iBerkshires.com Columnist SectionSue Bush
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Dec. 2 Neighborhood Expo12:00AM / Saturday, November 18, 2006
North Adams - Southeastern Asia's culture, people, and influence on the Northern Berkshire region is the focus of a Dec. 2 Neighborhood Expo sponsored by the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition.
The expo is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. and conclude at 3 p.m. at the St. Anthony's Parish Center.
Two informative morning presentations are on the event agenda.
"Immigration: How It Changes, How It Stays The Same" will be led by author Joe Manning. Local historian Paul Marino is expected to contribute to the discussion. "Our Neighbors From The East: Expanding Our Cultural Heritage" will be led by Youlin Shi and Natalie Cain. The discussion is expected to include stories from Northern Berkshire residents who have connections to Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Korean, and other cultures.
A free noontime luncheon is expected to offer Asian foods. The event is expected to offer crafts and activities for all ages. The expo is designed as a family event, and on-site child care is being offered.
Entertainment is expected to include cultural music.
An annual Peacemaker Award will be presented. The 2005 Peacemaker Award was presented to Youlin Shi during a Neighborhood Expo event.
Most historians agree that the first large group of Chinese workers arrived in the city on June 13, 1870. The workers were brought to the city to replace striking Sampson shoe manufacturing company employees. Company owner Calvin Sampson is believed to be the first American manufacturer to bring Chinese workers east of the Rocky Mountain as a means to combat a strike, according to information provided at a www.massmoments.org Internet web site.
The expo plans to include information about the region's Asian population from the 1870s to the present.
Additional information about the Neighborhood Expo is available by contacting Kathy Keeser or Natalie Cain at the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition, 413-663-7588.