamaica
  • Japan
  • Kuwait
  • Lithuania
  • Mexico
  • Mongolia
  • New Zealand
  • Pakistan
  • South Korea
  • Sri Lanka
  • Switzerland
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • United Kingdom
  • Uruguay
  • USA
  • US Virgin Islands
  • US Minor Islands and more to come!

Please contact Destany Post at dpost@clevelandsports.org or 614-432-3493 for more info or to volunteer.
Australia Day

I told you about India Republic Day last week but January 26 is also Australia Day. I have only come across a handful of Australians in Cleveland.

Australia Day is the official national day of Australia. Observed annually on January 26, it marks the 1788 landing of the First Fleet and raising of the Union Flag of Great Britain by Arthur Phillip at Sydney Cove, a small bay on the southern shore of Sydney Harbor.

Here’s a great graphic for the two January 26 celebrations.
Slovenian Folk Costumes
One of the early Cleveland Kurentovanje events was a presentation by folklore enthusiast and researcher, David Antolin. This year's seminar focused on the costumes classified as Pannonian in their styling and materials, sometimes known a 'bele noše' which translates to 'white costumes.' 

He covered costumes from the following regions: Bela Krajina, Eastern Dolenjska, Kostel, Prekmurje, Porabje and Southern + Eastern Štajerska.
Speaking of Slovenians...

The Royal Court of the 12th annual Cleveland Kurentovanje Festival has been announced. (photo below)

When at the Parade, be sure to stop at the St Vitus Parish Hall (6019 Lausche Ave) on Saturday February 10th for the Krofe sale by the members of the St. Vitus Altar Society. Krofe or Krofi are also called Carnival Donuts and are the Slovenian equivalent of Paczki (though there are differences)
First Friday Club
The annual Bishop’s Luncheon, hosted by the First Friday Club of Cleveland, was a sell out (450+) at Windows on the River. Bishop Edward Malesic updated attendees on the state of the Catholic diocese.

Did you know that the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland was created on April 23, 1847 for 10,000 Catholics? Now, the diocese serves eight counties and is home to over 600,000 Catholics.

It was great to sit at Margaret Wong’s table (with Cecilia, George, Michael and others) and to see so many familiar faces at the event. See more
Concord Casimir says “It will be Mild Weather for a while but don’t be fooled”
Concord Casimir, who was found abandoned as a kitten on the footsteps of St. Casimir Polish Church in Cleveland, made his much anticipated forecast at Ellison Creek Knob in Concord, Ohio. Casimir says to enjoy the mild weather for a while but a change is coming.

It’s all in the way he eats his pierogi says John Niedzialek, Master of Ceremony. This year, Casimir hit some hot spots on the surface of his pierogi meaning of course we will have some temporary warm weather. But just as his pierogi turned colder as he ate further, so will the weather. “Don’t be fooled.”
Blast from the Past – First Cleveland Kurentovanje Parade
The first Cleveland Kurentovanje Parade and festival was held in Cleveland in 2013 and frankly, we didn’t know what to expect! It’s come a long way! Here are some highlights from that first parade.
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Here is what’s happening
With Cleveland weather you will want to check the Calendar of Events which has more information, links and schedule changes before heading out to an event.
Black History Month - City of Cleveland
February 1 - 29
February is Black History Month - a time to celebrate Black history, culture and excellence in Cleveland and across the country. The work of pivotal Cleveland-natives like Fannie Lewis, Carl B. Stokes, Garrett Morgan, and many others have shaped our city and nation. The City of Cleveland will honor Black History Month with a series of events. Schedule and More Information 
12th Annual Cleveland Kurentovanje
February 3 - 10
Various - see below
While there are many events this week to celebrate, the main event is the Parade and Festival on Saturday. I think I’ve been to all twelve of them and if you haven’t, it’s definitely one for the Cleveland Bucket List.

