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Breaking bread - and borders

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BANGOR – Bollywood dance music reverberated off the walls the Bangor Public Library. A group of people tried unsuccessfully to mimic movements and hand gestures commonly seen in Bollywood choreography, all while other groups of people consumed spicy chicken curry, Korean pancakes and Greek wafers. 

On November 15, approximately 85 people filled the lobby of the Bangor Public Library during Maine MultiCultural Center’s “Breaking Bread with Our Neighbors” event. 

“Breaking Bread with Our Neighbors” was the first event sponsored by the Maine MultiCultural Center. The MMCC was founded by Sean Faircloth and Carin Sychterz. They met early in 2016 to talk about forming a multicultural center. They were joined by Pamela Proulx-Curry in the summer. After Proulx-Curry’s addition, there were several larger meetings for anyone who was interested. Today, Carin is a board member and Proulx-Curry is the board president. In total, The Board of Directors currently has seventeen members.

The mission of the Maine MultiCultural Center is to welcome and champion diversity as essential to the economic and social vitality of Maine.

Fr. Augustine Nellary, Vice President of MMCC, explained, “Immigrants come to Maine to work, contribute and to be entrepreneurs. The Maine MultiCultural Center helps integrate people into the Bangor community. We also help immigrants connect with other immigrants and we help them maintain their traditions.”

The Maine MultiCultural Center is not only great for the diverse communities in the Bangor area but also for the aging population.

“Maine is starting to lose a large amount of working age population,” said Faircloth. “The Maine MultiCultural Center helps to bring in new people. These new people are usually highly entrepreneurial. We are hoping that the MMCC will help make them stay for generations.”

In order to bring in and connect diverse communities, the Maine MultiCultural Center holds events. According to board member Stephanie Harp, “There are quite a few different cultural identities in the area and we really benefit from the diverse community, whether it’s through economic, food, dance, music or education. So, we have decided to hold events that celebrate the diverse talents of the community.”

“Breaking Bread with Our Neighbors” is one of the events that showcased the benefits of having a diverse community. The event allowed community member to sample dishes from around the world. The event also let community member learn about the diversity that exists in the Greater Bangor area.

Also, there was dancing.

At around 5 p.m. there was a Bollywood dancing segment, where community members aimed to learn hand gestures, expressions and movements to the “desi” beat.

“The “Breaking Bread with Our Neighbors” is the first event in a series,” said Harp. “We want to do these “Breaking Bread with Our Neighbors” events often. We are also planning to do events that will engage the business community and some events that will engage children.”

To learn more about the Maine MultiCultural Center and their events you can visit their website at or their Facebook page at @MEintegrate. 


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