My Experience Living in the U.S. - by Natalia Sgrinhelli

My Experience Living in the U.S.

- Written by Natalia Sgrinhelli

            I spent half of my life strongly asserting that I would never live abroad. I had many arguments to prove how attached I was to my family, friends and culture, and I was willing to list them to whoever insisted a cultural exchange out of country would be a good experience for me. But after many years of insistence of two great friends and a long conversation with a coworker about her own experience abroad, I found myself considering the possibility myself.

At the time I was stagnated in a career that wasn’t fulfilling to me, my home country, Brazil, was showing the first signs of an economic crisis and I had little opportunity for growth. I suddenly understood that being fluent in a second language would improve my professional prospects greatly and I decided to commit to a year of a cultural exchange program in U.S.

It was not an easy process and the emotional challenges started at packing. I will never forget the feeling: it was like I was leaving half of my life behind. The arrival in the U.S. was shock with the language posing as a barrier itself. Very simple tasks, like grocery shopping or using public transportation, demanded all my energy and concentration. On the other hand, I will also never forget the day I could obtain a Social Security Card by myself. I was in the country for a couple weeks only, but the sense of achievement I felt remains with me to this date.

My exchange program allowed me to meet many young women from different countries, that I now consider my dear friends. It is strange and marvelous how we became a type of family to each other, considering not even our native languages are the same. I also formed a bond with the program counselor, a strong and kind woman that guided all of us while we were here. I learned so much from her and all the girls about diversity when hearing the stories from their home countries. I learned to respect differences and to look at people with more kindness, because each person has a personal journey which we know nothing about.

I was also very fortunate to live with an amazing host family that opened their house to me like it was my own. With their guidance and support, I enrolled in an MBA program. I had never imagined I would be able to attend university in a foreign country. It was one of the biggest challenges of my life to obtain a diploma using my second language.

My hardest task, however, was dealing with homesickness. This is the only word I know to define feelings that I cannot put in words. I like to describe my life in U.S. as a roller-coaster: some days I believe it is the best decision I have ever made and others I cannot explain why I decided to be away from Brazil. Luckily, I have had more days on the top. As time passed, I felt more immersed in the American culture. Everything became more familiar and less overwhelming.

I have been living in the U.S. for four and half years and this situation became more permanent now that I am happily married. My time here was only meant to advance my professional career but ended up being my most significant period of personal growth. After all this time, I realized that I did not leave my life behind, as I can barely remember the things I could not fit in my suitcase. I understood that my feeling of loss came from separating from my family and friends and, although time really does help us heal, I still miss them. Most importantly, I learned that my perception of belonging is strongly influenced by the ones around me. I came to love many people from a different country that I now dread having to separate from the same way I did when I left my home country years ago.


How Living Abroad Changed the Way I Interact with Newcomers - by JP McMaken

How Living Abroad Changed the Way I Interact with Newcomers

- Written by JP McMaken

            People move sometimes, and they move for a ton of different reasons. Chances are you have either moved somewhere new, or have come across someone in that situation. I personally, at the age of 11, moved across the Atlantic Ocean to Switzerland, where I lived until the age of 15. Living there was the best and worst experience of my life, but it was nothing if not transformative. Until that point, I had rarely left my hometown, and I had very little interaction with people who didn’t live less than 20 minutes away from my house. After being thrust into a completely new continent, environment and culture, I became the newcomer, the stranger. Living abroad gave me the chance to experience what it was like to have to adapt. Looking back on it now, it is possible to see how I was treated, and mistreated, to discover how to interact and welcome newcomers I come across in my own space.

The Stress They’re Dealing With

Do you remember the stress of your first day at a new school? Or maybe your first job interview? The fear of an environment you are unfamiliar with, the knowledge that you are being watched and judged by people that are in said environment. That stress is similar to what newcomers have to experience for a long period of time. This is only worse if the newcomer doesn’t speak English as their first language (or whatever language is spoken in the area). The environment becomes not only new, but near hostile when you can’t understand what the people around you are saying. Speaking from personal experience, this level of stress can dominate your thoughts on a near daily basis, especially if there is nobody there to help out.

