Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Mayor's Diversity Award Winners for 2007

Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson today recognized five local businesses and organizations during the sixth annual Mayor's Celebration of Diversity Awards.

More than 1,200 people attended a luncheon this afternoon to salute the winners:

WellPoint, Inc. (Sam H. Jones Award); Wishard Health Services (workforce diversity); Fay Biccard Neighborhood Center (development of diversity education); Children’s Museum of Indianapolis (community activities encouraging diversity), and Butler University (leadership in diversity strategies).

For more, see the press release issued by the Mayor’s Office.

Ethnic Hoosier for February 2007

The Ethnic Hoosier newsletter for February 2007 has been posted to the Nationalities Council's website.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

IU Bloomington's Annual Middle Eastern Festival

"The Arts of the Middle East Festival" kicks off Thursday at Indiana University Bloomington, running through 10 February.

Most of the events are free, and all are open to the public, including Middle Eastern dance, talks on art and ethnomusicology, art demonstrations, films, presentations of Middle Eastern folktales and poetry, and lectures.

For a schedule, check the website.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Sudanese divestment urged for Indiana

State Senator John Broden (D-South Bend) has authored Senate Bill 380, which would prohibit the investment of funds held by various state entities in institutions that are directly or indirectly involved in business with Sudanese companies, according to the Indiana Senate Democrat Caucus.

Senate Bill 380 would require that any investment of funds held by the public employees’ and teachers’ retirement fund or by a public officer of the state must not be with companies that loan money to, engage in business with or in or have invested in another company engaged in business with or in Sudan or its instrumentalities.

Affected institutions would be given three years to come into compliance with the legislation, according to the press release.

Six other states, including Illinois, have passed Sudanese divestment legislation.

Senate Bill 380 has been assigned to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Public Policy & Interstate Cooperation, where it awaits a hearing.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Estonia and Latvia -- After the Soviet Collapse

Can you ever go home again? Dr. Ain Haas explores "Return Migration to Post-Soviet Estonia and Latvia" in the next presentation in the Sabbatical Speaker Series 2006-2007 of the Indiana University School of Liberal Arts at Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis.

Dr. Haas, associate professor of sociology and an ethnic Estonian, examines the experiences of first-, second-, and third-generation exiles/emigrants of Estonian and Latvian heritage (primarily political refugees and their descendants), who returned to their ancestral lands when the Soviet regime collapsed. Personal interviews with some 130 returnees covered their reasons for moving, adjustment to life in the Baltic countries, and comparisons with their old life in the West.

Check out what's happening these days in two of the former "Captive Nations" at 4:30 p.m. Friday, 2 February, in Room 508, Cavanaugh Hall, IUPUI, 425 University Boulevard, Indianapolis.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Polyglot Corner of Indy

According to the Demographics feature on page 48 of this week’s Indianapolis Business Journal, 10 percent of the 17,080 people living in the 8,408 households in the 46250 ZIP code speak a foreign language at home.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Indy to Host 12th U.S. Latvian Song Festival

Mark your calendars for a unique event in downtown Indianapolis 4-8 July.

This event is so big it'll take place at Conseco Fieldhouse, Indianapolis Artsgarden, Murat Centre, Athenaeum, Circle Theatre, St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church and the Scottish Rite Cathedral!

The schedule is on the extensive website.

North Americans of Latvian descent are expected in the thousands, and the colorful performances of music and dance are open to the public (see here for ticket information).

Ron Miller is committee chairman for the all-volunteer event hosted by Indy Latvians.

Ye banks and braes of bonny Doon, How can ye bloom so fresh and fair...

If you hear poetry wafting through the ether this weekend, don't fret.

It's just the Scots gearing up for their annual Burns Suppers. There are three scheduled in central Indiana this weekend.

The Scottish American Club of Indiana will salute the bard at 6 p.m. Saturday in Ritz Charles, Carmel. The Scottish Society of Greater Bloomington holds its celebration Saturday in the Indiana Memorial Union, Bloomington. The 42nd Royal Highlanders hold their annual Burns Dinner on Saturday at Judy's Place in Lafayette. (See the Nationalities Council's calendar for more on these and other events.

