San Diego Sister Cities 65 Year Celebration!

A fun special event was held today at the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages in Balboa Park. It was the San Diego Sister Cities 65 Year Celebration!

Music, food and dance was provided by various hosts, who represented some of San Diego’s sixteen Sister Cities. San Diego’s oldest Sister City partnership is with Yokohama, Japan. That relationship was established 65 years ago!

At information tables visitors to the event could learn about the history of different Sister Cities, and see how mutual programs, such as student and cultural exchanges, help create peace and understanding between nations.

I stayed for a bit and watched several dances while eating very tasty West African Ghana sambusa. I also asked a few questions at the tables, and learned much!

(By the way, there are signs in downtown’s Civic Center Plaza pointing to San Diego’s Sister Cities. I took photos of the signs years ago and posted them here!)

Alcalá de Henares, Spain has been a San Diego Sister City since 1982. It is the birthplace of Cervantes, author of Don Quixote!

Tema, Ghana, has been Sister City to San Diego since 1976. The “Peace and Unity Wall” mosaic mural in Tema was made from supplies donated from San Diego.

Crafts and cultural artifacts from Ghana.

Jeonju, South Korea has been a San Diego Sister City since 1983. The San Diego-Jeonju Society introduces local students to Korean culture.

Did you know Carlsbad, California has two Sister Cities? Kalovy Vary (Karlsbad), Czech Republic’s famed mineral springs inspired the naming of Carlsbad, whose artesian mineral water is nearly identical. Futtsu, Japan is the other Sister City.

Images from the long history of San Diego and Yokohama, Japan’s deep Sister City ties. In the center is the Japanese Friendship Bell, which now stands on Shelter Island. See more about it here!

Where there is friendship, there is much hope.

A nice smile!

Flamenco dancing to guitar celebrates Spain’s culture.

Lunch! Yummy!

Dancers representing Panama take the stage!

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House of Panama celebration in Balboa Park!

A big celebration brought many smiles and a joyful whirl of color to Balboa Park today! The House of Panama hosted a lawn program at the International Cottages!

A good crowd turned out to enjoy cultural entertainment, and to share excitement over the recent opening of the House of Panama’s new cottage.

Dance groups came down to San Diego all the way from Los Angeles and San Francisco. There were performances by Panamá Lindo; Panamá, Molas, Polleras y Tambores (the official House of Panama Dancers); Congo Istmeño; and Viva Panamá. Many local dignitaries also attended the event.

As I walked around Balboa Park, I swung by the International Cottages a few times to enjoy the lawn program. The next three photos were taken outside and inside the beautiful new House of Panama cottage…

On the lawn stage, there was a sea of colorful Panamanian folk dance costumes!

I caught the singing of National Anthems, then an emotional speech concerning the hard work done to open a new cottage in Balboa Park…

Then the dancing began!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!