Backus Hosts Fourth Annual Multicultural Health Fair
September 28, 2012
The tastes of native dishes and sounds of ethnic music were evident Thursday as the Backus Hospital conference rooms were transformed into a meeting of countries at the fourth annual Multicultural Health Fair.
Several hundred people – young and old and everyone in between — came to this year’s fair, with a theme of “Joining the Generations,” which featured volunteer representatives of 23 cultures that make up the region’s diverse community, which is also reflected at Backus. New to this year’s festivity were representatives from Tibet, Jamaica, Ireland and Morocco.
Led by Alice Facente, RN, MSN, Community Health Education Nurse, the Cultural Diversity Council organized the growing event. In addition to enjoying food samples, music and dance demonstrations, visitors took away handouts and fact sheets that offered background information, communications and respect styles, birth customs, and gender and end-of-life issues for the represented cultures.
“We have a richly diverse population among our hospital staff, patients and community living in New London and Windham counties,” said Ms. Facente. “The Multicultural Health Fair gives opportunities for representatives to showcase their cultures and for visitors to learn about the diverse peoples living in and around the Norwich area.”
New to this year’s celebration, custom recipe books were collated and given out to visitors. Instructions for more than 20 culinary delights were collected for the represented cultures and reproduced for others to make in their own kitchens.
Norwich Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Ben Lathrop was impressed with the recipe books and everything else the event had to offer, adding that it was a showcase of just how diverse the region is.
John Wong of Uncasville agreed, and praised Backus for all the hard work that went into organizing such an event – and making it meaningful.
“To see all the cultures displayed together, it is amazing,” Mr. Wong said. “It’s very, very impressive.”
Countries/cultures represented at the fourth annual Multicultural Health Fair included Greece, China, Puerto Rico, Black American, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Cape Verde, Portugal, Azores, India, Mexico, Poland, Honduras, Italy, Ghana, Pakistan, Lebanon, France, Cambodia, Tibet, Morocco, Ireland and Jamaica.