CultureALL is pleased to be part of The Iowa International Center’s second season of the Dialogue Series at Meredith Corporation with the following program:
Celebratory Season: Winter Holidays in Different Countries, Cultures and Religions
Tuesday, December 13 from Noon to 1:00 p.m
Meredith Conference Core
1716 Locust Street in Des Moines
The free cultural program is open to the public.
During the program, Ambassadors from CultureALL will showcase the different winter holidays they celebrate:
- Olena Gryn will explore the ways Christmas traditions in her native Ukraine, which are based on pre-Christian pagan customs, differ from the more common Christian practices.
- Ana Rodriguez will outline the customs of Fiesta of Our Lady of Guadalupe, a wintertime Christian holiday celebrated in Mexico.
- Abe Goldstien will explain the practices involved in the Jewish celebration of Hanukkah.
- Mohammad Ghnem will describe the Islamic holiday of Mawlid an-Nabi.
Sherry Gupta, CultureALL Founder and Executive Director, will moderate the panel discussion.
About the Dialogue Series
Meredith Corporation is partnering again with the Iowa International Center to present the Dialogue Series from September through January at its headquarters, 1716 Locust Street, in downtown Des Moines. Each monthly program will take place in Meredith’s Conference Core from Noon to 1:00 p.m. Attendees are welcome to bring lunch or purchase food from the Meredith cafeteria, located by the Conference Core. Free parking is available in the on-site parking ramp at 17th and Locust streets, open for public use from 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on scheduled program days. Signage in the parking ramp will direct people to the Conference Core. Dialogue programs are free and open to the public.
For more information and complete descriptions of this and all Dialogue Series programs, please visit iowainternationalcenter.org/what-we-do/iic-international-dialogue-series.
About the Featured CultureALL Ambassadors
Olena Gryn (CultureALL Ambassador – Ukraine) is a former professional athlete who holds Master’s Degrees in Business and Sports – Rhythmic Gymnastics. In Ukraine, she a worked for Peace Corps, USAID and WHO Offices in Kyiv. Olena came to Iowa to pursue her MBA at Drake University in 2010, and moved here permanently in 2014. She currently works as Director of Operations at International Translation Services, Inc. She has always been passionate about learning languages and cultures, and enjoyed immersing herself in the Iowa multicultural communities. The idea of becoming an agent of positive change that helps bridge cultures was the main reason for her to join the CultureALL family.
Ana Rodriguez (CultureALL Ambassador – Mexico) grew up on her native city of Guadalajara, the second largest city of Mexico. She moved from Guadalajara to Des Moines 5 years ago after she married Mario Rodriguez. Ana used to work at Pioneer Mexico and she met her husband in business trip to the Johnston’s Offices. Ana loves to be a CultureAll Ambassador and is grateful for the opportunity to share her culture and the history of Mexico; she believes that knowing more about each other we can build bridges of understanding between this to neighboring nations and the world in general.
Abe Goldstien (CultureALL Ambassador –Jewish Culture) moved from an orthodox Jewish community in Rochester, NY to Des Moines, IA to attend Drake University in 1969. However, the real reason was to leave Jewish orthodoxy behind him, which he did with the first taste of a pork tenderloin. Thirty-five years later he rediscovered the beauty of his heritage through music and the friendship of a Chassidic rabbi. Today, Abe is the leader of The Java Jews , Iowa’s only klezmer (Eastern European music) band, and regularly speaks to children and adults about “yiddishkeit” and Jewish customs. Click here to read a special feature on Abe on our blog.
Mohammad Ghnem (CultureALL Ambassador – Jordan) is originally from Palestine, but was raised in Jordan. He came from a very humble family with 3 brothers and 4 sisters. Mr. Ghnem moved to the Untied States in 2011 for sports. He started at CultureALL early 2014. Mr. Ghenm does sand art, a Jordanian art form that was inspired by the multi-colored sand in Petra, Jordan.
We are grateful to the Iowa International Center and Meredith for including CultureALL and our Ambassadors as part of this wonderful series!
About the Iowa International Center
The mission of the Iowa International Center (IIC) is to build cultural respect at home and around the world, one person at a time. IIC has served Iowans with multilingual resources, educational opportunities and international exchange programs for more than 75 years.
Free and open to the public, IIC’s Dialogue programs offer meaningful opportunities for the community to engage in conversations about global issues, Iowa’s connections abroad and the impact of these matters on their own personal experiences. For complete Dialogue program information, and links to video recordings of past Dialogue programs, please visit iowainternationalcenter.org, or call (515) 282-8269, ext. 13.