City celebrates holidays in other nations

Cyndie Hall, director of the Mayor’s Office of Tourism, Culture & Special Events, invites residents to visit City Hall to view holiday traditions from two of Rockford’s Sister Cities, Borgholm, Sweden and Ferentino, Italy.

Ferentino, Italy’s traditions, as explained by Gene and Shirley Martignoni Fedeli, are revealed through a table of goodies, information about Ferentino, and a pyramid-like structure called IL Ceppo—a special home decoration that has been an Italian decoration that has been an Italian custom since the Middle Ages. Maria Diemer, the Italian teacher at St. Peter’s, worked with students from kindergarten through eighth grade to create the concept and obtain supplies, and was assisted by fifth and eighth grade to set up the display.

Erlander Home and the Swedish Historical Society created a lovely flocked tree, with white branches calling to mind a Swedish outdoor holiday scene. In Sweden, many traditions revolve around the farming communities, so the tree includes apples and wheat for the farm animals. Richard Brynteson and his wife, Phyllis Brynteson, decorated the tree.

Hall said: “Our sister city program brings opportunities to learn about different people, person to person, and the holidays are a perfect time to reach out and embrace other traditions. The children of St. Peter’s are excellent models for us as they learn about other cultures. We invite Rockford to come to City Hall and wish everyone ‘Buon Natale’ and ‘God Jul.’”

From the Dec. 13-19, 2006, issue

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