Thai dance

First-year Downers Grove North High School student Sarisa Chulanon performs a Thai dance during the 8 Countries 1 Day event Saturday at the DeKalb Public Library.

The DeKalb Public Library held 8 Countries in 1 Day Saturday, an annual sponsored event which aimed to celebrate culture.

The countries presented to attendees were Norway, South Korea, Zimbabwe, Japan, Thailand, Australia, Italy and Canada.

Stations representing each country were dispersed throughout the library. Each displayed its country’s culture with activities, crafts, music, food and performances.

In its fourth year, 8 Countries in 1 Day brought culture to those who can’t afford to travel outside DeKalb for free, Sam Hathaway, Public Relations and Event Manager, said.

Steve Parke of the Waltham Curling Club celebrated Norweigian culture by teaching onlookers about curling. Curling is a popular sport in Norway which involves guiding a 40 pound stone into a goal, called a house.

Youth Services Specialist Candice Foss, who lived in South Korea to teach English, wore a dress reflective of the culture. Being in South Korea changed her perspective due to how helpful strangers were, Foss said. 

Those who visited were also able to try salted seaweed and play a game of Tuho, which involves pitching cardboard arrows into a bucket from a distance. 

Also celebrating South Korean culture through the tradition of taekwondo was Master John Lim of the Taekwondo Korea Center.

He instructed young martial artists as they performed a demonstration in front of an engaged and supportive crowd.

“It’s exciting that so many cultures are brought to this neighborhood,” Lim said. “The [DeKalb Public Library] staff has been so helpful, and we’re happy to be here.”  

Canada was celebrated with St. Viateur Canadian Bagels and Tim Horton’s coffee and hot chocolate. Guests could enjoy their beverages and bagels while crafting hockey sticks.  

Outreach Librarian Beatrice O’Connell served BBQ jackfruit sandwiches with avocado slaw as a representative of Australia. 

The station displayed an article and several books about groundbreaking inventions created in Australia, such as the drill and the cochlear implant. 

Dancers from the Thai Cultural and Fine Arts Institute of Chicago performed for their second year, while also bringing special artifacts from Thai culture.  Operations manager Sunny Suntharanund displayed a table of accessories, such as gold and silver necklaces, bracelets and small pipe instruments, commonly found in Thailand.

“I think it’s cool to celebrate cultures you’re rarely exposed to,” Suntharanund said.

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