culture

Dunuya Drum & Dance
courtesy of Carolyn Kobel

 You know that feeling you get at an outdoor festival? The sun is warm. You hear music and maybe smell something cooking in the air. People are moving, laughing. It’s a feeling that’s hard to duplicate indoors, but this weekend the Michigan Global Roots Festival will attempt to do just that. 

Celebrating The Year Of The Sheep In Kalamazoo

Feb 20, 2015
Trisha Dunham, WMUK

With Chinese yo-yo’s in hand, lion costumes secured, and dance routines memorized performers took the stage Kalamazoo’s Chenery Auditorium last Saturday, February 14th to celebrate Chinese New Year. The annual Chinese New Year celebration is hosted by the Chinese Association of Greater Kalamazoo. 


India Association of Kalamazoo

Last year, President Obama and the First Lady danced with Indian children in recognition of the Hindu holiday Diwali. The holiday is often called the Festival of Lights. Hindus decorate their homes with strings of lights and light oil lamps at ceremonies. 

The Russian Folk Orchestra of the Balalaika and Domra Association of America
Balalaika and Domra Association of America

This week musicians from all over the world have been practicing like crazy to prepare for Saturday night's Russian Folk Concert at Chenery Auditorium.

Courtesy of Theo & Stacy's

38 years ago, Theo and Stacy Skartsiaris  decided to host a night of food and entertainment at their fine dining restaurant, Dionysos . The couple emigrated from Greece in the sixties and wanted others to be able to appreciate and understand their culture.

"Kalamazoo is changing very much - but 1973 to 80's, people were not willing to try different foods. We were the first ones to decide to bring our Greek culture to Kalamazoo - with Greek food, Greek music, dancing and everything, and Kalamazoo embraced our Greek culture very well," says Mrs. Skartsiaris, who is the proprietor of the family's Theo & Stacy's restaurants.  

"We started to have a Greek night in the basement of Dionysos, but the basement was small," says Mrs. Skartsiaris.

"So we decide 'Let's do it outside in the back of the parking lot.' At that time, Kalamazoo didn't have any festivals, not at all-none. A lot of people thought Theo - my husband - was crazy - and he was crazy," she says with a laugh.

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