Stereotypes: They Don’t Help

While this concept is reinforced everywhere, it is still important to mention. There are stereotypes for everyone, every nationality, profession. I personally was bullied a lot when I was living abroad based on American stereotypes. I was told that Americans were stupid, fat, and entitled. I found myself trapped in a defensive battle with these bullies, trying unsuccessfully to prove through my actions that not all Americans were like that, but that only served to inflame them further whenever I made a mistake. For example, I’m a slow eater, like very slow. Kids would see me eating for longer than everyone else, and assume that I was just a fat American eating my second or third helping, when I was just taking my time.  I didn’t think I fit those stereotypes, nor did I think that the other Americans I met abroad fit them either. People aren’t defined by stereotypes, and every person is different. This fact is important to remember, because it is so easy to just fall into sorting people based on stereotypes.

What I Learned

In school in Switzerland, I wasn’t placed in a regular classroom. I, along with about 10 other international students, were separated from the rest of the student body and placed in their own class, in order to focus on the development of speaking French. While that would make sense academically, that decision without a doubt ruined my class’s chances socially. Interacting with other local students during gym class and recess became a nightmare. Because we didn’t work together, and were only seen during times of little teacher supervision, I never had the chance to be introduced to these kids. They didn’t know me, and therefore I was a target. Not only did the bullying not help me, but it also hindered my language development. A lot of language use is in casual conversation, not just in academia. If I had even one local student reach out to me, it would have helped significantly, in both reducing my stress of being new and my language development. It is surprising how much of a new language you can learn by interacting with people outside of learning in an academic setting. I can assure you that newcomers you may meet in the future will be grateful if you reach out to them first to try and ease them into their environment. After all, it is the one you’re comfortable with.

- By JP McMaken


Cleveland and Rouen: A Pair of Sister Cities That Go Back 100 Years - By Ezra Ellenbogen

Cleveland and Rouen: A Pair of Sister Cities That Go Back 100 Years

-Written by Ezra Ellenbogen

A Picture From the 10 Year Anniversary Celebration (clecityhall.com)

Although Rouen and Cleveland technically established their official sister city relationship in 2008,[1] the strong cultural and political relationship between the cities has existed for over a century. The sister city relationship between Rouen, the French city of around 112 thousand, and Cleveland, the American city of around 388 thousand, started unusually. That is, it started with a medical unit in World War I France.[2][3]

When World War I broke out, the American Ambassador to France, Myron Herrick (a Clevelander himself), asked renowned surgeon and physician, George Washington Crile, to organize a surgical team to assist French forces.[4] Dr. Crile recruited a team of volunteer nurses and surgeons from Lakeside Hospitals in Cleveland (now University Hospitals). The “Lakeside Unit,” as it was called, worked across Northern France, especially near Rouen and Paris. Through the two years of being stationed in France (1915-1917), the Lakeside Unit grew significantly in size and treated over 83,000 patients from both sides of the war. Dr. Crile and his group heavily changed the quality of overseas medical services for the better and were able to apply results from their work to further innovations in the medical field. Dr. Crile’s revelations and new medical ideas inspired him to co-found today’s Cleveland Clinic along with three other doctors from the Unit: Frank E. Bunts, William E. Lower, and John Philips.[5]

Cultural and economic links between the cities exist as well. First, French immigration to Cleveland never grew especially rapidly, and instead, developed gradually. That is, although the number of French immigrants was often rather low in pre-Industrial Cleveland, they certainly influenced the culture and diversity of the city and its surrounding region over time.[6]

As for economic ties: a handful of Cleveland companies, including most prominently, Lubrizol, Lincoln Electric, and MTD Products, are major employers in Rouen.[7][8] In fact, business ties helped drive the decision to partner the cities. Yannick Le Couedic revived the local chapter of the French-American Chamber of Commerce and encouraged the city of Cleveland to build on its foundation of relations with Rouen. Le Couedic is a retired Lubrizol executive who grew up in France and lived in Northeast Ohio. In 2008, Mayor Frank G. Jackson established a sister city partnership with Rouen with hopes of economic and cultural exchange. This sister city relationship went on to become one of the most productive, as well as one of the most culturally and economically significant that Cleveland has ever had.

Since it was established, the Cleveland-Rouen sister city relationship accomplished numerous goals. In January 2008, a delegation from Rouen visited and toured Cleveland Clinic. Since then, medical facilities in both cities have kept in touch. Later, the head of MTD Products in France, Philippe Obadia, checked out a new commercial mower in Cleveland and toured MTD factories across the state. Airlines, businesses, mayors, artists, and more have all been involved in the action.