Burns penned "Auld Lang Syne" and is also responsible for "the best laid schemes o' mice and men", "my love is like a red red rose" and other familiar refrains.

To get in the mood, surf on over to some poetry sites and recite a bit of Rabbie Burns yourself!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Plaisir d’Amour for Valentine's Day

Art, music, literature and distant cultures will combine Feb. 14 at the University of Indianapolis in a unique event called Plaisir d’Amour ("Joy of Love").

Featuring members of the Indianapolis Opera Ensemble, guest vocalists from China, Asian landscape painter Master Au Ho-nien and UIndy faculty performers, the Valentine’s Day event begins at 7:30 p.m. in the university’s Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center, 1400 E. Hanna Ave. Admission is free.

Shanghai Normal University vocalists Wu Mei and Zhu Yinyuo and local opera ensemble members Jenny Searles, Angela Keeton, Nathan Bick, Samuel Spade and Dana Jones Milan will perform love songs from their respective traditions. Soprano Kathleen Hacker, associate professor and chair of music at UIndy, will perform Western love songs with accompaniment from faculty pianist Jacklyn Chan.

The program also will include readings by Billy Catchings, associate professor and chair of the UIndy communication department, including Chinese poetry and the ancient Chinese folk tale “The Love Story of Liang-Zhu,” also known as “The Butterfly Lovers.” Master Au Ho-nien, the Taiwan-based traditional landscape artist whose paintings fill a standing gallery at the university, will create a themed work of painting and calligraphy as the musicians perform.

Plaisir d’Amour is sponsored by University of Indianapolis Asian Programs and cosponsored by the UIndy Department of Music, Shanghai Normal University, the Indianapolis Opera Ensemble and the Au Ho-nien Cultural Foundation, Taipei.

World Language Tours of European Galleries at IMA

Hats off to the Indianapolis Museum of Art for its innovative foreign language tours of the newly expanded and renovated European galleries.

Last Sunday, a Spanish-speaking docent led visitors on a tour of the galleries.

On 18 February, the docent will be speaking German. The tour begins at 2 p.m. at the information desk at the top of the escalator on the first gallery level.

The Nationalities Council hopes that the IMA has more "World Language Tours" scheduled in the future!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Foreign Language Immersion Program To Be Cut Back?

A rare foreign language immersion program in a Marion County public school is on the bubble, according to a report by veteran reporter Howard Smulevitz in The Indianapolis Star today.

Fortunately, the Lawrence Township School board, parents and students objected to the proposal “to remove kindergarten classes from a Spanish immersion magnet program as part of a plan to balance enrollments in elementary buildings” at a meeting Monday night. Read more here.

Lawrence Township is justly proud of its international studies programs, which began in 1994. The school’s website notes:

“We are an international magnet school serving over 700 students in grades kindergarten through five. At Forest Glen we believe that through a strong focus on understanding other cultures our students will be better prepared to meet the challenges of the global community of the future.”

Forest Glen's Global Studies Program enables students develop an in-depth interest in world studies and geography as they make cross-cultural connections. In addition students attend daily Spanish classes, according to the website.

In the Spanish Immersion Program, all conversation and instruction in classrooms is in Spanish, from kindergarten through third grade. Students in fourth and fifth grades have instruction in Spanish for half of the day, and in English for half of the day.

The Nationalities Council agrees wholeheartedly with the board, parents and students! Don't cut back on this innovative program! What about adding immersion Spanish to kindergartens in the other Lawrence Township Schools instead?

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Potential for Israeli Investment in Indy

According to Inside INdiana Business, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation says starting tomorrow it will host a delegation of Israeli life sciences companies, which are exploring potential partnerships and possible relocation to Indiana.

For more, see the news item.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Connectivity between Indy and the World

Patrick Barkey writes this in his current column on Economic Analysis for the Indianapolis Business Journal:

"Even here in the isolated Midwest, it’s hard to find a product, a job or a community that hasn’t been affected by the high degree of connectivity among customers, businesses, and buyers and sellers of all kinds around the globe."

