World Refugee Day in Minnesota

Monday, June 7, 2010

Minneapolis, MN - The weather didn't dampen a big gathering of international refugees in Minneapolis on Saturday. Minnesota is home to about 100,000 refugees.

They bring as much diversity as they do culture to this state.

Dozens of refugees gathered near 7th and Hennepin in downtown Minneapolis to share their culture through song, dance, and storytelling. The Twin Cities refugee community is resilient, and it's why many people say the events went on as planned despite the rain Saturday afternoon.

It was an extremely personal celebration for the refugees who gathered.

Twin Cities World Refugee Day celebrates the thousands of refugees living in Minnesota. The state is home to the largest Somali commmunity in North America, and one of the largest Hmong populations in the U.S.

Many of the refugees have overcome extreme obstacles in their lives. Others have lived through war and famine. And on Saturday, they were celebrating their survival.

"They can learn a lot from each other within the community," says Marian Hassan, the World Refugee Day organizer. "But the larger community can also understand their stories and what brings them to come to Minnesota."

For the first time this year, the Twin Cities World Refugee Day festival joined with the Mosaic Festival to celebrate cultural diversity. Both festivals share a common goal of uniting the community.


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