Columbia Has New Sister City
Both worlds are closer now, thanks to the Sister City Program between Columbia and Laoshan, China. In May, Columbia Mayor Darwin Hindman visited Laoshan in Shandong province and signed a formal agreement to start the sister city exchange.
"It's one world, you know. It's getting smaller and smaller and smaller," he explained. "And I think that it's really important that citizens of this country, of every country as a matter of fact, begin to appreciate the way people are living in other countries."
Laoshan is the fifth sister city for Columbia, joining Sibiu in Romania, Kutaisi in the Republic of Georgia, Hakusan in Japan, and Suncheon in South Korea.
"Then we hope that there will be student exchanges, that there will be business people-type exchanges, ordinary citizens who are just interested in the cultural aspects, making trips back and forth," added Hindman.
For Weidemeyer, it's all about getting to know your neighbors, even if they are thousands of miles away.
"Mid-Missourians will get to know more Chinese and, meanwhile, the Chinese people in Shandong will learn more about mid-Missouri," she said.