The Glen Burnie Regional Library offered visitors an in-person glimpse into more than 20 cultures Aug. 11 during its Travel the World Multicultural Festival.
“A huge, huge thing now for the library now is diversity - they’re really trying to focus on it,” said librarian Loralei Bidwell, who manned the Mexico table.
A parade kicked off the event, passports were distributed, and visitors could collect stamps from each table along their journey.
The America table showcased the first Americans – Native American Indians.
A stop at the Philippines table offered visitors a chance to learn about tinikling, the country’s traditional dance. Italy’s table noted the country’s culinary contributions, rich art history and famous expatriates such as Sophia Loren and Marco Polo.
Volunteers manning the tables sometimes wore traditional dress, such as scarves from Pakistan or a silk dress from China. Participants could see examples of jewelry, baskets, vases, purses, fans, flags, musical instruments and models of boats found in the cultures. Crafts and games were offered, and participants could learn how to say “hello” in many languages.
Other tables included Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Ghana, France, Spain, Jordan, India, Guatemala, Colombia, Vietnam, Nigeria, Peru, El Salvador, Poland, Brazil, and Kenya.
Of course, books on the cultures, history, citizens and areas were available on all the tables.
In the kids’ section, Chesapeake Children’s Museum’s Debbie Wood read stories from around the world, and former Linthicum Community Library manager Adam Mazurek read Polish folk stories.
Meki’s Tamure Polynesian Dance Group offered a traditional Polynesian dance performance complete with grass skirts and traditional headdresses, and children demonstrated traditional Chinese dance. Luis Garay’s Percussion Group offered Afro-Brazilian, Afro-Cuban and Africian rhythms.
The Performing Arts Center for African Cultures presented the music and dance of West African cultures while in traditional costume, including drums and other indigenous instruments.
Outside, Criosho offered South American flavor with its sandwiches of grilled meats, and El Pilar food truck sold authentic Mexican cuisine.
Bidwell said efforts are being made to diversify everything the library does, from programming to events and lendable materials. She said a main focus has been the library’s World Languages Collection — books in various languages so children and adults can enjoy literature in their native tongues.
“It’s always a work in progress, but we work really hard to meet the needs of the people we serve here,” Bidwell said.
Think the growing season is winding down? Think again. The Master Gardeners of Anne Arundel County’s Grow It-Eat It program invite the community to its meeting at 6:30 p.m. Monday at the Glen Burnie Regional Library, 1010 Eastway. Participants will learn what to plant in a fall garden.
Good Shepherd Church, 1451 Furnace Ave., will host Bingo Blast Sept. 9. Doors open at 12:30 p.m. Play will be 2–5 p.m.
Cost is $20 and includes regular cards and specials, as well as a roast beef platter and beverages. For details or to reserve a table, call 410-761-8291.
Marines Helping Heroes 5K Challenge
The Marine Corps League of Anne Arundel County, which meets in Glen Burnie, will host its third annual Marines Helping Heroes 5K Challenge at 7 a.m. Sept. 30 at Arundel Mills, 7000 Arundel Mills Circle.
In addition to a 5K run, optional challenges will include push-up and sit-up events, which are designed to mimic the Marine Corps Physical Fitness Test. Coordinators said the event is an opportunity for members of the community to meet Marines and challenge their fitness.