Marshall Islands

(11-23-19) At a recent Kiwanis Club of Celina the members heard about the Marshallese Culture Club.

From 1946 to 1958, the United States conducted 67 nuclear tests in the Marshall Islands. In recognition of the effects of this testing on the islands and their inhabitants, the US has made payments to the Republic of the Marshall Islands and signed the Compact of Free Association, which allows islanders to emigrate to the US and charges the US with sole responsibility for the defense of the islands. Since the establishment of the compact, a number of Marshallese have emigrated to the US. The largest population have moved to Arkansas, but a growing number now live in Celina.

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To provide a link between the older and newer communities, the Mercer County District Library has created the Marshallese Culture Club. Amy Broering, the library’s Youth Services Coordinator, gave a presentation about the club to the Celina Kiwanis.

The purpose of the new club is to familiarize community members with the history, culture and language of our citizens from the Marshall Islands. Participants may hear Marshallese folktales and legends or learn the language of the islands.

As part of her presentation, Broering passed out copies of the Standard Marshallese Alphabet. The first meeting of the club was Wednesday, November 6th. The club will meet every Wednesday from 4—6. Meetings are open to anyone who wants to “enrich their life with more culture.” Registration is preferred although it is not required. To register go to register@mercerlibrary.org.