Cleveland Kurentovanje (koo-rehn-toh-VAHN-yeh) a Slovenian-infused Mardi Gras carnival kicked off on Saturday, February 3, 2024 unfurling over eight days of diverse virtual and in-person arts and cultural events in Cleveland, Ohio, the city home to the highest population of Slovenians living outside of Slovenia.
The festivities reach a crescendo on Saturday, February 10th, culminating in a grand parade and festival. This finale boasts live music across three stages, authentic culinary delights, beverages, and an expansive "Children's Village" within the Slovenian National Home's lower level, offering free crafts and engaging activities for our youngest festival-goers.
The festival celebration revolves around the iconic Kurenti - ancient, mythological creatures believed to banish winter and herald the arrival of spring with their mystical powers. (photo below)
Remaining Events surrounding this year's festival include:
  • Wednesday, Feb 7, 2024 - Slovenian Wine Tasting (In-Person, Ticketed)
  • Thursday, Feb 8, 2024 - Prešeren Day - Celebration of Slovenia's National Day of Culture (In-Person and Online, Free)
  • Friday, Feb 9, 2024 - "Collecting, Researching, Reviving: Sports Heritage and the Sports Museum" Exhibit Premiere (In-Person and Online, Free)
  • Saturday, Feb 10, 2024 - Cleveland Kurentovanje 2024, Kurent Dash 5K, Parade & Main Festival and Bocce Tournament at East 64th & St. Clair Ave (In-Person, Free)

CAMEO Monthly Meeting
Wednesday February 7
6 PM
Sky Mediterranean Restaurant
6384 Pearl Rd. Parma Hts
Linking Legacies Chamber Music
Wednesday February 7
6 -7 PM
Cleveland Museum of Art
Toby's Gallery for Contemporary Art
This evening’s Black History Month program features Linking Legacies, an ensemble comprising multiple generations of African American classical artists that honors classical works by African American composers with deep ties to Northeast Ohio. The group is performing in front of Amy Sherald’s He was meant for all things to meet.
Fat Thursday - Polish Paczki Party
Thursday February 8
5 PM
Polish American Cultural Center
6501 Lansing Avenue in the heart of Slavic Village
Don’t miss this year’s Fat Thursday - Polish Paczki Party. Haven’t attended a Polish Paczki Party? In one day, you will experience the best homemade Polish food such as Pierogi, Kielbasa Sandwiches, Stuffed Cabbage Rolls, and Cabbage with Noodles. Add in the delicious taste of an Imported Polish Beer.

Mix in the amazing sounds of the Tom Katrenich Orchestra to keep you dancing all night. Then relax and get in touch with your Polish heritage with a Tour of the Polish Museum and Heritage Garden. Oh, did I forget to say top off your night with Paczki and Paczki more Paczki. This is a Polish Paczki Party! Polish Happy Hour is at 5pm - Food and Music at 6pm.
Vietnamese Faith Traditions: Buddhism and Roman Catholicism
Thursday February 8
7 PM
Lakewood Public Library
15425 Detroit Avenue Lakewood
Cleveland's Vietnamese Buddhist temples, including Quan Am Temple and Chua Vien Quang Temple and St. Boniface Catholic Church have served Vietnamese Americans for years. Join Professor Ellen Posman, Chair of the Department of Religion at Baldwin Wallace University, in an exploration of Vietnamese Catholicism and Vietnamese Buddhism.
Symphony of Secrets
Thursday – Sunday
February 8-11
Various - see below
CityMusic Cleveland February orchestra series, Symphony of Secrets, featuring best-selling author, Brendan Slocumb. These concerts will be February 8-11 at the following addresses:
THURSDAY, FEB 8 AT 7:30P: East Mount Zion Baptist, 9990 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, OH (with free reception to follow immediately afterward)
FRIDAY, FEB 9 AT 8:30P: La Sagrada Familia, 7719 Detroit Ave, Cleveland, OH
SATURDAY, FEB 10 AT 7:30P: Our Lady of Angels, 3644 Rocky River Dr, Cleveland, OH
SUNDAY, FEB 11 AT 4:30P: St. Sebastian Parish, 476 Mull Ave, Akron
Chinese New Year Lantern Festival
Friday February 9
4:30 - 7 PM
Cleveland School of the Arts
2064 Stearns Rd. Cleveland
Black History Month Tours

Saturday February 10 (and 17, 24)
2:30–3:30 p.m.
Cleveland Museum of Art
Ames Family Atrium
Celebrate Black History Month with guided tours highlighting Black artists in the museum’s collection. More information 
Regional dialects of Hungarian: How are they perceived by children?

