The North Star Project, 2013-2014 Report Number Thirty-Three, A Christmas Tradition Unknown to Me, by Srijita Kar


The North Star Project, 2013-2014 Report Number Thirty-Three, A Christmas Tradition Unknown to Me, by Srijita Kar

It is fair enough for me to say, I went into a little shock phase once I realized how difficult it will be for me to not be able to celebrate my traditional festivals. Traditions which involved cooking home food, decorating the house in a specific manner and doing everything that is anything but, heard of, in Duluth. Even though I have spent a year and a semester here, I am still unfamiliar with several traditions that are part of the slightly new culture, to me. This winter, more like this Christmas, gave me an elite opportunity to get along with some Saints and ex-Saints and Bake! What did we bake you ask? Well what could be better than Christmas cookie baking just before Christmas? I was invited to a very authentic cookie baking party this Christmas. It was a fun event with lots of dough kneading, playing with the colours for the cookies as well as playing with the frosting. After four hours of hard work we had success.

At home baking was an after exam or birthday party event and it involved baking mostly cakes and cookies but no decorating. It was not a tradition but more like a mode of relaxation. I will definitely not forget about this day as well as tradition. It was a great new experience and a lot of learning.
For all of the North Star Project 2013-2014 Reports, see
For all of the North Star Project 2013 Summer Reports, see

The North Star Project 2013-2014 School Year Reports: The Middle Ground Journal’s collaborative outreach program with K-12 classes around the world. We gratefully acknowledge North Star Academy of Duluth, Minnesota as our inaugural partner school, and the flagship of our K-12 outreach program. We also warmly welcome Duluth East High School and Dodge Middle School to the North Star Project.

Under the leadership of our North Star host teachers and student interns, The North Star Project has flourished for two years. For a brief summary, please see a recent article in the American Historical Association’s Perspectives on History, at:

Having re-tooled and re-designed the collaborative program, we are drawing on the experience of our veteran student interns, ideas from our host teachers, and new projects provided by our incoming student interns. This school year The Middle Ground Journal will share brief dispatches from our North Star Project student interns, particularly from those who are currently stationed, or will soon be stationed abroad. As of the time of this report we have confirmed student interns who will be reporting from Mongolia, Southern China, Shanghai, northeastern China, The Netherlands, Tanzania, Ireland, England, Finland, Russia, and Haiti. We also have students developing presentations on theatrical representations of historical trauma, historical memory, the price individuals pay during tragic global conflicts, and different perceptions of current events from around the world.  We will post their brief dispatches here, and report on their interactions with the North Star students and teachers throughout the school year.

Hong-Ming Liang, Chief Editor, The Middle Ground Journal, The College of St. Scholastica, Duluth, MN, USA, 2013-2014 School Year

(c) 2014 The Middle Ground Journal, Number 8, Spring, 2014. See Submission Guidelines page for the journal’s not-for-profit educational open-access policy.


Filed under North Star Student Editors, Professor Hong-Ming Liang, Srijita Kar

6 responses to “The North Star Project, 2013-2014 Report Number Thirty-Three, A Christmas Tradition Unknown to Me, by Srijita Kar

  1. Steffanie

    Christmas baking has always been a huge tradition in my family that actually takes place over a number of days. This tradition hold many of my favorite childhood memories and continues to be my favorite family traditions. It would definitely be an interesting experience to be in a new culture and environment and such an eventful time of year, like Christmas, and be able to experience all new traditions.

  2. Zhiyu Yang

    I have similar experience with Srijita. The first time I celebrated Christmas was in 2013. Although Christmas is also very lively back in my country, it cannot compare with American Christmas. My early impression of Christmas is that it is a festival for shopping, watching Christmas movies and having a big meal with family. However, according to my observation during Christmas period in 2013, Christmas has more functions. It is a day for gathering together, a day for blessing each other and a day for making wishes. So far I enjoyed celebrating Christmas in America. The atmosphere absolutely impressed me.

  3. Morgan Schmitz

    I think it is very interesting the experience you had. I think we often forget that many people around us do not share the same traditions that we have. I think it is interesting that you shared in a tradition that is so common yet often not explained.

  4. Ada Moreno

    I think that the best way to get immersed into different cultures is through their language and traditions. Food is the best method to interact with other people, and it’s most often than not, a very enjoyable experience. It’s interesting to notice the parallels made between the two cookie making experiences.

  5. I think that this is really cool. I did not know where to fit in when I first came to scholastica, but I had found clubs to join and I felt more at home and involved with school. It is always a good thing to do!

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