BG seniors celebrate oh-so-delicious diversity; members share passed-down traditions dating back to 1920s

Bowling Green Parks and Recreation SilverSneakers fitness group

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – The Bowling Green Parks and Recreation building turned into a global potluck Friday. SilverSneakers fitness members brought delicious delicacies to represent their diverse heritages.

Italy representative Mary Theresa Krutulsky explained how, “Our oldest member, Mr. Johar who is 90, he had the idea of ‘Let’s have a party that brings out that diversity.’ And so it was his brainstorm that we just took and we went with it.”

India representative Satpal Johar said, “We exercise every day together but we don’t know each other from which country or what food we are going to eat. So, we are here to enjoy the food, to know each other, and bring all the countries together.”

Fellow member Carol Kersting shared, “I brought two dishes today, one from South Korea. It’s a country that I’ve spent quite, quite a little bit of time there in the early seventies as a Peace Corps volunteer. And I bought another dish from Ukraine.”

“I brought what’s called Aebleskiver, which in Danish actually means apple slice,” added Benta Swenson. “However, the Danes do not put the apple slices in, anymore; it’s too much work!”

The SilverSneakers members didn’t stop at just ‘a taste’ of different cultures. Some also dressed the part.

“Today I’m wearing a Ukrainian shirt,” showed off Kersting.

“This is our traditional clothes,” Thailand and Cambodia representative Savoeun Chau gestured to her dress. “In Cambodia, we wear this only for special occasions, like the New Year and weddings.”

“I’m wearing part of the costume that my mother wore at an international festival in Boston when she came over here in 1929,” Swenson spoke of her Danish roots. “I think it’s very exciting to represent my mother’s culture here.”

The SilverSneakers members hope to organize many more fun, events just that celebrate their diversity in the future.