Along a popular pedestrian corridor, in a European lingerie shop called La Silhouette, Swedish Britt Cruikshank hums to classical music as she places La Pearla, Chantelle, and Millesia pieces on the window mannequins for passersby to see.
She opened this lingerie shop because in Gothenburg, Sweden, all little girls are taught to dress from the inside out and lingerie is an integral part of that way of life. But, surprisingly, Cruikshank’s store isn’t in Sweden. It’s not even in Europe. It’s in Madeira, a town nestled about 13 miles away from downtown Cincinnati. And while that’s about 4,224 miles from her native Gothenburg, Cruikshank makes sure it doesn’t feel that way.
Owning and operating La Silhouette helps to keep her European heritage alive in Cincinnati. “If one travels in Europe, they will find quaint, yet sophisticated boutiques of all sorts throughout Europe,” Cruikshank says. “It is a part of life; and it is also a part of me.”
Aside from the store, she often enjoys the traditional Swedish dish of herring, follows soccer and ice hockey closely and her heart flutters when she sees a sailboat. Sailing is a favorite pastime in Gothenburg, which is on the West Coast of Sweden.
Since moving here 38 years ago, Cruikshank says she keeps in touch with loved ones via telephone and she still travels to Gothenburg several times a year to stay with friends or family. “Cincinnati has ‘beaucoup’ to offer culturally for the local folks,” Cruikshank says. “They just need to search them out.”
And “searching them out” is what this story is all about. Read on for resources and useful information about the great multitude of multi-cultural offerings in Greater Cincinnati.
Whether you are a new transplant to the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky area or just have a passion for anything Latino, then you’ll feel right at home in Cincinnati’s booming Hispanic scene!
Have questions regarding immigration laws? Want to open your own ethnic grocery? Refer to these sites for all your business-related queries:
- Ohio Commission on Hispanic/Latino Affairs
- Nuestro Rincon
- Ohio Hispanic Chambers of Commerce
- Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers – Ohio Southwest Chapter
- The National Society of Hispanic MBAs (NSHMBA)
- The League of United Latin American Citizens
- Centro de Amistad
Want to experience the authentic Hispanic culture? Take a Spanish class? Learn to salsa or merengue? Then check out these organizations that have a plethora of Latino-themed events to choose from:
- Asian Community Alliance Inc.
- National Association of Asian American Professionals (NAAAP) – Cincinnati Chapter
- Chinese American Association of Cincinnati
- Greater Cincinnati Chinese Community Connection
- Greater Cincinnati Chinese Music Society (GCCMS)
- The Greater Cincinnati Chapter of Families with Children from China (FCC-GC)
- Cincinnati Chinese Church
Nobody does takeout like the Chinese. Locally, we have a variety of options to choose from.
Japan America Society of Greater Cincinnati
Check out this great listing of authentic Japanese restaurants.
Check out this great listing of authentic Korean restaurants.
- The Network of Indian Professionals (NetIP) Cincinnati
- Association for India’s Development (AID)
- Swaranjali – Complete Guide for Indians in Cincy
- Hindu Temple of Greater Cincinnati
- Punjabi Cultural Society of Greater Cincinnati (PCSGC)
There are more than 20 restaurants offering the sweet and spicy flavor of Thai cuisine.
Don’t have to travel far for some authentic Vietnamese fare with these restaurants around.
African American Culture
- Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky African American Chamber of Commerce
- Applause! Magazine
- The Cincinnati Black Professionals Network Meetup
- The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center
Everyone loves comfort food. Check out these local restaurants that serve up some awesome traditional soul food.
- Mezzo Mezzo Social Club
- United Italian Society of Cincinnati
- Order Sons of Italy in America Cincinnatus Lodge #1191
- Gli Italiani in giro: West Chester Italian Meetup Group
There’s not much too elaborate here. Make sure you eat at least at one of these authentic Italian joints.
Did someone say Baklava?! Get them at the Panegyri Greek Festival
Check out these Greek/Medditerrian restaurants offering everything from falafel to kebabs.
Cincinnati was originally founded as a German immigrant city. Today, a great deal of the German culture can be found. In fact, Cincinnati hosts the second largest Oktoberfest celebration in the world, second only to that of Germany’s! Guten Tag!
- Cincinnati Donauschwaben Society
- The Germania Society of Cincinnati
- German-American Citizens League of Greater Cincinnati
- The Cincinnati Catholic Kolping Society
The main focus of the Jewish community is founded on the Jewish people’s commitment to “tzedekah”- that it is righteous and just to ‘do right’ by others. Check out these local organizations making a difference locally:
- Muslim American Society – Cincinnati Chapter
- Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati
- The Cincinnati Palestinian Rights Meetup Group
Check here for upcoming Muslim events and holidays.
There are many local restaurants offering halal (Islamically permissible) food.
The one and only Baltic Restaurant offers up some authentic Russian and East European fare.
The Polish American Society of Greater Cincinnati
See Russian Dining.
Check these sites out for further details about the multi-cultural scene in Cincinnati:
- The Cincinnati USA Regional Tourism Network
- Cincinnati USA: Mosaic Culture
- The Inter-Ethnic Council of Greater Cincinnati
- Global Center of Greater Cincinnati
- European-American Chamber of Commerce
- World Affairs Council of Greater Cincinnati
- Global Lead Management Consulting
- International Visitors Council of Greater Cincinnati
- The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) of the U.S. Department of State
- One World Wednesdays
- Building Diverse Audiences Advisory Committee (BDAAC)
- International Center of Greater Cincinnati
- Cincinnati Human Relations Commission
- Cincinnati Entrepreneurial Center Initiative (ECI)
- Minority Professional Network (MPN) – Cincinnati
- Cincinnati Internationals
Editor’s note: We did our best in highlighting all the different cultures in the area, but as you can imagine, we have only scratched the surface of the local diversity. Please let us know of another great culture that we may have overlooked, in the comment box below.
Photo: Neysa Ruhl Photography
Location: Fischer Homes
Models (left to right): Joanne Carey, Tracy Harrison and Deborah Ward
Makeup Artistry: Jocelyn Sparks, Zoë Custom Cosmetics