Noting Hoosiers' "love-hate relationship with globalization boom", he concludes that "the essence of globalization is competition." And, he says, competition forces us to produce better products and services at lower cost offering consumers more choices.

Barkey is an economist and director of economic and policy study at the College of Business, Ball State University.

Read the whole column in the 22-29 January 2007 edition of the IBJ.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Foreign Firms Invest More in Indiana

Inside INdiana Business reports today on two new international connections for Indiana companies.

In the first item, it says that Switzerland-based Leman Cardiovascular subsidiary Hancock Jaffe Laboratories is partnering with Bloomington's Cook Medical to develop products in the field of tissue engineering and processing for minimally invasive cardiovascular products.

The second notes that CTS Automotive Products in Elkhart was awarded a production program by a Korean based vehicle manufacturer for its Seat Belt Tension Sensor (BTS). With production starting in the spring of 2007, the CTS Seat Belt Tension Sensor will be integrated in seat belt assemblies for small SUVs built in Mexico for sale in North America.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

"Othering" and "Indigenization"?

Don't let academic jargon deter you from attending a presentation on the campus of Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis this week.

The title of the talk by Prof. Didier Gondola of Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis, “Transient Citizenship: The Othering and Indigenization of Blacks and Beurs within the French Republique”, can be "translated" as exploring the roots of racial confrontation and discontent in France.

You're invited to participate at 4:30 p.m. on Friday in room 508 of Cavanaugh Hall, 425 University Boulevard. It's part of IUPUI's acclaimed School of Liberal Arts Sabbatical Speakers Series.

Prof. Gondola, a professor of history at IUPUI, was born in the Congo and raised in Paris. He is the author of The History of the Congo.

For more information on his presentation or the series, contact: Annette Hill, 317:278-1839.

Here's John Clark (of the Sagamore Institute for Policy Research writing about Prof. Didier in IndyBuzz, his postings of "intellectual caffeine served piping hot" in Indianapolis:

"Riots in 2005 wreaked havoc in several French banlieues [French suburbs that feel more like inner city slums than US suburbs such as Carmel]. This led some black and beur [second and third generation French who roots are in North Africa and other parts of the former French Empire] civic organizations — including “les Indigènes de la République” — have attributed the anger fueling the riots to the persistence of colonial relations between France and its population of African descent, the so-called Français issus de l’immigration (first- and second-generation French) as opposed to Français de souche (“native” French). Needless to say, most French pundits and scholars quickly dismissed such an explanation not only as flawed but dangerous as well, a cipher likely to drive a wedge into French society. Instead, these pundits have turned the table on the rioters by putting forth arguments that range from the breakdown of African families living in France, to polygamy, rap music, and more generally their unwillingness or inability to assimilate as more accurate explanations for their marginalization."

Monday, January 15, 2007

Almost 5,000 Foreign Students Attend Purdue

Purdue ranks second among all public institutions in international enrollment, and is third in the nation among all institutions, according to the Institute of International Education.

Of the 4,831 international students enrolled at Purdue in the current academic year, there are 1,021 students from India, followed by China (782), South Korea (680), Taiwan (222) and Indonesia (221).

(information from Purdue University)

India, Purdue to Collaborate

A delegation from Purdue University's Discovery Park will travel to India from Jan. 29 to Feb. 7 to meet with government, industry and university officials and sign a collaborative agreement with the country's Department of Science and Technology, according to a news release from Purdue University.

Charles Rutledge, vice president for research at Purdue, will lead the contingent on the India trip, which will be highlighted by the signing of a research agreement with the Indian Department of Science and Technology on Feb. 5 in New Delhi. Discussions also will take place with the Indian Department of Biotechnology the same day.

