The North Neighborhood Library is embracing Long Beach’s eclectic mix of cultures with its six-month program called Cultural Conversations.
Since Oct. 2015, the free events have given patrons and community organizations the chance to share stories, culture, and insight as to what it is like living in another country.
Dubbed as the “International City,” Long Beach is home to a diverse community with one in four residents born outside the country. The program’s events leave attendees more learned about the traditions, food and folklore of different cultures in the surrounding neighborhoods.
Recently, attendees on Saturday learned about the Samoan culture while enjoying panikeke lapotopoto, otherwise known as Samoan “round pancakes.”
Videos on an overhead display showed the communal lifestyle of the people on the Samoan island, known for sharing often, and that day, speakers shared a brief history of the island’s history.
Chief Sielu Avea explained how men take over cooking duties and showed attendees the process of preparing palusami, a main dish among Samoans, by using only leaves, hot rocks, and coconut milk.
A TED talk by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie called The Danger of a Single Story inspired local General Librarian Shiloh Moore to host the events.
“We have so many different cultures here in this neighborhood,” said Moore. “I just want people to be more accepting and to learn of other peoples’ cultures and where they came from.”
The next event will be a continuation on Samoan culture and will take place at the North Neighborhood Library on Feb. 20 from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m.