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Southfield International Festival Connects…

Southfield International Festival Connects Community Across Cultures (video)

(Crystal A Proxmire, Nov. 19 2017)

Southfield, MI – Simone Simmons took the mic during a performance of African Drum music and dancing at the 2017 Southfield International Festival, and recited Sojourner Truth’s poem about freedom and equality called “Ain’t I a Woman.”

The girl had learned the poem just about a month before, when she was asked to recite it at the Women’s Convention in Detroit in front of a crowd of thousands. It also went over well at this weekend’s event which took place at the Southfield Civic Center Pavilion.

Simmons is part of Alnur Dance Troupe, a group focuses on traditional African dance that is based in Detroit.

Throughout the weekend there were performers showcasing traditional dance from many different cultures, including Polynesian, Arabic, Hungarian, Polish, Korean, Mexican, Muang, and Chinese.  On Sunday Alnur followed Turkish Dancers fro the Moazik Folk Dance Group and Echoes of Urkraine.  There were also belly dancers and several types of Chinese dancing styles shared.

Nada Dalgamouni, Global Education Director of International Institute of Metropolitan Detroit, was host for the event.  “It is so beautiful to sit there in your seat to see the world on stage before you, and it’s all here in your community,” she said.

“We in America we have to show that we love people. There is no reason to be enemies.  Our time is too short to spend our time hating… Teach your children to love,” Dalgamouni said.

The event had vendor tables with items from around the world, and an area for international food.  Student-made posters about various nations were also on display.


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