Culture

April is Cultural Diversity Month! Check out one of the following YA titles to discover a different culture, or perhaps find a reflection of your own experiences.

Culture: Native American

Budding cartoonist Junior leaves his troubled school on the Spokane Indian Reservation to attend an all-white farm town school where the only other Indian is the school mascot.

A big dose of lucky by Marthe Jocelyn

Culture: Canadian Aboriginal

Malou has just turned sixteen—hardly old enough to be out in the world on her own—and all she knows for sure is that she’s mixed-race and that she was left at an orphanage as a newborn. Beyond that, it’s a mystery—a mystery that takes her to the little town of Parry Sound, where she finds lots of young brown faces like hers. Are these her relatives, and why doesn’t anyone want to talk about it?

The bitter side of sweet by Tara Sullivan

Culture: Ivorian (Ivory Coast)

They only wanted to make some money during the dry season to help their impoverished family; instead they were tricked into forced labor on a plantation in the Ivory Coast. For two years what has mattered are the number of cacao pods Amadou and his younger brother, Seydou, can chop down in a day. Then Khadija comes, the first girl who has ever come to camp, and she’s a wild thing. She fights, but the bosses break her. Now the three band together as family and try just once more to escape.

Curious about why Denmark has topped lists as the world's happiest country? Explore the vibrant culture of this northern land and find out.

How is it that these 5.6 million Danes are so content when they live in a country that is dark and cold nine months of the year and where income taxes are at almost 60 percent? At a time when talk across the Western world is focused on unemployment woes, government overreach, and anti-taxation lobbies, our Danish counterparts seem to breathe a healthier and fresher air. Interweaving anecdotes and research, Malene Rydahl explores how the values of trust, education, and a healthy work-life balance with  purpose—to name just a few—contribute to a “happy” population.

When she was given the opportunity of a new life in rural Jutland, journalist and archetypal Londoner Helen Russell discovered a startling statistic: the happiest place on earth is Denmark, a land often thought of by foreigners as consisting entirely of long dark winters, cured herring, Lego and pastries. What is the secret to their success? Are happy Danes born, or made? Helen gives herself a year to uncover the formula for Danish happiness. The Year of Living Danishly is a funny, poignant record of a journey that shows us where the Danes get it right, where they get it wrong, and how we might just benefit from living a little more Danishly ourselves.

The centuries-old Danish tradition of Hygge (pronounced "hue-gah") is a special custom of emotional warmth, slowness, and appreciation, and it is becoming increasingly familiar to an international audience. To hygge means to enjoy the good things in life with good people.

Explains the meaning of Japanese culture which is found in eight traditional handicrafts and provides instructions for creating them. Includes a list of materials needed.

Presents step-by-step instructions for creating nine handicraft projects inspired by Indian art, including ankle bells, a henna key chain, and a Diwali bowl.

Presents step-by-step directions for drawing the national flag, a castle, a stork, and other sights and symbols of Germany.

The library is celebrating Cultural Diversity Month! Cultural Diversity means we appreciate different cultures within our society and communities. Our staff has contributed a variety of items representing their cultural heritages. Stop in to check out books on display or view our reading lists featuring cultural diversity in our collections on our website.

"It may be taboo to say, but some groups in America do better than others.Why do some groups rise? Drawing on groundbreaking original research and startling statistics, The Triple Package uncovers the secret to their success. A superiority complex, insecurity, impulse control--these are the elements of the Triple Package, the rare and potent cultural constellation that drives disproportionate group success.Americans are taught that everyone is equal, that no group is superior to another. But remarkably, all of America's most successful groups believe (even if they don't say so aloud) that they're exceptional, chosen, superior in some way. Americans are taught that self-esteem--feeling good about yourself--is the key to a successful life. But in all of America's most successful groups, people tend to feel insecure, inadequate, that they have to prove themselves. But the Triple Package has a dark underside too. Each of its elements carries distinctive pathologies; when taken to an extreme, they can have truly toxic effects. Should people strive for the Triple Package? Should America? Ultimately, the authors conclude that the Triple Package is a ladder that should be climbed and then kicked away, drawing on its power but breaking free from its constraints"--.

"Integration Nation takes readers on a spirited and compelling cross-country journey, introducing us to the people challenging America's xenophobic impulses by welcoming immigrants and collaborating with the foreign-born as they become integral members of their new communities. In Utah, we meet educators who connect newly arrived Spanish-speaking students and U.S.-born English-speaking students, who share classrooms and learn in two languages. In North Carolina, we visit the nation's fastest-growing community-development credit union, serving immigrants and U.S.- born depositors and helping to lower borrowing thresholds and crime rates alike. In recent years, politicians in a handful of local communities and states have passed laws and regulations designed to make it easier to deport unauthorized immigrants or to make their lives so unpleasant that they'd just leave. The media's unrelenting focus on these ultimately self-defeating measures created the false impression that these politicians speak for most of America. They don't. Integration Nation movingly reminds us that we each have choices to make about how to think and act in the face of the rapid cultural transformation that has reshaped the United States. Giving voice to people who choose integration over exclusion, who opt for open-heartedness instead of fear, Integration Nation is a desperately needed road map for a nation still finding its way beyond anti-immigrant hysteria to higher ground"--.

Culture by Terry Eagleton

Browse the titles below and find stories that will take you on a journey to a new place. Some fiction, some nonfiction, all focus on a story of leaving somewhere behind for a new life.

Click on the titles for location and availability. Additional media formats included below.

 

90 miles to Havana by Enrique Flores-Galbis
Also available in: e-audiobook

When unrest hits the streets of Havana, Cuba, Julian's parents must make the heartbreaking decision to send him and his two brothers away to Miami via the Pedro Pan operation. But when the boys get to Miami, they are thrust into a world where bullies seem to run rampant and it's not always clear how best to protect themselves.

Also available in: e-book | e-audiobook

When the Sudanese civil war reaches his village in 1985, eleven-year-old Salva becomes separated from his family and must walk with other Dinka tribe members through southern Sudan, Ethiopia, and Kenya in search of safe haven. Based on the life of Salva Dut, who, after emigrating to America in 1996, began a project to dig water wells in Sudan.

Offers an account of the first fourteen years of the author's life in poems, telling of her time spent between her mother's native Cuba and her home in Los Angeles, until the revolution in Cuba dramatically alters relations between the two countries she loves.

Classical Music for Kids

Belly Dancing

Belly Dance is a beautiful dance form which draws on dances from around the Middle East. In the Middle East, the term for this dance form is "raqs sharqi" in Arabic and "Oryantal Dans" in Turkish. The correct translation into English for both of these terms is "dance of the East", or "Oriental dance". Come join us for a Belly Dance workshop that we are offering as part of our multicultural fitness initiative. Our instructor Pauline Costianes/Ghalia is an experienced artist, choreographer and instructor. The program will be in our Community Room on Saturday, February 18th at 2:00 PM. No registration required.

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