SARTELL - In a time where people can be divisive, Celebration Lutheran Church and the Sartell community came together to celebrate diversity.

When Zuraya Anjum and others approached Celebration Lutheran Church with the idea of having the festival they thought maybe they would have representatives from five or six different countries. By the time Sunday afternoon rolled around they had almost two dozen different countries represented.

Zuraya and her family represented Pakistan.  She says people around the world are generally the same, we just go about our lives differently.

"There's a lot of talk about immigrants and people from different cultures and different areas of the world. I thought it would be nice to have a gathering where we can gather together and show our food, our culture and kind of share what we are from. If you look at it a lot of people pretty much do the same thing, they just do it differently."

Taiwan, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Germany, Somalia, and India were just a few of the countries providing history, art, culture, and food to people who attended the event.

Zuraya's teenage daughter, Summbla Anjum, says learning about other cultures is important to help people understand one another.

"The more you know about something, the more educated you are, then you approach (the world) in a different view. Like if you don't know anything about about a certain thing you are going to approach it differently than when your well educated about it. Educating people helps acceptance, and I think we accomplished that here today."

The festival started at 11:30 a.m. and ran until 1:30 p.m.

Organizers of the international celebration hope to sponsor events like this more often.

Justin LaBounty WJON
Justin LaBounty WJON


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