Saturday February 10
2 PM
Hungarian Museum
The Galleria, Lower Level, in Downtown
In February, we celebrate International Mother Language Day! In celebration of this day, Hungarian linguist, Dr. Krisztina Fehér, will present the results of her research about children’s perceptions of regional dialects of Hungarian.

Regional dialects are part of one’s identity, yet speaking the standard language is sometimes preferred over regional dialects. Is that preference characteristic of adults only or do children also favor one over the other? At what age and in what way does this preference manifest itself? Dr. Fehér explored 5 to 9-year-olds’ subjective reactions to a regional dialect of Hungarian and will share the fascinating findings of her field experiment.
This program will be in English. Coffee and refreshments and a chance to meet and talk to Dr. Fehér following the program. The Museum and Gift Shop will be open from 1-4 pm. Parking is available in the Galleria underground garage. Suggested donation: $10 for adults and $5 for students.
Lunar New Year at Asia Plaza
Saturday February 10
10 AM - 3 PM
Asia Plaza
East 30th and Payne Ave.
Performances & Demonstrations:
  • Cleveland Asiatown Square Dance Group
  • Cleveland Glory Drum Team
  • Janice Liu Erhu Studio
  • Great Wall Kung Fu Center
  • Sifu John Cosma
  • Kecheng Liu
  • Kwan Lion Dance
  • LingYun Rising Star
  • Passion Dancers Group
  • Shaolin Kung Fu Institute
  • ShoJoJi Japanese Dancers
  • TigerLily Dance
  • Stellar Acrobatic Dance Academy

German Karneval
Saturday February 10
Doors Open 5 PM
German Central
7370 Columbia Rd. Olmsted Twnship
Vietnam Documentary: The Journey of Vaan Nguyen
Saturday February 10
6 PM
Lakewood Public Library
15425 Detroit Avenue Lakewood
This internationally acclaimed Israeli documentary follows Vaan Nguyen and her life and struggles as an Israeli-born, Hebrew-speaking Vietnamese. Her father was one of the many boat people who fled Vietnam and one of only a few who found asylum in Israel. When the family returns to Vietnam hoping they can reclaim their confiscated lands, their journey becomes a parable on the loss of identity and the fate of refugees. English, Hebrew and Vietnamese with English subtitles.
The Movement Revisited
Saturday February 10
7:30 PM
Maltz Performing Arts Center
1855 Ansel Road

Eight-time Grammy Award®-winning bassist, bandleader and host of NPR's Jazz Night in America Christian McBride presents his acclaimed opus, The Movement Revisited, as an epic concert honoring five Civil Rights icons: Rosa Parks, Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali, Martin Luther King Jr. and President Barack Obama.
In addition to a full big band, the Project Hope CLE Mass Choir, and narrators Mayor Justin Bibb, Tasha Baston, Leon Bibb, Wayne Dawson and Peter Lawson Jones, McBride will be joined by bandmates Michael King (piano), Alicia Olatujah (vocals), Terreon Gulley (drums), and Warren Wolf (vibes) - each leaders in their own right. The concert begins with Tri-C President Michael A. Baston and the Rev. Dr. Otis Moss Jr. speaking about the Civil Rights Movement in Cleveland and Moss's friendship with Dr. King. General admission tickets are $35 and are available through the Maltz Performing Arts Center box office.
Vietnamese Community Mass
Sunday February 11
11 AM
St. Boniface Catholic Church
3545 West 54th St. Cleveland
Join the Vietnamese community and guests as they celebrate the start of the Lunar New Year. Bishop Edward Malesic will be the presider.
Following the Mass there will be a reception in the school hall.
Latvian Kokle Happening
Sunday February 11
12:15 PM
Cleveland Latvian Church Hall
1385 Andrews Avenue, Lakewood
KOKLE is an ancient Latvian musical instrument. The event is in celebration of the annual "Friendly Invitation" made in 1935 by then president of Latvia, Karlis Ulmanis, to donate books and other learning materials to schools. The HAPPENING will bring 13 KOKLE performers, not only local, but also from Canada, and will include an exhibit of several of these instruments made by noted craftsmen.

