The melting pot of Alabama

If you are as interested as me in the diversity of cultures, you’ll be happy to know that Alabama is actually quite a melting pot of heritage, tradition and language. There are so many opportunities at your fingertips from which you can benefit and appreciate the diversity of human experiences right here in your home state.

One of the first things I did when I moved to Alabama was search for a French association or group, where I could meet some Francophiles and get a little taste of home. Now for me, this was a balm to sooth home sickness. But for others, it may be the perfect environment to learn about a different culture and how it blends into the nation we live in.

It is a true luxury to live in a state that allows for a mixture of cultures. You don’t have to go far to enjoy diverse tradition and language.

With the economy as is it and the tighter pocket book, it’s just not that easy to justify buying a plane ticket overseas for pure enjoyment right now. At least, it isn’t easy for me. So it is a true luxury to live in a state that allows for a mixture of cultures. You don’t have to go far to enjoy diverse tradition and language. Here are a few places you can visit and groups you can join should you want a little taste of foreign culture. Enjoy!

  • Friday Foreign Film Festival / Free Friday Foreign Films
    1240 O’Brig Avenue, Guntersville, Alabama
    All films are shown at the Guntersville Public Library.
    For more information call (256) 571-7595 or e-mail books@guntersvillelibrary.org
  • Alabama Shakespeare Festival
    1 Festival Drive, Montgomery, Alabama
    This is the 6th largest Shakespeare festival in the world, and it produces 14 world-class productions annually. Some of the classics include works by William Shakespeare, Moliére, George Bernard Shaw, Anton Chekhov, Tennessee Williams, Thornton Wilder and Eugene O’Neill.
    For more information visit asf.net.
  • Condé-Charlotte Museum House
    104 Theatre Street, Mobile, Alabama
    This museum is furnished with period antiques that illustrate Mobile’s French, English, Spanish, Confederate and American history.
    For more information visit condecharlottemuseum.com.
  • Huntsville Chinese Village
    904 Bob Wallace Avenue, Suite 127, Huntsville, Alabama
    This program, beyond providing language instruction, also offers exposure to Chinese culture through activities and social gatherings–including Chinese calligraphy, field trips and community involvement in Chinese cultural holidays.
    For more information visit huntsvillechinesevillage.com.
  • Alliance Francaise of Birmingham–Affiliated with Alliance Francaise USA
    Birmingham, Alabama
    This association was founded by Birmingham Francophiles and promotes the study of French through organization of social and cultural events and French language classes.
    For more information visit afbirmingham.org.

You can also check out frenchculture.org for ongoing shows and exhibits in Alabama.

Alabama is truly full of culture (easily accessible too!) throughout its entire state. It’s really just a matter of researching your interests. Google is my personal favorite–I’d be lost without it. So, enjoy the list I’ve started for you, but please don’t stop here. I’m sure you will be able to find something to satisfy any of your cultural curiosities!

Written by: Béverly B.