Monday, June 14, 2021

Celebrate the Lunar New Year

Southlake Sister Cities and Southlake Public Library invite you to celebrate the start of the Lunar New Year with special events and activities.

It’s the Year of the Pig! A pig represents luck, overall good fortune, wealth, honesty and general prosperity.  Those born in the year of the pig are hardworking, peace-loving people who are truthful, generous, reliable, trusting, sincere, giving, and sociable. They have a great sense of humor and patient understanding.

Celebrate the start of the New Year with these special events.

Lunar New Year Story Time
Bring your children, ages 2-5 years, to a special story time event. Southlake Sister Cities will lead a themed story time with stories, songs and hands-on activities to introduce children to this cultural celebration.
Find it: February 5th | 10:45-11:15 a.m. | Southlake Town Hall 3rd Floor

Lantern Workshop
Let’s make lanterns! Bring your own design and supplies to the workshop, or come to make a simple lantern with provided materials. All ages. No registration is required.
Find it: February 16th | 3-5 p.m. | Southlake Town Hall 3rd Floor

Lunar New Year Celebration, Town Square Walk & Reception
Start the evening celebration with live entertainment. Enjoy live performances including a Dragon Dance, Chinese Yoyo, Martial Arts & more. All ages. No registration is required.
Find it: February 16th | 5:30-6:30 p.m. | Southlake Town Square Rustin Pavilion

Lantern Walk and Reception
Light up the night with hope for the New Year. Bring your lanterns (battery operated candles only) to light up the night in Southlake Town Square as we parade through the streets and around McPherson Park pond with a Chinese dragon and music. Follow the parade by celebrating the New Year together with a casual reception in Southlake Town Hall. Parade starts at the Pavilion in Southlake Town Square following the live entertainment.  All ages. No registration is required.
Find it: February 16th | 6:30 – 8 p.m. | Southlake Town Square and Town Hall

Visit Japan as a Southlake Sister Cities Youth Ambassador

Serving as an SSC youth ambassador gives Southlake and CISD students a unique opportunity for global friendship, cultural exploration and a life-changing experience. The application deadline for the Japan delegation is Friday, March 1.

SSC youth ambassadors will represent the City of Southlake in one of our two Friendship Cities: Suzhou, Wuzhong District, China, and Tome, Japan. The youth ambassadors and City-appointed chaperones are immersed in a cultural experience while living with host families and enjoying a variety of activities planned by the City, schools and their hosts. In 2018, SSC sent 18 Carroll ISD students on the trips—be sure to check out the videos they made of their experiences in China and Japan!

2019 Youth Ambassadors to Tome, Japan

Trip Dates: June 3 – June 10, 2019
Application Deadline: March 1, 2019
Eligibility: Southlake Sister Cities members ages 13–18

Sister Cities International is a non-profit organization whose mission is to “promote peace through mutual respect, understanding, and cooperation, one individual, one community at a time.”

For more information about the Southlake Sister Cities Youth Ambassador Program or application process, please contact Katy Hintze.

Southlake Volunteers Recognized with the Presidential Volunteer Service Lifetime Achievement Award

Kiko and Dee Ekstrom were recently recognized by Southlake Sister Cities and the Southlake City Council for their longtime service to the City.

“Kiko and Dee have given thousands of hours to Southlake through their service to Southlake Sister Cities,” said City Manager Shana Yelverton. “We are so grateful for their commitment and how they have worked to establish such a strong Sister Cities program in Southlake, particularly with the city of Tome, Japan.”

Kiko and Dee with councilKiko and Dee have been involved in Southlake Sister Cities for 26 years and worked tirelessly from the beginning when they helped establish the program in 1991. The Ekstroms have served in a variety of volunteer roles with Kiko serving as the president of the Southlake Sister Cities board.  They have overseen the youth exchange programs which has connected well over 500 students from both countries and have organized numerous adult visits.

Sister Cities’ 1st Vice President Barbara Walker praised the Ekstroms role in fostering friendship and understanding  at the June 19 Council meeting saying, “These relationships are pivotal to fulfilling the goal of Sister Cities which is to create citizen ambassadors.”

The Presidential Volunteer Service Lifetime Achievement Award is given to individuals who have completed more than 4,000 hours of volunteer work in their lifetime.  A plaque commemorating Kiko and Dee’s service and lifetime achievement award will be permanently installed in Southlake’s Town Hall in the coming months.

Southlake Sister Cities Brings Russian History to Southlake

Southlake Sister Cities is hosting a free history lecture on Russian history. Come and enjoy some traditional Russian snacks and learn more about Russia from Dr. Dan Orlovsky.

When: September 14 at 7:00 PM
Where: 3rd Floor, Southlake Town Hall, 1400 Main Street, Southlake, TX

Southlake Sister Cities is about fostering understanding and acceptance across many cultures through personal experiences. “We picked Dr. Orlovsky because he is a professor of Russian studies at SMU (Southern Methodist University), and he focuses on the middle working class people of Russia rather than just the history of the country,” says Katy Hintze, vice president for the Southlake Sister Cities.

Dr. Dan Orlovsky is a professor and George Bouhe Research Fellow in Russian Studies at SMU. He is a specialist in the history of Provisional Government after the February Revolution of 1917, and he continues to study the history of a much understudied hidden class of Soviet citizens, people who were neither workers nor peasants, the white collar “employees” of the Soviet Union between 1918 and 1956. Dr. Orlovsky travels annually to Moscow to work in the trade union, Communist Party and state bureaucracy archives in pursuit of this hidden class.

