Instructor Hend Hegab teaching Arabic at the Oshtemo branch of the Kalamazoo Public Library
Rebecca Thiele/WMUK

As of 2016, Michigan had the second highest number of Syrian refugees in the country. Many of those refugees are not yet fluent in English. This makes everyday things — like going to the doctor — that much more difficult. So people working with refugee families are trying to close the language gap. 

Portage Central High School junior Jack Liu does a yo-yo trick at WMUK's Takeda studio
Rebecca Thiele, WMUK

At the annual Western Michigan University China Festival on Saturday, October 7th you can see people perform with one of the oldest toys in the world - the yo-yo.

Global Roots Festival Wants To Shake Your Winter Blues

Feb 26, 2015
Dunuya Drum & Dance
courtesy of Carolyn Kobel

 You know that feeling you get at an outdoor festival? The sun is warm. You hear music and maybe smell something cooking in the air. People are moving, laughing. It’s a feeling that’s hard to duplicate indoors, but this weekend the Michigan Global Roots Festival will attempt to do just that. 

Celebrating The Year Of The Sheep In Kalamazoo

Feb 20, 2015
Trisha Dunham, WMUK

With Chinese yo-yo’s in hand, lion costumes secured, and dance routines memorized performers took the stage Kalamazoo’s Chenery Auditorium last Saturday, February 14th to celebrate Chinese New Year. The annual Chinese New Year celebration is hosted by the Chinese Association of Greater Kalamazoo. 

India Association of Kalamazoo

Last year, President Obama and the First Lady danced with Indian children in recognition of the Hindu holiday Diwali. The holiday is often called the Festival of Lights. Hindus decorate their homes with strings of lights and light oil lamps at ceremonies.