For hundreds of years, Nantucket has welcomed people from other countries to our Island. During the nineteenth century and the whaling years, Portuguese, Azoreans and African Americans were integral in the success of Nantucket whaling industry.
More recently, and with the help of H2B and J1 visas, people from Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, Jamaica, Nepal, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, and multiple Eastern European countries have come to Nantucket for jobs during our busy seasons. At the Brass Lantern over the years, we (and our guests) have benefitted from our staff from Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, England, Jamaica and the Philippines.
Some who come as seasonal workers obtain green cards and stay to make Nantucket their permanent homes and we are all enriched by our multi-cultural community.
This year, the Nantucket Historical Association working closely with member of the various international communities, has developed “Our Nantucket” so the Island-wide community can meet and learn more about our newest community members.
The inaugural evening on April 12 was Our Nantucket – a Celebration of Nepal. After entering the familiar doors of the Whaling Museum, we were warmly welcomed by our Nepalese neighbors in full costume offering smiles and greetings of “namaste”. The evening offered traditional Nepalese food, prepared and served by our hosts, individual stories of their homeland, and dancing and musical entertainment – a truly joyous evening! Just a short time after, the tragic earthquake in Katmandu occurred and the Nepalese – with the help of their new neighbors – have teamed up to deliver clothing and needed items back to their home country.
The next Our Nantucket evening will be May 17, 2015, when we will meet our neighbors who are members of the Bulgarian community on Nantucket and learn about their lives before coming to Nantucket and now that they are on Nantucket!