In 2018, Cleveland and Rouen’s sister city relationship reached its 10th anniversary, strong as ever. In celebration, Cleveland and Rouen had a ‘mural exchange’ project and coordinated a Bastille Day celebration on July 14th in Cleveland. Bastille Day is a French national holiday commemorating the storming of Bastille - a fortress and prison - on July 14th, 1789, an event which helped usher in the French Revolution.[9] The 6-hour Bastille Day reflected French culture with a celebration that included food, live entertainment, and more.

The mural project started with Paatrice Marchand, a Rouen artist, creating the well-known “fried eggs” mural on the side of Market Garden Brewery.[10] The mural depicts fried eggs floating about the sky like clouds, and says, “If you see a cloud behind the sun, it must be an egg.” Later that year, local Cleveland artist Lisa Quine was chosen to paint a mural in Rouen in collaboration with French graffiti enthusiast group “Idem & Mozaik.” The roughly 2,500 square feet large mural ended up as a splash of color and geometry, with a broad banner that reads “All colors are beautiful.[11]

Rouen and Cleveland have a strong sister city partnership that has promoted economic and cultural development and exchange. In fact, the two cities, in collaboration with the French-American Chamber of Commerce, are designing and launching a French cultural garden in Cleveland by Spring 2020.[12] You can find out more about this exciting project at faccohio.org/foundation. From the arts to business, Rouen and Cleveland have helped develop each other culturally and economically. Here’s to another 100 years of good relations!

- by Ezra Ellenbogen

Ezra's Blog: One Page Stories

[1] https://case.edu/ech/articles/cleveland-sister-city-partnerships

[2] https://www.worldometers.info/world-population/france-population/

[3] https://www.worldometers.info/world-population/us-population/?TB_iframe=true&width=370.8&height=658.8

[4] https://www.cleveland.com/metro/2017/04/cleveland_clinic_co_founder_george_crile.html

[5] https://ohiohistorycentral.org/w/Cleveland_Clinic

[6] https://case.edu/ech/articles/f/french

[7] https://www.cleveland.com/business/2008/04/it_was_the_war_to.html

[8] https://clecityhall.files.wordpress.com/2018/07/2018-rouen-cleveland-sister-city-10th-anniversary-proc.pdf

[9] https://www.history.com/topics/france/bastille-day

[10] https://clevelandtraveler.com/cleveland-mural-guide/

[11] https://rouen.fr/idem-mozaik

[12] https://www.faccohio.org/foundation.html


Taipei and Cleveland - By Ezra Ellenbogen

Taipei and Cleveland

- Written By Ezra Ellenbogen

An image of a Pride event in Taipei

Image Credit to Carl Court / Getty Images

June is Pride Month in the United States! In the United States, LGBTQ+ rights have come a long way since the original Stonewall riots (though there is still some progress to be made), but globally, LGBTQ+ citizens are most often not given the same rights as straight citizens, and even sometimes considered illegal. Unfortunately, Asia is home to little progress in this field, but Taiwan has pioneered LGBTQ+ rights in a region where such rights are almost unheard of.[1]Taiwan’s capital is Taipei - and the city of Taipei is a sister city of Cleveland. First - a bit of background.

On September 25th, 1975, former Cleveland Mayor Ralph J. Perk and former Taipei Mayor Lin Yang-Kang partnered their cities as sister cities.[2] Taipei City is a very friendly city, as shown with their total of 52 sister city partnerships (Cleveland has 23 including Beit-She’an).[3] In 1985, Taipei City generously gifted the Chinese Cultural Garden to Cleveland.[4] The beautiful garden was modeled after the Chinese Imperial Palace and includes two Chinese dragon statues as well as one of Confucius. In 1990, the state of Ohio and Taiwan became “sister states.[5]” Ties between the two regions have been positive throughout the sister city relationship.

