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The celebration of International Women’s Day unites all cultures and groups



Salt Lake City, Utah – Every year on March 8, International Women’s Day is a celebration of the social, economic, and cultural accomplishments of women. This year, the event fell on Friday.
But Friday night at the Salt Lake County Government Center was much more than a party.

Women from many backgrounds and cultures attended the second International Women’s Day Progressive Dinner and Spring Market.

“I felt like it was just a great way to bridge those divides between communities and to recognize that we all come from international women and this is an event that you can honor your ancestors, remember where you came from,” said Susi Feltch-Malohifo’ou, the Chief Community Engagement and Development Officer at Pacific Island Knowledge to Action Resources (PIK2AR).

Approximately 60 to 70 individuals showed up for the entirely volunteer-run event, according to Feltch-Malohifo’ou.

“There’s always a lot of conversation, this is being educated by people that come from these countries that understand women’s roles and then how those roles differ now in the United States,” said Feltch-Malohifo’ou.

According to Feltch-Malohifo’ou, women from six different nations hosted tables during the inaugural event last year. This year, the figure reached eight.

Women from Samoa, Scotland, the Marshall Islands, and even the southern United States were among them.

The Community Alliance of Filipino Americans (CAFA) of Utah is chaired by Kathleya Gracida. On Friday, her group also set up shop for the event.

“We’re here to represent the Filipino community and we are very excited to bring our culture with this costume,” said Gracida.

Gracida is originally from the Philippines, specifically the city of Bacala. In 1985, she relocated to this country.

They also intended to use food to highlight their culture, together with CAFA Treasurer Jeannette Stelmach and Vice Chairwoman Aileen Rizzuto.

“We’re serving one of the Filipino desserts and I know that everyone, everybody loves it,” said Rizzuto.

The Italian Club of Salt Lake City was located nearby at a separate table. The club was founded in 2007. The group’s volunteer Carolina Gandolfo is originally from Palermo, in Sicily.

“The Women’s Day in Italy, It’s like the same day, March 8th, and it’s pretty big there,” said Gandolfo. “In fact, we were trying to represent, like, Italian women that made the history of our country.”

It is hoped that in addition to leaving Friday’s event with full bellies from all of the delicious food, many attendees also departed with a wealth of knowledge.

“I want them to come home and excited to like, find out more about our country because Philippines, we are a very rich country full of cultures, beautiful people,” said Gracida.

Visit the Community Alliance of Filipino Americans (CAFA) of Utah Facebook page for additional information.

For additional details about the Italian Club of Salt Lake City, click this link to access their website.


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