The Sister Cities International program helps to link communities from all over the world, promoting an exchange of cultural ideas, education and traditions, and in some cases economic development. Sister Cities help connect peoples from all over the world, promoting a deeper understanding, education and cooperation that can help create peace.
Alameda’s built-in diversity makes it a perfect community to participate in the Sister Cities program, and Alameda has embraced the idea of international cooperation and exchange. Alameda has not one, but three Sister Cities, in Sweden, Japan and China, reflecting the variety of ethnicities and cultures contained upon the Island.
Lidingo, Sweden is near Stockholm. Geographically, the island is similar to Alameda, featuring many green spaces and an emphasis on outdoor living and recreation. Swimming, golfing, hiking and in the winter months, skiing, are popular sports in Lidingo, and the shopping center features more than 40 shops and boutiques. Like Alameda, Lidingo features numerous nature trails, and emphasizes activities for the youth of the community.
Across the Pacific Ocean, another island community hails to Alameda in friendship. Minerals were discovered in Mt. Arita-Izumi-yama, which were found to be perfect for the creation of certain fine china. Today, Arita, Japan is a center of manufacture of fine porcelain. Arita residents are proud of their long tradition of creating some of the finest porcelain in the world, and the Kyushu Ceramic Museum and the Arita Ceramic Art Museum give testimony to a long history of artistic achievement. Alameda’s Sister City program allows for the exchange of ideas and culture like art, making the connection with Arita a deeply satisfying cultural exchange which furthers art as a whole through the sharing and exchange of ideas.
Closer to Japan than California, but linked to Alameda in friendship is Wuxi, China. Wuxi is sometimes called “Little Shanghai” because of its history of explosive economic development. When the tin mines were emptied in about 25 A.D., Wuxi turned to agriculture, becoming a major provider of rice during the Ming and Qing eras. Today, Wuxi is a booming industrial town. Beautiful mountains and lakes make Wuxi as attractive to visitors as it is industrious. The city is also known for its artistic community, focusing on the production of clay figures and specialized tea pots, arts the Chinese are known for.
Alameda’s Sister Cities programs offers citizen diplomats a chance to exchange ideas and traditions with the international community, making Alameda not only a beautiful place to visit, but a hub of international cooperation, and a nursery where the seeds of world peace are being planted.