In 2016, Taiwan was the 6th largest export market in Asia for Ohio. Business interactions between Taiwanese businesses and the city of Cleveland have helped diversify the reach of numerous Taiwanese products. Moreover, Taiwanese students have had numerous scholarly opportunities in Cleveland, especially with Case Western Reserve University. Reciprocally, Cleveland students have had similar academic opportunities in Taiwan, and both sides of the exchange have helped spread Taiwanese and Cleveland culture.[6] For instance, in May 2019, 16 Taiwanese high-school-age music students visited the city of Cleveland, welcomed by a local delegation that later traveled to meet the same group in Taiwan. While visiting Cleveland, the students toured three world-renowned music conservatories across Northeast Ohio, learned about music therapy, and more. In Taipei in October, Cleveland’s delegation of 3 high-school students participated in local music-themed activities and music service learning projects, visited local temples, learned about playing the Chinese Zither (Guzheng), and more.

Taiwan is known for its progressiveness with LGBTQ+ rights, as well as its festive Pride celebrations. The country’s rights for members of the LGBTQ+ community are still developing, but they are certainly the most forward in the region. Taiwan has a large and flourishing LGBTQ+ community, and a record 200,000 people participated in Taipei’s 2019 Pride parade.[7] For comparison, 80,000 people attended the 2015 Taipei Pride event.[8] The main reason for the sudden influx of pride and celebration was that Taiwan legalized same-sex marraige that year. The struggle for LGBTQ+ rights in Taiwan has been a long and politically divisive one.[9] Taipei’s Pride march started in 2003, and since then, there has been a major political movement behind legalizing same-sex marraige in the country.

In 2016, the first female president of Taiwan, Tsai Ing-wen, was elected, and expressed clear support for the LGBTQ+ community as well as its members’ legal rights. In 2017, the Taiwanese constitutional court struck down the Civil Code’s definition of marriage being only between a man and a woman, and this led to a political struggle throughout Taiwan’s government that resulted in the 2019 legalization of same-sex marraige by President Tsai.

Taiwan is well-known globally for its modern Pride celebrations. In fact, Taiwan’s Pride parades most often include international groups. Taiwan is a beacon for LGBTQ+ rights in Asia, and the country’s Pride celebrations include Pride movements from other countries that are not supported by their own state, including prominent Hong Kong LGBTQ+ movements.[10]

Pride celebrations in Taiwan typically occur in the month of October, which is known as LGBTQ+ History Month, or sometimes Queer History Month. In the United States, Pride celebrations are typically in June, to commemorate the Stonewall riots. October was chosen for other countries’ Pride months to coincide with Coming Out Day - which is October 11th.[11]

Taipei City and Cleveland have a history of cooperation and beneficial cultural exchange. Moreover, now is a good time to recognize and appreciate the progress made by Taiwan, not only for its cultural diplomacy with the United States and especially Cleveland, but also for its wondrous progress with LGBTQ+ rights. It is important to recognize the progress that has been made globally, as well as what still needs to be accomplished.

Happy Pride Month!

[1] https://www.ozy.com/news-and-politics/special-briefing-is-asia-becoming-gay-friendly/94470/

[2] https://english.sec.gov.taipei/cp.aspx?n=2789B64DFDD8B838

[3] http://www.tcc.gov.tw/en/cp.aspx?n=81569D74DD82C7DB

[4] https://case.edu/ech/articles/c/cleveland-cultural-gardens

[5] https://english.moe.gov.tw/fp-117-22292-DAE02-1.html

[6] https://www.ccwa.org/building-bridges-from-cleveland-to-taiwan/

[7] https://focustaiwan.tw/society/201910260006

[8] https://oftaiwan.org/social-movements/lgbtq-movement-in-taiwan/

[9] https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/24/world/asia/taiwan-same-sex-marriage-court.html?mwrsm=Facebook&_r=0

[10] https://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/taiwan-pride-bigger-ever-beacon-lgbtq-rights-asia-n815641

[11] https://www.wright.edu/diversity-and-inclusion/culture-and-identity-centers/lgbtqa-affairs/international-lgbtqa-dates-to-know


Global Cleveland’s Statement on the Death of George Floyd

Global Cleveland’s Statement on the Death of George Floyd

As our Cleveland Community gathers to mourn the senseless, violent death of George Floyd, Global Cleveland joins the African American community to condemn acts of racism, discrimination, xenophobia, violence, and the “othering” of our sisters and brothers here and from around the globe. We keep Mr. Floyd’s family, friends and community close in our hearts as they grieve. We call for the end of systemic racism and all policies that embolden nationalism, white supremacy, the hatred that seeps through the fabric of our collective consciousness, and the unjust killing of innocent lives like Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and Pamela Turner. We call for justice for our African American family, and an implementation of policies and actions that put truth to the ideal of a beloved community.

