The concept of sister cities has been around as early as the 9th century but really became more commonplace during World War II. Some 830 women in Coventry England, led by their mayor Emily, raised money and embroidered a tablecloth for the women of Stalingrad, Russia following the Battle of Stalingrad as a show of support and solidarity. In the latter part of the 20th century into the 21st, the concept has evolved more into an economic or ethnic origin kinship.

About twenty towns and cities in New Jersey have sister cities. Most towns only have one but a few of our cities have several. Take, for instance, Newark, it has 13 sister cities. Five of them are in Brazil, which makes sense since there is a large Brazilian and Portuguese-speaking population in the city.

Jersey City has fifteen, from three in India to one each in places from Italy to China, Nepal, Israel, the Philippines, and many more. There is a Hackettstown, Ireland, an Evesham, and a Tewksbury in England. Most don't share a common name, but often an ethnic tie.

Sometimes there's a delegation of politicians, business people, and students from the "sister-city" to pay a visit, exchange gifts, and maybe do some business. It's a nice tradition with a touching past. With the global pandemic over the last 20 months, much of this activity has gone dormant. Much like many people who have not seen their close relatives in almost two years, hopefully, sister-cities will be able to get together soon.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Dennis Malloy. Any opinions expressed are Dennis Malloy's own.

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