At the invitation of retiring council member Maureen McGinnis, the USA Melting Pot club presented an update to the Troy City Council on October 21, 2013. Troy Community Affairs Director Cindy Stewart showed the Powerpoint slides for the presenters, located here.

USA Melting Pot club President Weilou Gao gave the first half of the talk, covering club philosophy and history. The club started its first monthly meeting in May 2012 at the Troy Public Library. So far we have introduced more than 12 different cultures, along with hobby topics at most meetings. His presentation is here.

Club secretary Dale Murrish gave the second half, covering the website and travel spreadsheet with key phrases, past and future club events and activities.

Part 2, Unabridged text of Troy City Council update talk, Dale Murrish

Slide 7:

Marcus Chen is constantly upgrading our club website and adding new material. Club philosophy, a description of our logo and past presentations (African-American, Brazil, Croatia, Germany, Ireland, Korea, etc.) are all posted.

Marcus wants people to post their events, articles and comments, so please contact him by email to register as a member. The spammers are persistent and creative, so he had to turn off all comments except from members.

Recently Marcus added some advertising to give us some passive income. If you buy things from Amazon through the link on our website, the club gets a percentage of your purchases. We appreciate the library letting us meet there for free – with no sponsors yet, it fits our small budget!

You can also access our travel spreadsheet with common phrases in multiple languages.

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Slide 8:

Weilou Gao has been collecting common phrases from different languages. Starting with “Excuse me, do you speak English?” you’ll learn how to say hello, goodbye and the most important phrase in any language: “thank you.”

At the bottom we have pronunciation tips. Weilou did the pin-yin for Chinese characters: x=sh and ie= long e, etc. so you can say “Xie Xie” (shee-shee) for thank you. “Ni hao” (knee-how) means hello (literally “you good”). Valter Barragan gave us Brazilian Portuguese for Brazil. We have German, French, Italian and several other languages.

You don’t even have to travel – you can say thank you Cảm ơn. (kuhm uhhn) to the server at Little Saigon in Madison Heights or Dziękuję. (Jenkoo-yeah) at Polonia in Hamtramck.

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Slide 9:

The next slide shows some of our past library presentations. Fanghui Shi presented on Chinese culture at our first meeting last May. Bill Hughes and Bob Paull spoke on bicycle touring. In November Rick Vriesen came from south of the border (Windsor, Ontario) to present; I’ve travelled widely in Canada and have many Canadian friends, but over half his presentation was new to me. In December Consul Vicente Sanchez spoke on Mexico.

After Joya Shepard’s presentation on African-American culture in January, we had a panel discussion on the Civil War in February. 2013 is the 150th anniversary of Gettysburg, the turning point in the Civil War, and November 19 is the 150th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.

On the bottom are pictures from last summer: Ajay Pandey on India. He has since presented at a GM Lunch and Learn. Heavner Canoe Rental brought a canoe and kayak into the library, topping the bicyclists for the largest visual aid.

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Slide 10:

Last year we held our picnic at the Troy Historic Village. Since many of our club members work at GM Powertrain in Pontiac, this year we had a teamGM work day at Grace Centers of Hope in Pontiac. Diwakar Krishnaiah’s hometown is Bangalore, and Sreedhar Patil lives there now. Allan Zhao and Cherng-Chi Chang both live in Troy, originally from China and Taiwan.

Many of our club members speak multiple languages. Yuri Peric, originally from Croatia, was speaking Russian with Irina’s husband Boris, who came the farthest to work with us that day. Yuri lived in St. Petersburg for 12 years as a child. They worked on Diwakar’s team rebuilding the porch steps on the back of a house on Seneca Street.

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Slide 11:

Here’s a picture of club members and friends assisting the Miracle on Seneca Street. Grace Centers is really turning Pontiac around, one street at a time. They are taking people from homelessness to home ownership. It was a pleasure to help people who are helping themselves.

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Slide 12:

Weilou will be showing more pictures from our work day there this Saturday, October 26, after our main speaker on Yemeni culture, Fattum Mutahr. A Wayne State University graduate with a BS in Industrial and Systems Engineering, she is currently enrolled at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor working toward a MS in Global Automotive and Manufacturing Engineering. She has worked for 2 years with GM Powertrain Manufacturing Engineering. She is Co-Chair of the GM Middle East and Southeast Asian Affinity Group, a member of GM Jump Start (for newer employees) and GM Women. We hope many people can come to the library at noon this Saturday.

Visit our website to keep track of our future plans – we plan to have library meetings and/or GM Lunch & Learns once a month.

Please bookmark our website and consider making your Amazon purchases through the link on our site. The complete text of today’s talk (had to shorten it) and backup slides will be posted soon. Thanks for the opportunity to give an update. Any questions or comments?

Flip slowly to last backup slide, showing the six club leaders…

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We’d like to recognize all the club members who came tonight. Several could not come because of illness or prior commitments. Please stand. Thanks again for this opportunity to give an update.

Council Meeting Picture