• October 25, 2014

Sister Cities festival showcases diverse cultures

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Posted: Sunday, October 13, 2013 4:30 am

Culture and diversity were on display Saturday during the Killeen Sister Cities Inc. 19th annual Osan Sister Cities International Festival.

The event displayed and featured food, dance and customs from a variety of different cultures represented throughout Bell County.

“I’ve been coming to this event for the past 10 years, and it’s just wonderful that they put this on every year,” said Heike Spears, a Harker Heights resident. “Events like this bring the community together by showcasing the diversity of the area and broadening our horizons to different cultures.”

Killeen Sister Cities was formed in 1993 and developed a relationship with Osan, Korea, in 1996 in an effort to exchange culture, ideas and information with the transient military community.

Lisa Humphreys, KSCI president, said the event serves as a medium to display culture through dance, music, ethnic crafts and food.

“This gives people a feel for the different cultures represented here,” she said.

“From different cultural dances to the food, people to get to experience Killeen’s rich and diverse community.”

Brenda Smith, vice president of KSCI, said the festival is “unique” to Killeen in what it has to offer residents.

“Our community is so diverse and we have so many different cultures from all over the world because of Fort Hood,” she said. “In our schools, more than 80 different languages are spoken so its important to expose our children to these different cultures.”

The event featured an art contest for students in grades kindergarten through high school, a taekwondo demonstration, and a plethora of performances, including those by the Hula Halua Kahua O’Keola, Korean Culture Dancers of Houston and Cultura Filipiniana Dance Troupe.

“I really enjoy watching the different groups perform and trying all the different types of foods,” said Erna English, a Killeen resident.

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