Global Cleveland has stood with, for, next to, and behind our international sisters and brothers since our founding ten years ago. From policies that deny people food or health care based on their nation of origin, to the language of calling someone’s nation a derogatory term or the policy of separating Central American families, mothers and fathers from their children at the border, we have spoken out against, lobbied, protested and worked toward an ideal of inclusiveness, shared prosperity, and equality and equity here in Northeast Ohio and throughout our nation. When members of our federal government labeled the global pandemic the “Chinese virus”, or the decision was made to lessen the number of refugees allowed to come here, or synagogues and mosques were bombed, we stood and stand with our family here and say NO to this fear and to this darkness.

So too we say NO to the murder of our neighbors, our black families, affected by centuries of racism and bigotry in the United States. Our original sin of slavery has yet to be confessed let alone expunged. We must address this now.

Each of us must start at home and in our own families, and in the mirror with ourselves, as we challenge our own unconscious biases on racial equality and inclusion. At Global Cleveland, our values of loving the newcomer are rooted in our embracing, acknowledging, and welcoming our neighbor as our family -no matter if they are native born, immigrant, refugee, African American, Latin American, Asian American, or life-long Clevelander. We have taken on soul-changing work as a city and region before. This is our most important test ever. Please stand with us as we stand together.

With much love.

 

David Fleshler                                     Joe Cimperman

Chairman of the Board                       President

Global Cleveland                                 Global Cleveland

 


Braşov and Cleveland - By Ezra Ellenbogen

Braşov and Cleveland

- Written by Ezra Ellenbogen

Braşov [Hungarian: Brassó], Romania is a beautiful city tucked into a Southern region of the Carpathian mountains known as the Transylvanian Alps. The city has a rich history and culture located on the edge of southeastern Transylvania, along one of the most historically important trade routes in Romania’s history.[1] It is the capital of the Braşov judet in Romania, and has a population of over 275,000.[2] Braşov was twinned with Cleveland in 1973 as Cleveland’s second ever sister city.[3] The charming multicultural city was founded in the 13th century at the center of trade between the Ottomans and Europe.[4]

The city thrived as a result of extensive trade with European merchants and other Romanian cities. However, a few hundred years after being founded, Braşov was captured and temporarily occupied by Turkish forces (1421). The city soon surrounded itself with strong walls to deter invaders - which worked. In 1432, when forces attempted a second invasion of the city, Braşov was able to hold them off. Although these walls were built for the purpose of geopolitical safety, they soon became part of the reason the city flourished.

The sheltered Transylvanian city soon became an influential and multicultural center of Romania, economically and culturally. German mercantile groups became prominent in the city, and European merchants and workers (as well as the original Dacian settlers) soon built up the city. Braşov became a center of trade between the three distinctly separated regions of Romania, and drove the country forward.

A few hundred years later in the late 1800s, Romanians began to settle in Cleveland, many driven away from their home country. Cleveland’s new Romanian population was primarily from Transylvania - which was then under the rule of Austria-Hungary. By the outbreak of the First World War, Romanians numbered 12,000 in Cleveland.[5] The main concentration of Romanian immigrants was around Detroit Avenue on the West Side, between W. 45th and W. 65th Streets. These areas of Cleveland were already known for Irish and German immigrant populations, and the introduction of Romanians further diversified the iconic area. Collinwood, Bedford, and Lakewood had their own Romanian populations as well. Lorain accumulated a Romanian population too, and contact between Romanian populations in all of these areas was always kept strong. Many Romanian communities across the area were not self-sufficient enough to thrive, and most Romanians ended up consolidating into a population on the West Side. By World War Two, most of the Romanian population had followed the general migration towards the West Side. Moreover, many Romanian immigrants did not end up initially settling in rural areas because it was hard to quickly find capital to start a farm - though Romanian immigrants who enjoyed the rural life were soon able to find themselves in farms again not too long after immigrating.

The original intent of much of Romanian immigration was not permanent residence in the city, though by the end of the First World War, many Romanians found that Cleveland suited them. During the years of the Post-War Period, around half of Cleveland’s Romanian population returned home, leaving Cleveland’s Romanian population at 6,000. Many of these Romanians were incentivized to return home by the news that Transylvania and Bucovina had become part of Greater Romania. There was also a movement of Romanians who settled in Cleveland, as well as some who went back to Romania to find a family, then went back to America with them. The American immigration restrictions introduced in the early 1920s slowed down most immigration patterns. By 1940, the population of Romanians in Cleveland numbered only 4,000.

