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Melting Pot Cultural diversity enriches Anchorage B y S usan S ommer “NamastÉ,” I say to the waiter, bringing my palms together with finger­ tips up in the traditional Asian greeting. I’m at the Yak & Yeti Himalayan restau­ rant, right in the middle of Anchorage, Alaska, to enjoy cuisine I remember from my youthful journeys in Asia. Here, our assortment of Tibetan, Nepalese and Indian dishes comes in hot copper bowls. Hindi music and aromas of curry spices waft from the kitchen. The food is, frankly, even better than I remember from 20 years ago. I make a point to spin the prayer wheel beside the front door on the way out. This marvelous dining experience is just one of innumerable unlikely cul­ tural gems in Alaska’s largest city of 301,000. That is, seemingly unlikely ... until you look more closely to discover that, at its centennial, this is among the most culturally diverse and dynamic cities in the United States. 90 Alaska beyond Magazine April 2015 AAM 04.15 Anchorage Culture.indd 90 3/18/15 11:32 AM