Imagine being able to experience a variety of cultures without having to leave your city. Every turn you make is a different culture with facts you may not have known.
The Multicultural Center of the South, located at 520 N Spring Street, in downtown Shreveport, houses more than 2,000 artifacts featured in 19 exhibits.
The first floor features Cajun, Creole, Native American, Hispanic, Iran, Israel, and Italian cultures. The second floor features Greece, Scotland, India, Philippines, Korea, Japan, China, and Africa. There are pictures, statues, figurines, and artifacts in each room to capture the ambiance of different cultures.
My favorite is the Chinese exhibit. I enjoyed learning about their two-chambered marriage bed/wedding bed. This bed belonged to well-to-do Chinese families that usually gave the bed to their son as a wedding gift. The bed was made in Shanghai around the 19th century. The entire bed is assembled without the use of nails or tools. All parts of the bed are made to fit like a puzzle.
I was intrigued by the different gifts that were given at wedding ceremonies in different customs. In a Korean wedding, wedding ducks were a traditional gift. Wedding ducks are a pair of duck carvings given to represent peace, fidelity, and plentiful offspring. Ducks are chosen because it is believed that these types of ducks mate for life. If one of the pair dies, the other will mourn.
The center has more to offer than exhibits. It includes a multicultural library, a retail gift shop, and accessible tours and information year round.
The center was established in 1999 and its mission is to be an educational, information and tourist center dedicated to the enhancement, understanding, and appreciation of the history and diverse cultures of Northwest Louisiana and other parts of the state.
Admission is $3 for adults, $2 for senior and students and free admission for children under three. The hours of operation are Tuesday – Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m; Saturday, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. (by appointment only) It is closed Sunday, Monday, and holidays. For more information visit, www.mccsouth.org.