The political outcome of World War Two in Romania was displeasing to numerous groups of Romanians, many of whom ended up immigrating to America as a result. After World War Two, a Communist regime had been put into place at the head of Romanian society, which drove 2,000 Romanians into Cleveland alone (not only from Transylvania, but from all over the country). The West Side area that was formerly a Romanian hotspot began to break apart with new waves of immigration from numerous areas, and many newer generations in the area moved out west to suburban regions. New Romanian waves of immigration continued the legacy of the area, but it is now much more diverse, with a wide range of immigrant populations.

As a result of all these periods of Romanian immigration, Greater Cleveland is now not only home to about 20,000 Romanians,[6] but also numerous Romanian-American national societies and organizations, like the Carpatina Society.[7]Moreover, Cleveland’s historic relationship with Romania led former Romanian President Nicolae Ceaușescu to visit the city in 1973 and encourage extensive trade between Romania and Cleveland companies.[8] Efforts between Romania and Cleveland to incentivize trade and cultural relations have been strong throughout history. A host of Romanian politicians have visited Cleveland, from former Braşov mayor, Dumitrache, to Minister Draganescu.[9] Further, Romanians loved “The Singing Angels” on the band’s visit to the country in 1974, and Clevelanders got to welcome Nadia Comaneci, the first gymnast to get a perfect score of 10.0 at the Olympic Games.[10]

Cleveland and Romania, even through numerous political troubles and disputes, have been global partners culturally and economically. The influence of Romanian immigration to Greater Cleveland can still proudly be seen today. The Cleveland-Braşov sister city relationship has emphasized the current and historical success of Romanian-American endeavors and cooperation.

 

[1] https://www.balkantrails.com/brasov-rich-history-in-the-heart-of-romania/

[2] https://worldpopulationreview.com/countries/romania-population/cities/

[3] https://case.edu/ech/articles/cleveland-sister-city-partnerships

[4] https://www.gpsmycity.com/blog/brasov-the-heart-of-romania-2404.html

[5] https://case.edu/ech/articles/r/romanians

[6] https://www.cleveland.com/metro/2016/08/three-day_romanian_festival_on.html

[7] https://ohiohistorycentral.org/w/Carpatina_Society

[8] https://www.nytimes.com/1973/12/08/archives/ceausescu-urges-us-business-to-invest-in-rumania-president-cites.html

[9] https://books.google.com/books?id=fjgtAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA290&lpg=PA290&dq=Brasov+and+Cleveland&source=bl&ots=xDsY7JFybu&sig=ACfU3U0A9hrUAthChP9tNiVg0zZ49lBwQQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjTxa_E3qnpAhWGZM0KHeW5C-QQ6AEwCXoECAoQAQ#v=onepage&q=Brasov%20and%20Cleveland&f=false

[10] https://books.google.com/books?id=B8DUAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA446&lpg=PA446&dq=Bra%C5%9Fov+Cleveland&source=bl&ots=yhOhcjqXQM&sig=ACfU3U3ev91muW23z4I-og1oBZZyDQFPEA&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiqksjDwbvpAhWFHc0KHVngApUQ6AEwCHoECAoQAQ#v=onepage&q=Bra%C5%9Fov%20Cleveland&f=false


Thank you video message to our funders

Thank you video message to our funder from our president, Joe Cimperman, on behalf of Global Cleveland.


Thank you video message to our volunteers

Thank you video message to our volunteers from our president, Joe Cimperman, on behalf of Global Cleveland


Cleveland and County Mayo: A New “Angle” on Cleveland - Ezra Ellenbogen

Cleveland and County Mayo: A New “Angle” on Cleveland

- Written by Ezra Ellenbogen

Achill Island County Mayo Ireland twin with Cleveland City

County Mayo, located along parts of the northwestern coast of Ireland with a population of around 130,000, has been twinned with the city of Cleveland since 2003.[1] This sister city relationship was a result of uniquely Irish immigration patterns as well as community bonds that led to Cleveland’s rise as an Irish home. From traditional culture and westward immigration to the “Angle” community, the story of Irish relations with Cleveland is a detailed and interesting one.

