By Claire Savage

In honor of Flag Day on May 18, May is Haitian heritage month. Looking for ways to dive into Haitian culture in the District, Maryland and Virginia metropolitan area? Here are five places you can enjoy Haitian music, art, language, food and company.

All month: Port-au-Prince Haitian Cuisine in Silver Spring, Md.

Chef Don Berto offers Kreyol classes Mondays and Thursdays evenings, so you can work on your Kreyol while digging into dinner and enjoying happy hour prices. Dance to Kompa, Zouk and Kizomba music every other Saturday, free of cover charge. PAP will also host special heritage month events May 12-18 leading up to Flag Day— check back later on the calendar for more details.

Saturday, May 4: Around the World Embassy Open House in Dupont Circle, District of Columbia

9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

More than 50 embassies are welcoming visitors, including the Haitian embassy. Hosted by Cultural Tourism DC, the event will feature food, art, dance, fashion and music from around the world. No tickets are required, and there is no cost to attend. Register with non-profit Washington, DC History & Culture for updates on events, weather and stop suggestions.

Map of participating embassies:

Saturday, May 4: Haitian Live Music Bash in Chillum, Md.

9 p.m. – 2 a.m.

Bring your best dance moves and blow off some steam Saturday night with artists T-Vice and Swag Muzik. Tickets are $35 and guests must be 21 to attend.

Saturday, May 18: Afro-Haitian Indoor Beach Party in Wheaton, Md.

9:30 p.m. – 3 a.m.

Gisele’s Creole Cuisine is hosting konpa karaoke with beats by DJ Foe. Tickets are free for ladies before 10 p.m. and are $15 online or $20 at the door. Guests must be 21 or older to attend.

Sunday, May 19: Mwen Se Ayisyen Festival in Mt. Rainier, Md.

3 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Primitive Haitian Church is hosting a family-friendly festival so all can experience Haitian culture. The community event is free to attend and will feature food, music, games and Haitian history.

Claire Savage is a freelance journalist who specializes in covering international news. She earned her bachelor's degree in Spanish and International Business at Washington University in St. Louis and her master's degree in journalism at American University in Washington, D.C.

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