Participate in a cultural exchange

Would you like to participate in a cultural exchange? A cultural exchange provides the foundation for a better understanding of different cultures by bridging differences between nations through city-to-city partnerships and educating on a local level. Cambridge residents will have an opportunity to do so with upcoming visits to Cambridge’s sister cities, Yuasa, Japan and Rattvik, Sweden. Delegations to attend these cultural exchanges are now being formed. A visit to Yuasa, Japan is being planned for the fall of 2012 and to Rattvik, Sweden in 2013.

Some of you may be asking “What is a sister city?” A Sister City relationship forms when a community of any size decides to join with a community in another nation to learn more about one another. The mission of a Sister City relationship is to promote international communication and understanding through exchanges of people, ideas, and culture.

How did Cambridge get their two sister cities? In March 1986, the sister city relationship between Yuasa and Cambridge began. Yuasa town is located in the southwestern part of Japan, along the ocean. The population of Yuasa is approximately 17,000. Yuasa is known for many products in Japan’s culture including 50% of the nation’s harvest of oranges, pure mineral water, hot springs, fishing, the origin of soy sauce, and the origin of “Kinzanji Miso” (bean paste).

Cambridge and Rattvik became sister cities in 1990. The Sister City Relationship began as a celebration of the Swedish Heritage of the area. Rattvik Community has a population of approximately 11,000 people. It is located between Leksand and Mora on the beautiful northeastern shore of Like Siljan. It is in the central region of Sweden. Rattvik is a regional marketplace for crafts, fabric, and textiles. It is also a draw as a tourist resort attracting many people for its swimming and water activities, historic sites, parks and churches. Rattvik offers year-round attractions.

If you have an interest in participating in a cultural exchange or working with the Sister Cities Commission, contact Joe Morin at 763-689-2580. Participants in the cultural exchanges are responsible for their travel expenses.

— Submitted by city of Cambridge