This is the third speaker Sister Cities has brought to Southlake. Past lectures included a speaker from China and a speaker from Germany.  Southlake Sister Cities creates such events to help educate the community about other cultures and to create understanding.

Learn more about Sister Cities at www.southlakesistercities.com.

Travel the World with Southlake Sister Cities

Southlake Sister Cities is now accepting applications for the 2017 Youth Ambassador Tour of Tome Japan and Suzhou China. If you are interested in traveling the world and seeing new places then get your applications in fast because the deadline is approaching quickly.

The Southlake Sister Cities Youth Ambassador Program offers students of Southlake an opportunity to represent the City as a Youth Ambassador to Southlake’s Sister Cities. The Youth Ambassadors and adult chaperones are immersed in a cultural experience while living with host families and experiencing a variety of activities planned by the city and their hosts. If you are a Southlake Sister Cities member and interested in representing the City of Southlake on a Tour of Tome Japan and Suzhou China, we are now accepting applications until October 30th, 2016.

Applications for the Youth Ambassador Trip can be found online at www.SouthlakeSisterCites.org. For more information about Southlake Sister Cities or the Youth Ambassador Trip, please call (817) 713-9667.

Oktoberfest is Right Around the Corner: Let Southlake Sister Cities Help You Learn More About Germany

The Southlake Sister Cities organization is hosting another FREE event for the Southlake community on October 12. This time they are having a TCU associate professor come talk about Germany and its history from 1850 to present day. Come and enjoy some traditional German snacks and learn more about Germany from special guest speaker, Dr. Jeffrey D. Todd.

Dr. Todd is an Associate Professor of German and French Studies at TCU. His main scholarly interest is in German intellectual history from 1850 to the present. He is also concerned with American cultural politics past and present: in the past as it affected the German-American community; in the present as it shapes our image of and relations with European countries. Dr. Todd will address the stability of the European Union with the exit of England, as well as the immigration crisis Europe is facing today.

October 12th, 6:30 PM
3rd Floor, Southlake Town Hall,
1400 Main Street, Southlake, TX

For more information please visit SouthlakeSisterCities.org

Southlake Student Delegation Visits China

Imagine traveling back in time 1,500 years. Three Southlake Carroll students,  Peter Mountford, Anna Ponzo and Ty Ponzo, got an experience of a lifetime over Spring Break when they traveled with Southlake Sister Cities to Suzhou Wuzhong, China.

Suzhou, one of Southlake’s Sister Cities, was founded in China in 514 BC and is known as the Venice of the East with its gardens, canals and area water towns. In partnership with the Jiangsu Foreign Language School, the students were paired with host families and treated to school days in China. Daily activities included classes in calligraphy, painting, traditional Chinese music and dance, and more. The host school arranged for daily cultural trips to discover some beauty of the ancient world.

Students spent one day in Luzhi, an elegant water town constructed 1,500 years ago, located near Suzhou and surrounded by five lakes. It holds 41 quaint ancient bridges, built in the Song (960–1279), Yuan (1271–1368), Ming, and Qing dynasties. So Luzhi is known as the “Museum of Chinesebridges”.

Additional highlights of the trip included a stroll down Pingjiang Road, a preserved 800-year old water lane in Suzhou, the Humble Administrator’s Garden, the Suzhou Museum and a 2-day tour of Shanghai. Students were educated in the more recent history of Shanghai and the influence World War II had on the area. Jeff and Catherine Wang, of Southlake Sister Cities, led the excursion and Southlake’s City Librarian, Cynthia Pfledderer, served as a chaperone.

The Southlake Sister Cities program partners with the City of Southlake to offer exchange trips for both students and adults between Sister Cities Tome, Japan and Suzhou Wuzhong, China. For more information about Sister Cities and the exchange programs, please visit: southlakesistercities.org.

Southlake celebrates Chinese New Year with multiple events

The Chinese New Year is officially on Monday, February 8, but the City of Southlake will be hosting events all week to highlight this cultural celebration. The Senior Activity Center, Library, and Southlake Sister Cities will all be celebrating in their own way with events that are both fun and educational.

Monday, February 8: The Southlake Senior Activity Center will be celebrating the Chinese New Year at The Marq Southlake with a catered lunch at noon and dancers at 1:00 PM.

Wednesday, February 10: The Southlake Public Library will be hosting a special Chinese New Year story time at 11:00 AM.

Thursday, February 11: Southlake Sister Cities will be welcoming the Chinese New Year with a special guest speaker and traditional Chinese treats at 6:30 PM.

For more information on these and other events, contact the Southlake Parks and Recreation Department at 817.748.8019.

Celebrate Chinese New Year with Southlake Sister Cities

2016 is the Year of the Monkey in Chinese culture and the City of Southlake is ready to celebrate. On Thursday, February 11, the City of Southlake along with Southlake Sister Cities will be hosting an event to welcome the Chinese New Year.

Starting at 6:30 PM on the 3rd Floor in Southlake Town Hall, come enjoy some traditional Chinese treats and learn more about Chinese culture from special guest speaker Dr. Carrie Liu Currier. Dr. Currier is an Associate Professor of Political Science and the Director of Asian Studies at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth.

The event is free and open to everyone interested in learning more about the Chinese culture.