Category Archives: Culture

Expert weighs in on why Valentine’s Day is overrated

valentineThere’s a big day coming up this weekend that many people are looking forward to, the day after Valentine’s Day when the price of chocolate drops!

Let’s face it, whether you’re in a relationship or not, many people say Valentine’s Day is overrated. Continue reading

Northern Michigan ‘Food Hub’ helps local businesses to grow


Michigan foodies said there’s more to local foods than cherries and wine.

And they said lesser known specialties like venison, hummus and beer are now available at stores thanks to what they call, a food hub.
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Japan Culture Center Festival offers unique look at Japanese arts, drums and more.

Stone lanturn at Saginaw Japan Culture Center Photograph by Arielle Breen

Stone lanturn at Saginaw Japan Culture Center Photograph by Arielle Breen

If you’ve ever wanted to travel to a faraway place, but don’t have the time or money right now, how about a trip to Saginaw instead. At one of the city’s culture centers you can literally set foot in Japan.

At Saginaw’s Japanese Cultural Center you can technically stand on Japanese soil, take a step and you’re back in America. Continue reading

Michigan food deserts continue to impact residents


Fresh fruits and vegetables are popping up at local farmer’s markets across Michigan, but in some parts of the state, good food is hard to find.

The term food desert is used to describe areas with little or no access to affordable and nutritious food. Places, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, like Saginaw and Cadillac. Continue reading

Students take field trips to learn about Michigan shipwrecks


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School kids across Michigan are stepping out of the classroom and onto buses for, what for many, is their favorite time of the year, field trips.

Some that are within driving distance of Alpena are learning about a unique part of Michigan history…shipwrecks. Continue reading

Midland among top areas in the country where middle class thrives

Midland's "tridge," a three-way bridge that connects over the meeting of the Chippewa and Titabawassee Rivers. Photo courtesy by Downtown Midland.

Midland’s “tridge,” a three-way bridge that connects over the meeting of the Chippewa and Titabawassee Rivers. Photo courtesy by Downtown Midland.


Downtown areas are known to be the “cherry on top” of its respective city – a place to visit, shop and explore.
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Muslims launch education, awareness initiative in Michigan

Drivers on some Michigan highways may have noticed billboards offering the chance to “Gain Peace,” discuss Islam, and obtain a free copy of the Muslim holy book. It’s all part of an Islamic outreach group’s attempt to change the conversation about the religion.

Dr. Sabeel Ahmed is the director of the Gain Peace campaign, which he said is not about trying to convert anyone, but simply an educational effort.

“We want to make sure that we work on the commonalities that there may be between Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and other faiths,” he said. “If they are activists in the church or in the synagogue, we would like to work with them for the betterment of the society.”

Gain Peace is a national organization supported by the Islamic Circle of North America. In addition to the billboards, the group has taken out newspaper, television, and radio ads in different parts of the state.

Ahmed said that, despite Michigan being home to one of the largest Muslim populations in the country, there are still many misconceptions about the religion and what he described as a certain degree of “Islamophobia” in the state. He said the response to the campaign has been largely positive.

“Not only (do) we have our Christian friends and our Jewish friends calling, we’ve also had a few atheist people who are calling, and they want to know who is doing this, and they want to engage with us about discussing topics within Islam,” he said.

According to FBI statistics, hate crimes against Muslims nationally jumped 50 percent in 2010 and remain at what the Bureau calls “relatively high levels.”

On The Web:
Gain Peace Campaign: www.GainPeace.com

This story was produced by Mona Shand with the Michigan News Connection.