Speaker Mara Linde, will talk about playing the KOKLE in Latvia, in exile, and in Cleveland. A free-will offering will include lunch.
Chinese New Year with Five Lakes Chinese Music Ensemble
Sunday February 11
2 PM
Hudson Library & Historical Society
96 Library St, Hudson, OH 44236
Celebrate the Year of the Dragon at the Hudson Library with a Chinese New Year celebration featuring the Five Lakes Chinese Music Ensemble. The ensemble will be performing a “Southern China Bamboo Silk” ensemble style featuring four different traditional instruments. Registration is required for this event at hudsonlibrary.org. For more information, email askus@hudson.lib.oh.us or call (330) 653-6658 x1010.
Karneval Across Slovenija
Sunday February 11
1 - 6 PM
St. Mary's Parish Hall
15519 Holmes, Cleveland
Start preparing your costumes for Pust po Sloveniji / Karneval Across Slovenija. All are welcome to participate in the pre-Lenten free event Sunday February 11th from 1pm to 6pm at St. Mary's Parish Hall. We will visits Slovenia's regions, "get all the craziness" out before Lent, parade, and chase away winter with a burning of The Pust.
You will visit the Pust celebrations across eight regions of Slovenia, each with an exhibit highlighting the uniqueness of the area, their pre-Lenten traditions, along with free food sample of each region. The kitchen will be selling traditional foods (jota- pork sauerkraut and bean stew, ješprenj -barley stew, klobase, špehovka -crackling and sausage bread, krofe, etc). Refreshments will be available.
All are invited to participate in the Masquerade Parade at 2:30 pm and witness the burning of the Pust at 4:30 pm. All costumes invited! Groups of maškare are invited to participate as is traditional in Slovenia. Traditional masks are most welcome!
Paczki Day
Tuesday, February 13
5 AM till the Paczki run out!
Rudy’s Strudel
Parma's Polish Village: 5580 Ridge Road Parma
Mardi Gras 2024 is on Tuesday, February 13 so Rudy’s invites you to take the day off from work, because it’s Ohio’s biggest Paczki Party! It’s Fat Tuesday, Cleveland Style. Michael Stutz of The Current Year Records and Tapes will kick off the festivities at 5am, along with the debut of TCY International’s first record – made right here in Cleveland – the “Paczki Polka,” performed by Tom Mroczka and the Music Box. The band will perform live beginning at 8am.
Lidia Trempe (photo above) and her team are selling paczki now until Paczki Day. Place a walk-in order in the bakery, or print your own order form and bring it in. More information

There are a lot of places with Paczki this week but our favorite is the authentic Polish treats from Rudy’s. They have 31 flavors, including the full “Savory Family” of Paczki, all handmade and hand filled on premises. The last time I got a dozen Paczki at Rudy's I had to weigh the box when I got home. The 12 assorted fruit-filled (my favorite) Paczki weighed 5.2 lbs.! That's about .43 lbs. per Paczki - almost half a pound!
January was a tough year, but we made it.
I’m heading out to the Home and Garden show this weekend.
I heard all the shingle ladies will be there.
Larva was a great band. But then the Beatles emerged.
Speaking of bands. I used to play in a band called the Hinges. 
We opened for the Doors.
Inspecting mirrors is a job I could really see myself doing.
Ba da dum 
Postscript: I’m going to have to eat a lot of Paczki to have the energy for all these events. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking with it.
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