Between 1820 and 1825, the first Irish immigrants arrived in Cleveland. Even from the start, most of the Irish immigrants in Cleveland hailed from County Mayo.[2] In 1825, the construction of the Ohio and Erie Canal began, and workers were needed. This coincided with the increased immigration of Europeans from poorer areas, including the Irish, who numbered around 500 by 1826.[3] Many of the Irish workers who flocked to Cleveland for the jobs the canal project provided originally meant to stay temporarily, but the 1827 extension of the project resulted in the dense settlement of the Irish around the so-called “Irishtown Bend.” With the start of the Industrial Age and the numerous jobs it brought along with it in Cleveland, immigration flourished, especially Irish immigration. Even though Irish immigration to Cleveland was mostly from the County Mayo region, an agrarian area, Irish immigrants in Cleveland were hard workers during the Industrial Age and contributed greatly to Cleveland's Industrial economic boom.

Irish Clevelanders reached more significant numbers by the late 1840s. As a result of Potato Famine Immigration (the patterns of mass emigration from Ireland to the United States because of Irish potato famines), Irish Clevelanders numbered over 1,000 by 1848. The Civil War’s need for transportation of people and cargo brought even more jobs to Cleveland and worked with the Industrial Age to invigorate further Irish immigration. Irish immigration to the city only grew more rapidly from there. By 1870, the Irish population grew to be over 10,000, or 10% of the city’s population at the time. In 22 years (1848-1870), the Irish population in the city went up almost tenfold. During the 1860s and 1880s, horrible weather in County Mayo (particularly Achill Island) drove even more Irish people to emigrate. Although Irish immigration kept a relatively rapid pace, it did not keep up with Cleveland’s overall boom as a city. By 1900, the 13,000-some Irish represented only 3.5% of the city’s population.

Irish immigrants in Cleveland tended to cluster in densely populated areas, often earning those parts of the city unique names. Not only was there the ‘Irishtown Bend,” where canal workers settled, but there were many other areas, each with their own nickname. The area west of the river by the lake in Cleveland earned itself the name the “Achill Patch,” in honor of Achill Island in County Mayo, the original home of many of the Irish settlers. Most famously, there was “The Angle,” or “The Triangle.” This area, defined by its large Irish population and St. Malachi Parish, has been broken up by geographic changes but remains a strong community. It was, at its peak, the most famous Irish area of Cleveland.[4] It is interesting to note that most of these areas were close to each other, and by some definitions, overlapped.

The Angle was defined as the roughly triangular area between West 28th Street, Division Avenue, and River Road[5], across from Whisky Island (hence the name, “The Triangle”). It mainly consisted of Irish houses and shops. The cultural center of the neighborhood was St. Malachi Parish, which was founded in 1867. However, the whole West 25th Street area, from 1860 and onwards, was known as a very Irish area. At one point, St. Malachi Parish listed 2,000 Irish families in the region. The Angle only grew, and soon came to include most of the area north of Detroit Avenue that sloped down to the well-known angled riverbed. In 1917, the Detroit-Superior Bridge project started to geographically break up the Irish community in the region. Later, the Lakeview Terrace Housing Project and other bridges (including part of the Cleveland Memorial Shoreway) struck a geographic barrier between parts of the Irish region. Though the area remains an Irish neighborhood, many of the inhabitants of the old Angle left for other areas. However, St. Malachi Parish’s Sunday services still attract many from the old community.

An 1881 Map of Cleveland With “The Angle” Marked, Image Credit to the Irish American Archives Society

When they arrived in Cleveland, many Irish immigrants flocked to the police force and politics. The prejudice expressed at the time by many Americans was the idea that Irish immigrants were all supposedly criminals. Ironically, Irish immigrants were more often police officers than most else. In 1874, Cleveland’s Irish population made up 10% of the city’s total population and 20% of the city’s police population. In 1902, it was 3.5% and 12.5% respectively. Later, as Irish immigrants assimilated more into Cleveland, the proportionately large percentage of them on the force shrank. The Irish population of Cleveland grew to influence many aspects of the city and its culture.

