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Ethnic musical evenings at Eisenhower Park

Dancers perform at Harry Chapin Lakeside Theatre in

Dancers perform at Harry Chapin Lakeside Theatre in East Meadow on Bangladeshi-American Night. (July 13, 2010) Photo Credit: Jessica Rostkiewicz

Eisenhower Park in East Meadow looks a lot like the United Nations this summer.

A globe-spanning series of International Music Nights takes over the park's Harry Chapin Lakeside Theatre on Sunday and Monday evenings through the end of August.

In the coming weeks, you'll be able to watch an Irish jig or hear a traditional Chinese orchestra without leaving Long Island. Many nights will feature crafts, clothing and food vendors representing the host country.

According to Helen Chin, co-president of the Chinese Center of Long Island, the upcoming Chinese-American Night will feature traditional lion dancers, wushu martial arts demonstrations, the Asian fusion-rock band Hsu-nami, the Cao Bao An Orchestra, acrobat Wang Qiong Qiong, the Chinese Center Traditional Folk Dancers and others. Preshow crafts for kids will include kite, fan and lantern making, plus calligraphy. "The International Music Nights series provides a fine forum from which to celebrate the cultures of the county's traditional ethnic groups, as well as the emerging nationalities that are becoming such an important part of the fabric of our community," says Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano.

In addition to presenting the sights and sounds of their culture, each planning committee honors up to 10 members of the cultural community at the start of their concert.

Dr. Ilora Rafique, 38, originally of Nassau County, was honored at the recent Bangladeshi-American Night for her contributions as an Internal Medicine Physician. "These are amazing events people can look forward to each summer that reflect the openness of the county and recognize the contributions of ethnic groups," she said.

Shamim Islam, 46, of East Meadow, and his family attended the Bangladeshi-American Night, which featured classical Kathak dance performances, along with contemporary dance. Both Islam and his wife were born in Bangladesh. "The performances remind us of our childhood and our culture," he said.

Whether you're looking to relive childhood memories, or simply engage in lawn-chair travel, here's how to soak up some international flavor.


GETTING THERE Take Meadowbrook Parkway to Exit 3 (Stewart Avenue) or Exit 4 (Hempstead Turnpike). Use Parking Fields 6 & 6A.

BRING Blanket, lawn chairs

INFO All concerts are free, 516-572-0348

Upcoming concerts

See the entire concert and event schedule for Happy Chapin Lakeside Theatre at Eisenhower Park.


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