Through the collaboration, Purdue and India's Department of Science and Technology will work to establish formal research collaborations and exchanges of researchers, students and faculty between Purdue and Indian institutions, the news release reports.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

IFLTA World Language Teacher of the Year

Lisa Calvin, associate professor of Spanish at Indiana State University, has been recognized as the state’s finest college-level language teacher by the Indiana Foreign Language Teachers Association, according to a news release from ISU.

Calvin received the 2006 Collegiate-Level World Language Teacher of the Year Award from the IFLTA, which has a membership of 630 foreign language teachers, at its annual conference in Indianapolis, ISU reports.

Calvin became eligible for this award after the Indiana chapter of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese named her the 2006 Teacher of the Year-University Level this summer. As a recipient of that award, she was asked to submit a portfolio, including essays and letters from colleagues and former students, to be considered for the IFLTA’s coveted Teacher of the Year honor.

The Nationalities Council also sends its congratulations to Prof. Calvin!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Indy's Great Decisions Discussion Series

Two organizations in Indianapolis are hosting “Great Decisions” discussion series in 2007: Church of the Savior and the Indiana Council on World Affairs.

Great Decisions, a global affairs education program, is sponsored by Foreign Policy Association.

Themes are selected each year to engage citizens in learning about the world. The Briefing Book” provided by the FPA places the thematic or geographic issue in historical context and provides background, current policies and alternative policy options. Photographs, maps, charts and editorial cartoons illustrate the text. Discussion questions, annotated reading suggestions and additional resources, including websites, are provided. An opinion ballot for the National Opinion Ballot Report accompanies each topic so that readers can express their views, according to the FPA.

The schedule at Church of the Savior, 6205 Rucker Road, Indianapolis is:

  • "Global Climate Change", 7 p.m. 31 January

  • ”Mexico”, 7 p.m. 7 February

  • ”International Migration”, 7 p.m. 14 February

  • ”South Africa”, 7 p.m. 21 February

  • ”War Crimes”, 7 p.m. 28 February

  • ”Central Asia”, 7 p.m. 7 March

  • ”Children and International Conflict”, 13 March

The schedule for the ICWA series, held in the Pharmacy Building at Butler University in Indianapolis is:

  • ”Global Climate Change”, 7 p.m. 6 February

  • ”Middle East”, 7 p.m. 13 February

  • ”Mexico”, 7 p.m. 20 February

  • ”Global Migration”, 7 p.m. 27 February

  • ”South Africa”, 7 p.m. 6 March

  • ”War Crimes”, 7 p.m. 13 March

  • ”Central Asia”, 7 p.m. 20 March

For more information, see John Clark’s IndyBuzz.


There's also a Great Decisions series underway this year at Mid-North Shepherd Center in North United Methodist Church in Indianapolis. Information, email or 317:924-0959. Their session on global climate change is 4 April.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Join the fun of Mochitsuki

Mochitsuki is the traditional mochi-pounding ceremony in Japan!

Polished white rice is soaked overnight and cooked. The wet rice is pounded with wooden mallets called kine in a traditional mortar called an usu.

Two people alternate the work, one pounding and the other turning and wetting the mochi, which is formed into delicious small rice balls.

The Honorable Kenji Shinoda, Consul General of Japan, will be the guest of honor at the Mochitsuki Shinnenkai sponsored by the Japan-America Society of Indiana from 5:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. on Friday, 26 January in the Indianapolis Artsgarden above the intersection of Washington and Illinois streets in downtown Indianapolis.

There will be Mochi-Pounding, Sake-Tasting, New Year's Fortune-Reading, Tea Ceremony, KARAOKE (Japanese & English), Hors d'oeuvres & cash bar.

Admission is $35 for JASI members and $50 for non-members; reservation deadline is 24 January.

For information and reservations, call 317:635-0123.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Global Business Person of the Year

The World Trade Club of Indiana has selected Stephen Russell as Global Business Person of the Year.

He will receive the honor during the 23 January dinner meeting of the club in the Omni Severin Hotel, Indianapolis.

Russell has served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Celadon Group Inc. Founded in 1985 by Russell, Celadon is now traded on Nasdaq and is one of the top truckload carriers in North America serving a variety companies from diverse industry groups. Celadon, with its international presence, is one of a limited number of companies that is able to provide for time-sensitive cargo shipments through trailer door-to-door transport in and between any of the NAFTA countries.