In 2003, under Mayor Jane Campbell, Cleveland partnered as a sister city with County Mayo. This was a celebration of the ancestral lineage of most Irish Clevelanders from that region as well as the creation of numerous new business and social opportunities between Irish and Cleveland communities. Stephen Mulloy spearheaded the effort with years of planning.[6] In July 2003, a Cleveland delegation of Mayor Campbell, Stephen Mulloy, and prominent Irish Clevelanders visited County Mayo. Later in the same year, the Chairman of the Mayo County Council and other delegates visited Cleveland. During that October event, delegates from both areas celebrated Irish heritage in the city with numerous newspapers, notes, documents, and other artifacts from Irish immigrants in the region.

This relationship went on to inspire many others. For instance, the Mayo Society of Greater Cleveland and Údarás na Gaeltachta (Gaeltacht Authority) have become business partners as a result of the connection between the two areas.[7]In fact, in 2018, the Mayo Ball saw the arrival of people and businesses from County Mayo and nearby Irish counties, and three Irish companies presented their products and companies to Clevelanders and businesses alike. Delegates and political representatives from County Mayo attended the event, alongside representatives from Cleveland Irish American groups.

At the same event, many who attended worked together to form plans for International Mayo Day, an annual international celebration of all things County Mayo. The event started in 2015 and has been held yearly since in Western Ireland. There, international spectators and locals alike celebrate everything about County Mayo culture, from literature to business. Moreover, the holiday has extended into the US, the UK, and beyond as local County Mayo populations celebrate their heritage.[8] This is all thanks to Martina Hughes of Mayo county council, who had thought of the idea originally. If you’d ever like to help celebrate Cleveland’s County Mayo heritage, May 4th is International Mayo Day.

County Mayo is truly a wondrous land, with astounding coasts and stunning culture. They’re known for their diaspora and immigrant populations in other areas. In fact, while County Mayo numbers around 130,000 people, the diaspora of the county is over 3.5 million strong. Cleveland is more than proud to work with County Mayo and celebrate the contributions of Irish immigrants to the city. Without Irish immigration, from the Achill Patch to the Angle, Cleveland would not be where it is today.

- By Ezra Ellenbogen

Ezra's blog: One Page Stories

[1] https://case.edu/ech/articles/cleveland-sister-city-partnerships

[2] https://case.edu/ech/articles/i/irish

[3] http://www.irisharchives.org/pdf/IrishAndAngle.pdf

[4] http://www.clevelandmemory.org/iac/articles/Irangle.html

[5] Some sources defined it by the riverbed instead of a third road

[6] http://ead.ohiolink.edu/xtf-ead/view?docId=ead/OCLWHi0286.xml;query=;brand=default

[7] https://ohioirishamericannews.com/2018/11/04/the-green-and-red-ball-mayo-celebrates-again/

[8] https://www.irishtimes.com/special-reports/mayo-day/mayo-day-is-a-celebration-of-mayo-ness-worldwide-and-has-grown-over-last-5-years-1.3864953


Liquor buy back - Arabic

ستسمح أوهايو الخمور للبار أو المطعم بإعادة منتجات الخمور عالية الإثبات غير المفتوحة التي تم شراؤها بين 12 فبراير و 15 مارس كطريقة لتقديم المساعدة الاقتصادية لأصحاب الحانات والمطاعم أثناء جائحة فيروس كورونا (COVID-19). تمتد هذه المجاملة أيضًا إلى أولئك الذين ربما حصلوا على تصريح مؤقت (F2) لحدث ، من المقرر أن يتم في الفترة ما بين 12 مارس 2020 و 6 أبريل 2020 ، ويتم إلغاء هذا الحدث الآن. إذا تم حظر التجمعات الكبيرة بعد 6 أبريل 2020 ، فستواصل الشعبة السماح لحاملي تصاريح F2 بإعادة المنتج غير المفتوح الذي تم شراؤه لهذا الحدث.

كل ما يحتاجه حامل البار / المطعم أو حامل تصاريح F2 هو إعادة منتج الخمور عالي الإثبات غير المفتوح إلى وكالة المشروبات الكحولية التي اشتروها المنتج. ستطلب منك الوكالة ملء نموذج ، والذي يمكنك القيام به في وقت مبكر من خلال العثور على النموذج على https://www.ohlq.com/

إذا كانت لديك أسئلة أو مزيد من المعلومات بشأن إعادة شراء المشروبات الكحولية العالية مرة واحدة ، فلا تتردد في الاتصال بـ LESC على الرقم 877-812-0013 أو OhioLiquorInfo@com.ohio.gov.