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Blend Of Cultural Flavors At Ladies Club Meet

December 2003
Blend Of Cultural Flavors At Ladies Club Meet

The All Nations Club (ANC) celebrated Thanksgiving with an international luncheon for members and their family at the Life Enrichment Services Facility in Decatur on November 8. Members, dressed in the traditional clothes of their country, and armed with a dish each, educated each other about their culture and traditions. The ANC is a ladies club that strives at playing cultural bridge to women of all communities. A large number of members are immigrants from India.

The celebration began with classical music performances by elementary school kids on the piano and the cello. For the kids, this platform was an exercise in confidence building for future public performances.

Later, after relishing an exotic array of international cuisine, members got together for an informal conversation about culture and traditions. Denise Huddlestun spoke about the origin of Thanksgiving in America and the significance of the corn, the pumpkin and the Pilgrims. For members, many of who have recently moved to the US, the talk was particularly enlightening. Rajiv Tripathi provided members with an insight into the "over 5000 year old" Indian culture. He dwelled at length on the rich tapestry of its clothing, and the exotic variances of its food. Tripathi also spoke about Thanksgiving celebrations in India, in the form of Pongal in Tamil Nadu, and Makar Sankranti elsewhere. Suzy Keys shared with members the story of her growing up days in Mississippi. Southerner Nancy Haden reminisced about a childhood spent playing outdoors without the hi-tech gadgets that have become so much part of every child's life now.

Besides making newly arrived immigrants feel welcome and adjust to a new culture when they arrive in America, the ANC also provides members with a getaway from the grind of everyday life. It gives members an opportunity to make new friends from different parts of the world. For many women, the club helps in escaping the scourge of loneliness.

ANC founders Ida Chandra and Frances West said they were delighted at the warmth and bonhomie generated at the celebration. "The ANC makes up for not having one's close family here," said Ida. "This is such a wonderful family that we have here," agreed Frances.

Membership to the ANC is free and informal. For more information visit www.allnationsclub.com.

-Veena Rao

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