Mr. Russell is a member of the American Trucking Associations’ Executive Committee and serves as chairman of the Homeland Security Policy Committee. He also serves on the board of directors for the Cornell University Graduate School of Management, the Eiteljorg Museum, and the Indianapolis Museum of Art.

For information and reservations, call 317:261.0918.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Celebrate Mardi Gras German-American Style

The annual Karneval celebration at the Athenaeum takes on a Caribbean theme this winter. The annual masked ball, "Pirates of the Athenaeum", begins at 6 p.m. Saturday, 3 February.

"Everyone is invited to a frolicking good time in the Athenaeum Kellersaal," reads the invitation. The Athenaeum German Band will perform, along with the Indianapolis Maennerchor. The Freudemacher plays the music for dancing.

At the Athenaeum, the annual Mardi Gras celebration incorporates the Karneval traditions of Indianapolis' Sister City, Cologne.

Wear a mask (or buy one at the door), wear a costume, your old ballgown or tux or something else. There'll be Karneval royalty and a Prinzengarde plus presentation of Karneval Ordens.

Food, a la carte, is by the Rathskeller Restaurant.

The Athenaeum is in downtown Indy at 401 East Michigan Street. For more information, tickets and reservations, call 317:630-4569, ext. 1.

Monday, January 8, 2007

Chinese, Italian and more language courses in Indy

“Beginning Chinese”, an eight-session course, starts 18 January in Carmel. The class will be held from 10 a.m. to noon in the Community Life and Learning Center, 515 East Main Street. Instructor is Lisu Kwong.

The course is offered by Continuing Studies at Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis. Fee is $139. For more information and registration, go online.

Classes in conversational French, German, and Italian also are offered this winter through Continuing Studies at IUPUI, plus courses in Japanese, Russian and Spanish.

Sunday, January 7, 2007

India Association Officers for 2007

Archana Thaker has been elected chairperson of the Board of Trustees of the India Association of Indianapolis.

Other 2007 officers include Ajai Chaudhary, vice-chairperson; Dr. Vijayapal Reddy, secretary; Kanchana Ishwar, treasurer, and Niranjan Pati, joint treasurer. Raju Chinthala is president of the Executive Committee for 2007.

Saturday, January 6, 2007

America's Immigrant Heritage

Every Thursday, from noon to 1 p.m., the Indiana Historical Society presents short films in the Cole Porter Room. And, there’s never a charge.

The current series highlights our country’s international heritage.

First up on 11 January is “Immigration and Cultural Change,” which reviews documents, dates and facts about the history of immigration in America.

On 18 January, it’s "Greek Americans", whose significant contributions, particularly in the areas of politics, architecture and theater, are explored in this short film.

"Italian Americans" are the focus for 25 January. This film explores the obstacles faced by Italian immigrants and their contributions to American society.

The Indiana Historical Society is located in the Indiana History Center, 450 West Ohio Street, Indianapolis. For more information on these films, call 317:232-1882 or 800:447-1830.

Friday, January 5, 2007

Learn Spanish in Indianapolis

Spanish classes are offered in profusion this winter through Continuing Studies at Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis. No matter what side of Indy you live on, there’s a class near you.

Conversational Spanish for Beginners – Levels 1 and 2 – will be taught at the Arthur M. Glick Jewish Community Center, Brébeuf Jesuit Preparatory School, Decatur Central High School, Propylaeum Carriage House, Beech Grove High School, Center Grove High School in Greenwood and Community Life and Learning Center in Carmel.

Starting dates for Level 1 range from 29 January to 10 April for the eight-session course. For Level 2, a six-week series, starting dates are from 6 February through 11 April. Both daytime and evening sessions are available.

Conversational Spanish for Beginners continues with levels 3, 4 and 5 at most of the same locations.

