Idahoans are invited to celebrate World Refugee Day this month!
Attendees will have an opportunity to receive a COVID-19 vaccine from Saint Alphonsus. (Click here for information about the clinic in multiple languages.)
Boise’s event will take a new shape this year with traveling block parties featuring dance workshops, free food from refugee- and immigrant-owned food trucks, Darjeeling Momo and Machu Picchu Peruvian Cuisine, as well as ice cream from Crazy Cow Ice Cream Co.
The Makatas Dancers, an African dance group, will perform at the first three block parties, and the Mladi Behar Bosnian dance group will lead a workshop at the final block party at the Idaho Capital Asian Market Plaza.
In Twin Falls, nine countries will be represented through food, dance and poetry. The event is important because it gives local citizens and resettled refugees a chance to connect and get to know each other firsthand, said Zeze Rwasama, director of the College of Southern Idaho Refugee Programs.
Without intentionality, it’s easy to lose language skills and other traditions when growing up in a new country, said Maya Duravic, who is part of the Bosnian dance group, Mladi Behar, that will lead workshops during Boise’s World Refugee Day. The other group that will perform, The Makatas (pictured above from 2018), will showcase African dances.
Maya's family resettled in Boise when she was 11. The Basque Center offered space so she and other Bosnian children could practice dancing while their parents chatted in their native language and worked on the uniforms.
“I’m really happy that we arrived to the states in a time where keeping our cultural roots is something that’s not to be ashamed of and we’re not made to forget that,” Maya said. “We’re encouraged to share that with our neighbors so they can get to know us in a different light than ‘oh, we’re just poor refugees.’ They get to know us as more than that.”
The events are sponsored by:
Author: Holly Beech
Idaho Office for Refugees Communications Manager