If you wanted to get even a small glimpse of how many cultures come together in Jersey City, all you had to do was attend the 4th Annual Cultural Diversity Festival in Hamilton Park.
Two years ago, after looking at 350 of the most populated cities in the United States, finance website WalletHub found that Jersey City was the most diverse city.
This was based on information gathered from the U.S. Census Bureau, and involved three criteria: racial and ethnic diversity, which weighed the most, as well as language diversity and region of birth diversity.
Jersey City finished third in the nation for racial and ethnic diversity, fourth for language diversity, and seventh for region-of-birth diversity.
Mayor Steven Fulop earlier this year spoke a lot about the city’s diversity, one reason why he pushed to have it become a Sanctuary City to protect some of its undocumented residents.
But he also noted that there has been a shift from traditional Irish and Italians of a century ago to new immigrants from South America, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.
As of 2010, only about one third of Jersey City residents identified themselves as white, while other groups such as Black or African American, Asian and Hispanic or Latino at make up a majority of the population. Other data shows that 39 percent of Jersey City residents are foreign born as of 2013.
“We started in 2010, because there really weren’t any activities in Jersey City for moms with young children.” – Mamta Singh
Many faces from many places
The festival on Aug. 26 was a day of celebrating the diversity in the community, organizers said.
This included dance, music, food and a host of other activities focused on showing off just how many cultures the city contains and allowing them to mingle in one place for a day of fun.
Performances included dance acts by Jersey City Ballroom, Nai Ni Chen Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company, Flamenco, Next Step Broadway, Kennedy Dancers, Ghungroo School of Dance and others.
It also had demonstrations of Yee’s Hung Ga International Kung Fu Association, Naginata Japanese Swordsmanship Society, Kyudo and others. Celebrations included such things as Indian Calai, Tarik Sultan, Tonal Arts Matt, and Panayides Group Au Capoeira.
Based in the Newport section of Jersey City, JC Families started about seven years ago with the idea of providing mothers and children with opportunities to meet each other and hold events. But over time, the group has held cultural events throughout the city.
“We started in 2010 because there really weren’t any activities in Jersey City for moms with young children,” said Mamta Singh, JC Families founder, during an interview earlier this year.
For more information about JC Families and upcoming events, go to their website at www.jcfamilies.com.
Al Sullivan may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.