Somali Cultural Orientation. Tuesday, March 5, 2013. Several thousand Somalis live in the St. Cloud Minnesota area. They could be your neighbors, coworkers, students, customers, or employees. What are their customs, religious beliefs and values? What do they consider polite and impolite, appropriate and inappropriate behavior? What is it like to be a refugee in Central Minnesota? The Somali Cultural Orientation helped to answer these questions for those who interact with Somalis in various settings, or who are simply curious. Just like any other community, the Somali community encompasses a spectrum of people, and regional and individual expressions of their culture may vary widely.
Abdul Kulane graduated from Saint John's University where he double majored in Peace Studies and Sociology. He has speaking and translation competency in English, Somali, Arabic and Swahili. He is the founder and executive director of The Language Bank in St. Cloud, which provides translation, interpretation and cultural orientation training services for business people, health care professionals, educators and others living and working with members of the various immigrant and refugee communities in St. Cloud. Prior to coming to St. Cloud, Abdul worked with the International Rescue Committee and the World Food Program in Kenya. He is a board member of Community Grassroots Solutions, a nonprofit organization which serves the refugee and immigrant communities in central Minnesota. Abdul is also active in other community organizations.