sister cities

Expect to see all of these fixtures of German culture transplanted in Vandalia on Sept. 9, 10, and 11 when the Oktoberfest comes to the Crossroads of America. Hosted by Sister Cities of Vandalia at the Sports Complex on 1101 Stonequarry Rd., this event is patterned after the two-week festival held annually in Munich, Germany.

Tightened budgets in recent years all but pushed these sister-city efforts into obscurity, but thanks to persistence and local fundraising, the cross-cultural and cross-global friendships are enjoying something of a revival.

Jackson Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. left the country Monday night, bound for Turkey on a weeklong trip seeking a "sister city" relationship with the municipality of Kahramanmaras....The cultural exchange trip is sponsored and paid for by the Turquoise Council of Americans and Eurasians, city spokesman Chris Mims said.

The international sister city movement was established by President Eisenhower in 1950s to promote the idea of citizen diplomacy. Citizen diplomacy is the concept of bringing people together outside of traditional bureaucratic diplomacy to build positive and productive relationships amongst citizens of the world.

October 20, 2010

When two young Jews were shot dead at a gay club in Israel last summer, New York’s gay Jewish community responded immediately. The West Village congregation for gay Jews, Congregation Beth Simchat Torah, reached out to friends they made in Israel through a city-to-city partnership established 10 years ago.

Megeve, France, is a ski town at the base of Mont Blanc...Telluride, Colo., is a ski town at the base of the San Juan Mountains...this week, a long-standing effort between the comparable communities to become sister cities will take a big step forward. Three Telluriders are traveling to Megeve to act as representatives of Telluride in an international water conference.

A delegation of dignitaries from Shinagawa, Japan, will arrive in Portland today for a five-day celebration of a sister city relationship that began more than 25 years ago. Although Portland has three other sister cities -- Cap Haitien, Haiti; Mytilene, Greece; and Archangel, Russia -- Shinagawa was Portland's first.