Tag Archives: Minnesota

Cultural Diversity In Our Neighborhood

The city of St. Paul is home to many people from a variety of ethnic and cultural backgrounds. St. Paul Cultural Village is a place where cultures can come together, and differences are celebrated. The following chart, taken from data available in a NY Times demographics project, represents the population surrounding St. Paul Cultural Village within roughly a 12 block radius:

Area Location # of People % White % Black % Hispanic % Asian % Other
Directly north 4,992 38% 10% 11% 35% 5%
Northeast 5,471 25% 15% 8% 45% 7%
Directly south 2,226 37% 23% 17% 12% 12%
Further south 2,240 19% 40% 4% 34% 4%
Southwest 2,897 24% 16% 14% 45% 2%
East 2,474 39% 29% 15% 13% 4%
TOTAL 20,300 6,173 (30%) 3,908 (19%) 2,230 (11%) 6,862 (34%) 1,147 (6%) 

We are located at 230 Front Avenue, three blocks west of Rice Street, and five blocks east of Western Street. We’re roughly halfway between I-94 to the south, and Highway 36 to the north; and also roughly halfway between University Avenue to the south, and Larpenteur Avenue to the north.

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Posted by on February 16, 2013 in Uncategorized


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Somali Refugees

Somalia, located in the horn of Africa, is said to be home to the worst humanitarian crisis in the world at this time. The following are some estimates concerning this crisis:

  • More than 300,000 internally-displaced individuals live in Mogadishu, the capital city.
  • Up to 1.5 million Somalis have been internally displaced within their own country.
  • Nearly an additional 1 million Somalis are seeking refuge in neighboring countries outside of Somalia.
  • The largest refugee camp in the world is south of Somalia in Dadaab, Kenya, and holds more than 463,000 Somalis.

Minnesota now hosts more Somali refugees than anywhere else in the United States, estimated to be as many as 75,000. They have come here as victims of civil war, famine, and often having witnessed other tragedies. A lot of Somalis, particularly in Minneapolis, have shown that they have a strong entrepreneurial drive. I’ve enjoyed walking through two Somali malls in Minneapolis, “Karmel” and “24,” and my favorite Somali coffee shop, “1st Cup Cafe,” has been full of people every time I’ve been there.

St. Paul seems to be uncharted territory for Somali business ventures, but we’re hoping that St. Paul Cultural Village will be a good avenue to see that changed. For a number of months now, a group of Somali ladies have been coming into International Village on Rice Street for free ESL classes.

This 8.5-minute video clip portrays the typical journey of Somalis who found themselves experiencing refugee life in Ethiopia or Kenya:

This 2-minute clip describes some of the struggles that Somali young people have experienced since coming to the United States:

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Posted by on November 27, 2012 in Refugees, Somalia


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Bhutanese Refugees

One of the newest and growing refugee communities in Saint Paul, Minnesota is the Bhutanese people. Many of them spent time in refugee camps in Nepal before locating to Minnesota. As a result, Nepali tends to be the first language of the Bhutanese people living in the north end of St. Paul.

This video, put to song, captures images of what life has been like for many of these refugees:

This video captures footage of Bhutanese refugees who have been resettled in Minnesota, including some of them sharing a little bit of their stories, and other footage of cultural events held here:

This video recounts some of the history behind the present refugee situation for the Bhutanese people (more photos and music):

This video was created by the United Nations as an effort to share the story of refugees from Bhutan:

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Posted by on June 25, 2012 in Bhutanese


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