Cultural Contributions to Iowa

Culture | FIND Iowa
Jul 20, 2024 | 00:02:42
Question: What experiences have you enjoyed that have originated in other parts of the world?

People with heritages from all over the world call Iowa home. 


(Abby Brown, host of FIND Iowa is standing on the steps of the Iowa Capitol building in Des Moines, Iowa. She is wearing a jean jacket with black pants.)

[Abby Brown] Most days are full of adventure, from the time we wake up right until bedtime. Sometimes we're so busy we don't even notice we're surrounded by unique and wonderful things. But pause with me now and take a closer look at our everyday life right here in Iowa.

(Cars on the bridge of a two-lane road crossing a river.)

(Cars traveling on a two-lane highway running past a farmhouse and outbuildings. A harvester kicks up dust in the distance.)

(Houses on the shores of a lake. Wooden docks jut off of shore like lines on notebook paper.)

(The Iowa Capitol building with the skyline of the city of Des Moines in the background.)

[Abby] Our state has over 3 million people living here, and what's really awesome is that people from many different cultural backgrounds make up our population.

(A woman with shoulder length black hair dancing on stage in a traditional sari — an Indian dress, of blue silk.)

(A Latino family sitting down to eat.)

(Members of the Meskwaki Tribe dance a traditional dance.)

(Two Danish nisse dolls being brought down from a shelf)

[Abby] That means each one of us, maybe without even knowing it, can see and hear, taste and enjoy activities, traditions and plain old everyday adventures from many different cultures that have become a part of daily life in Iowa.

(A woman ordering food from a butcher.)

(A child playing with multicolored large Duplo blocks.)

[Abby] Some might be recent additions and some have been part of our state's culture for a long time.

(A group of people in traditional Dutch clothing cleaning the sidewalk as others walk by.)

(The Isiserettes dance on stage in an amphitheater.)

[Abby] What did you eat for dinner last night? Was it a family recipe full of stories and traditions from your aunts and uncles and grandmas and grandpas? Or maybe you went to a restaurant to enjoy the food from a different culture?

(A bowl of soup with a small ear of corn sticking out of the top of the bowl.)

(A woman laughing with people around a dinner table as food is passed from one person to another.)

[Abby] The inspiration for the design of buildings could be from German immigrants; or perhaps even a style from France.

(A car driving on a gravel road past a large, red barn.)

(A large, Danish style meeting house with a thatched roof and yellow brick walls.)

(Terrace Hill, the Iowa governor's residence in Des Moines, Iowa.)

[Abby] Some of the music, like this classical song based on a traditional Hungarian dance, has influenced the songs that you love today.

(sheet music)

(Two children sitting back-to-back on the floor listening to music in headsets as they tap their feet.)

[Abby] And there's more like the clothes we wear, the languages we speak, the stores where we shop, the books we read, and the hobbies we love. So much of who we are as Iowans and how we enjoy our lives here comes from different countries and cultural experiences.

[Abby] What parts of your life right now are inspired by the different cultures of your own ancestors, or, cultural backgrounds of others? Now, keep asking those same types of questions as we have fun investigating new discoveries in Iowa.

[Announcer] Funding for FIND Iowa has been provided by the following supporters.

(text on screen Find Iowa, The Coons Foundation, Pella, Gilchrist Foundation)

(text on screen Iowa PBS Education)