If you’ve mastered Spanish but want to improve, consider “Keep It Up: Practicing Your Spanish”. This class will be offered in six sessions at Warren Central High School, IUPUI and Brébeuf Jesuit Preparatory School, with starting dates in January, February and March.

“Spanish for Health-Care”, a beginning language course, will be held on eight Wednesdays starting 17 January in West Central Conservancy District, Avon.

The fee for each of these Spanish language courses is $139.

Immersion options are available on four levels of Spanish fluency during the week of 12-16 March. Classes run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day on the IUPUI campus. Fee for each is $559, including course materials and lunches.

For more information and registration, enroll online.

Thursday, January 4, 2007

6th Annual Mayor's Celebration of Diversity

The Sixth Annual Mayor's Celebration of Diversity Awards Luncheon will begin with registration at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, 31 January, in the Marriott Indianapolis Downtown, 350 West Maryland Street, Indianapolis. Luncheon follows at 11:30 a.m.

Reservations deadline is 25 January.

Tickets are $40 per person or $550 for a table of ten (which includes program mention and table signage).

Please make checks payable to the Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee and mail to 2501 City-County Building, 200 East Washington Street, Indianapolis, IN 46204.

The Nationalities Council of Indiana received its Diversity Award during the 2003 Celebration of Diversity.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Invitación Despedida Cónsul Sergio Aguilera

El Consulado de México en Indianápolis tiene el agrado de invitarle a la recepción de despedida en honor al Cónsul Sergio Aguilera Beteta, que se celebrará el jueves 4 de enero a las 5:45 p.m. en el Conference Room C del Government Center South, ubicado en 402 W. Washington St., Indianápolis, IN. 46204.

La labor del Cónsul Aguilera como Titular de esta Adscripción, fue clave para propiciar la creación de diversos programas a favor de la Comunidad Mexicana en particular e Hispana en general. Su empeño y profesionalismo ha contribuido al desarrollo de la comunidad en los estados de Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana y Sur de Illinois.

En este sentido, esperamos contar con su grata compañía confirmando su asistencia al correo electrónico o llamando al 317:951-0005, ext. 223.


Martín Alcalá Salgado

Cónsul Encargado

(Consul Sergio Aguilera retires from diplomatic service in February. You are invited to a Farewell Reception in his honor at 5:45 p.m. Thursday, January 4, Conference Room C, Government Center South, 402 West Washington Street, Indianapolis. Please confirm your attendance by e-mail or call 317:951 0005, ext. 223.)

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Doing Business in China?

Indiana companies who do business in China -- or want to -- should consider signing up for a seminar later this month sponsored by Indiana State University.

"China--A Two-Way Street" will be held Jan. 24-25 in the Westin Hotel, downtown Indianapolis.

Indiana State University and China's Liaoning University, in conjunction with Networks Financial Institute (an outreach of ISU’s College of Business) will co-sponsor the conference. It will focus on two topics:

1) Why China? Exchange of ideas and information regarding the opportunities and benefits to Indiana from developing relationships and conducting business with the Chinese, especially related to capital investment and trade will be addressed.
2) How to work with China? Specific issues such as Chinese tax law and acquisition, labor law and more will also be addressed.

To register, go online or call 800:603-7113.

According to a press release issued by ISU in December, a major part of the conference will be the visit of a trade delegation led by Cui Desheng, director of the Liaoning provincial government’s Foreign Affairs Office and several representatives from the Liaoning business, government and academic sectors.

Over the past four years, the two universities have exchanged 16 faculty members in business and economics developed an economics and business research support linking their respective libraries via distance technology; and strengthened teaching and research in finance, banking, personnel and social responsibility issues at Liaoning. Indiana State also hosted a series of conferences focusing on China’s admission to the World Trade Organization. The activities were supported by a grant from the U.S. State Department’s Educational and Cultural Affairs Bureau, the university reported.

If you'd like to know more about ISU's collaborations with Liaoning University, contact Gaston Fernandez, executive director, International Affairs Center, ISU, 812:237-4391 or John Conant, professor and chair, department of economics, ISU, 812:237-2160.