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Performers at the "almost all-Grieg" program

Musical Sisters: Seattle and Bergen celebrate 50 years of friendship and the birthday of Norway’s most beloved composer with jubilee gala concert

by Lori Ann Reinhall, President, Seattle-Bergen Sister City Association “Wonderful!”, “Fantastic!”, “Amazing!”, Extraordinary!”, “Thrilling!” — these were the words heard over and over again as visitors left the sanctuary of Seattle’s Ballard First Lutheran Church on Sunday, June 18, after listening to a “almost all-Grieg” program in celebration of the Bergen composer’s 174th birthday three days earlier. It was the Seattle-Bergen Sister City Association’s fourth annual Edvard Grieg Gala, this year billed as a “Jubilee Extravaganza” to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the friendship between the two sister cities, and as one concertgoer observed, “a gala performance it was for sure.” With some of the best young local talent that Seattle has to offer, together with two...view

Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox Statues

Paul Bunyan Pays a Visit to France

By Jake Juliot of Meet Minneapolis. The city of Tours, France is a beautiful place full of richly historical destinations and landmarks, like the medieval center, the Botanical Garden, and. . . Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox statues?   That last part isn’t true, but Paul and Babe (who are staples of Bemidji, Minnesota) did pay a visit to Tours when Minneapolis, Minnesota was chosen as the featured destination in the “Foire de Tours,” a 10-day regional festival that drew over 300,000 guests from the Loire Valley region of France. This honor was in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Tours-Minneapolis sister city relationship, and gave the delegation the opportunity to bring a taste of Minneapolis culture and history all the way to Tours.   As a Public...view

Martha Levenson leads young Scandinavian fiddlers in "Ballard Bunads"

Seattle Celebrates “Syttende Mai” with Music and Fanfare at Bergen Place Park

By Lori Ann Reinhall, Seattle-Bergen Sister Cities Association. The 17th of May, or “Syttende Mai” as it is known in Norwegian, marks the day Norway ratified its constitution in the town of Eidsvoll (near Oslo) in 1814. After Christmas, it is the most important national holiday — a kind of Norwegian Fourth of July with much fanfare and flag-waving. It is also a special day for Norwegians and their descendants abroad to pay homage to the motherland. Nowhere else is the day observed with more style than in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood, which has the largest parade outside of Norway and an array of activities for both young and old. At the center of it all is the Seattle-Bergen Sister City Association with their annual Music of Syttende Mai show at...view

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As the world becomes smaller, and connections online become more frequent than face-to-face interactions, multicultural understanding at the community level is more important than ever. Sister Cities International enables citizen diplomats in communities across the world to develop relationships with communities in other countries that are based on cultural understanding and mutual cooperation.Donate