International Heritage Celebrations
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Multi flagsDuring May, explore three diverse cultures, their history and their heritage as we celebrate Asian-Pacific Heritage Month, Haitian-American Heritage Month and Cinco de Mayo. Take a global tour without leaving your hometown, as Broward County Library readies for a month filled with the sights and sounds of Haiti, Mexico and the countries and cultures of Asia and the Pacific.

Asian-Pacific Heritage Month

In 1990, President George H.W. Bush designated May as Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month, a time to pay tribute to the generations of Asian and Pacific Islanders who have enriched America’s history and are instrumental in its future success. This month, take a trip through Bollywood history, taste healthy Asian recipes and watch dances from India and Polynesia, all for free!

May 4 – Asian-Pacific Cooking Demonstration with Public Aprons Cooking School chef, 1 to 2 p.m., 1st Floor, Program Room 1017, Nova Southeastern University Alvin Sherman Library, Research, and Information Technology Center
May 4 – Polynesian Dancers, watch and participate, all ages, 2 to 3 p.m., North Regional/Broward College Library
May 5 – Bharatanatyam to Bollywood: The Journey of Indian Dance. Lecture/demonstration presenting the history, evolution and current state of Indian dance, adults, 2 to 3 p.m., 2nd Floor, Cotilla Gallery, Nova Southeastern University Alvin Sherman Library, Research, and Information Technology Center
May 11 – Culture In Pines Presents: The Moeta Lual Polynesian Dancers, 2 to 4 p.m., Southwest Regional Library
May 15 – Foreign Films with Shelly Isaacs, Asian Film Month, 2 to 4 p.m., Northwest Regional Library
May 25 – Association of Performing Arts of India Presents Indian Classical Music and Dance, 2 to 4 p.m., Southwest Regional Library

Cinco de Mayo – Eat, Dance and Fiesta!

Food and music - two favorite ways to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, the holiday held in honor of Mexico’s fight for freedom, as well as its heritage and culture. Visit Tamarac Library on May 4 for a “Cinco de Mayo Mariachi Concert,” to be held from 1 to 3 p.m. Hear the sweet and suave sounds of authentic Mexican music; all are invited to this fun, free concert.

Learn how to make delicious Latino dishes at home, on your own time, with Universal Class. Non-credit courses in a variety of subjects, including “Spanish Cooking 101”, are offered online. Use your Broward County Library card to sign on and access more than 500 free classes. Also, check out Broward County Library’s catalog to find great books on Mexican cooking for all levels and tastes.

Haitian-American Heritage Month

Haitian-American Heritage Month was established as a celebration of Haitian culture, history and pride as well as a number of significant events including:

  • The creation of the blue and red Haitian flag on May 18, 1803
  • The birthday of General Toussaint Louverture (May 20, 1743)
  • Haitian achievements and contributions across the globe

One special way to celebrate a nation’s history and heritage is learning its language. Learn either Haitian-Creole or French in honor of Haitian-American Heritage Month. Take both of them for free at Byki, an online language learning tool provided by Broward County Library that uses flashcard to teach word sets and phrases. Use your Broward County Library card to sign up and take free language classes now.

Also, include this art display, festival and cultural celebration on your list of must-do Haitian-American Heritage Month activities:

May 1-30 – Paintings by Haitian author/artist Paul Blot, South Regional/Broward College Library
May 11 – Miramar Library Presents Festival d’Haiti, 12 noon to 4 p.m., Miramar Library
May 22 – Haitian-American Cultural Panorama! 6 to 7:30 p.m., Jan Moran Collier City Learning Library

 Books on International Heritage @ Broward County Library:

Book Jacket for: Cinco de Mayo : yesterday and today Cinco de Mayo: Yesterday and Today, by Maria Christina Urrutia
Book Jacket for: El Cinco de Mayo : an American tradition El Cinco de Mayo: An American Tradition, by David E. Hayes-Bautista
Book Jacket for: Mexican Independence Day and Cinco de Mayo Mexican Independence Day and Cinco de Mayo
Book Jacket for: Pacific Islands : myths, and wonders of the Southern Seas Pacific Islands: Myths and Legends of the South Seas, by Marco Moretti
Book Jacket for: 16 extraordinary Asian Americans 16 Extraordinary Asian Americans, by Nancy Lobb
Book Jacket for: Strangers at the gates again : Asian American immigration after 1965 Strangers at the Gate Again: Asian American Immigration After 1965, by Carol Takaki (For children)
Book Jacket for: The Bonplezi family : the adventures of a Haitian family in North America The Bonplezi Family: The Adventures of a Haitian family in North America, by Maude Hertelou
Book Jacket for: The Butterfly's way : voices from the Haitian dyaspora in the United States The Butterfly’s Way: Voices from the Haitian Diaspora in the United States, edited by Edwidge Danticat
Book Jacket for: The Haitian Americans The Haitian-Americans, by Flore Zephir
Book Jacket for: The Pacific Islands : an encyclopedia The Pacific Islands: An Encyclopedia, edited by Brij Vall