Tag Archives: Culture

Thankful, Week 4: Thanksgiving

That’s right, I’m thankful for Thanksgiving!  Being an American while living in other countries and cultures can quite often lead to loosing some of your own culture and traditions and adopting others.  I’ve actually done this a lot in the various places I’ve lived, but the one thing that does not change or alter one bit is Thanksgiving!

No matter where you are in the world, or who you are with, on Thanksgiving there is probably a 99.9% chance that you are thinking/dreaming/longing for Turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberries, Yams, and that oh-so-coveted PUMPKIN PIE!

It’s the one day of the year that all Americans come together, near and far, and celebrate our Thankfulness via a huge FEAST. Everything about Thanksgiving day makes me happy (and run to put on some sweat-pants), and if you’re like me and from Michigan, then there’s the bonus delight of watching our beloved Lions loose yet again 🙂

Ode to Thanksgiving…. the only holiday that makes me remember I am actually an American (which I tend to overlook 364 days of the year), and reminds me that I have SO MUCH in life to be truly thankful for!

NOW GO STUFF YOURSELF SILLY…. and remember not to wear jeans to the dinner table!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!


Hats on or off?!?

Yesterday during Food Distribution I had a strange little conversation (a term I use very lightly) with a 10-year old boy who likes to come “help” everyday.  He is a a refugee from Eritrea, but likes to hang out with us as much as possible.  Anyways, it was super cold outside, so I was all bundled up…..hat, scarf, gloves etc. which led to our stimulating conversation… (Mind you, I am translating as best as can be done, as the conversation was in Hebrew)

E: Why are you wearing a hat?

Me: Because its cold outside.

E: You like hats?

Me: Yes. I like them.

E: But girls shouldn’t wear hats. It’s not right.

Me: Why not?

E: Its just not good.

Me: But, why not?

E: Only boys wear hats.

Me: Then what can I do? Its cold out.

(to which he just looked at me for a few seconds and shrugged his shoulders with a “what are you talking about” look)

E: Its just not good.

Me: But, why not?

E: Its just not good.

Me: Hmmmmm.

Communication at its finest there!


Who’s right, who’s wrong?

We were discussing women and fashion during my Ottoman Empire class this week, while looking at some old newspaper cartoons of how fashion was expressed during the day, and what it meant as a cultural statement.  This one was my favorite, for various reasons, but for the most part it still holds true for today.

The way we judge others and their fashion/culture has not changed so much since the Ottoman Empire, and I might even be as bold as say that its gotten even worse.

This cartoon says it all!  Its translated from the original Arabic to English at the bottom, but you’ll notice that both the Muslim lady and the European one are basically saying the same thing to each other, without us knowing exactly who is saying what.

When was the last time you passed judgement on someone because they didn’t look or dress like you THINK they should? Do you realize that while you are passing judgement on them, they could just as well be passing judgement on you? This is dealing with much more than just fashion here…


DODGEBALL: Crossing Cultural Borders

This week I learned that no matter what culture you come from, we all have one thing in common: kids love dodgeball!  

This week during the Nazareth English Camp, one of the American games I taught the kids to play was Medic (an upscale version of dodgeball).  I wasn’t sure how it would go over in the Arab community, especially with the girls, but I soon got my answer.  

Each day when the groups would come to my station, all the kids would approach me saying, “doctor? doctor?” (Medic wasn’t exactly a word in their culture, so I used doctor instead, while explaining).  No matter what new game I attempted to teach, they always wanted to play “doctor” (dodgeball).  

The week was beyond draining for me, and I seriously haven’t run around and played in a long time.  Needless to say, I was exhausted at the end of each day and today I totally crashed!  Even though I was in the middle of the action most the time (my arms and legs can attest to that), I was able to snap a few photos…

DSCF2047DSCF2048DSCF2046 DSCF2049


Mediterranean Monday: Hummus

As George Clooney so elequently stated in an early Friends episode, “God Bless the Chick Pea.” Hummus (or hommos, like its pronounced here) is a staple in the Middle Eastern diet.  It is a common part of meals for Israeli’s, used as an appetizer, dip, or the main dish.  I have discovered there are many different brands and flavors of hummus found in the grocery stores, depending on your taste…(there’s even a hummus light, for those dieting fanatics who just can’t give it up).  

My favorite way to eat hummus is spread across warm flatbread (a type of pita), the key being warm. Ohhhh, its just soooo wonderfully good!  I’ve also seen people use it with plain old bread, crackers, hard-boiled eggs, or with chicken.  

It’s been said that hummus is an ‘adopted’ Israeli Jewish dish, since it is traditionally an Arab food.  I really don’t care where its origins are, I’m just happy its here in Israel and its here to stay!!!

hummus


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