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Cultural Explorations Plus a Potluck

By Bridget Brewster
Posted: 11/27/2023
Tags: small group gatherings

While the glue that holds the Village together is relationships, these relationships are held together through various gatherings throughout the month. This is where we really get to know each other and how we think and feel. The Cultural Exploration Group, CEG for short, is one of the more than 30 small groups that gather every month.

The Cultural Exploration Group was started, and continues to be organized by, Toni Cavanagh Johnson and Prakash Shrivastava. “I have traveled extensively and lived in various places and have always enjoyed being a part of and learning from cultures different from mine,” Prakash stated. According to Toni, “CEG was born out of a mutual interest in exploring other cultures, and we believed it would be great to get people together over food and wine in each other’s homes. Allowing the host to choose a topic of personal interest has been essential to the success of this group.”

Various topics are covered, depending on who is hosting each month. In the past year, we have discussed PBS short documentaries representing diverse cultures, poetry, Native American short stories, and a mix of other subjects. A highlight of each gathering is the potluck dinner with food provided by all of the attending Villagers. Needless to say, good food leads to good conversations. 

A Villager offers to host each gathering, which is necessarily limited to about 12 participants, on the fourth Thursday of the month. Sometimes a host can provide seating for a dozen Villagers, while others’ space may be limited to eight, but no matter how large or small the venue, the conversation is lively. “I always enjoy this group and how we share our thoughts about our topic. Our opinions and thoughts are varied and quite interesting,” said Al Miller, whose fig and goat cheese bruschetta is a potluck favorite.

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