Celebrating cultures at the Canfield Fair
It's a hidden gem inside the Canfield Fair.
Every year, thousands walk through the Mahoning Valley International Civic & Culture Society building, looking for their personal heritage and also wanting to learn more about others.
The building offers cultural works of art, fashion, literature and dances from several countries around the world.
"Through our diversity, it's one of the finest features and strengths of the Mahoning Valley," said Ray Nakley, President of the Mahoning Valley International Civic & Culture Society.
"When you look at another culture, you often see things that are similar to your own," Nakley described. "We find that we have more in common than what separates us."
Since the pandemic's restricted international travel, just stop by the Canfield Fair to take a trip around the world.
"It's interesting to know and to see a different culture in a different way of view and with different traditions," said Anita Gomez, representing Peru and Mexico's booth.
Members representing a variety of countries told 21 News they love teaching kids and adults about a culture they may not know a lot about.
"They [kids] stop and say, 'Oh, one day I want to go and visit Peru because my dad always talks about Machu Picchu," Gomez explained with a smile on her face.
"Sometimes people get to know about Jordan just by reading but it's a much better idea to speak to someone from Jordan," explained Jamil Wekhain, representing Jordan.
While there's much history between these countries represented, members tell 21 News it's always a unifying experience hosting the exhibit together as one team.
"With all of our problems here in America, one of the pretty beautiful things is that so many people of so many different backgrounds do find ways to interact, to share each others culture," Nakley added.
During the Canfield Fair, members of different cultures will also be performing their native dances for the fair crowd.