Food, Global Connections, Family History – by Nick Lozinski. The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy, at NorthStarReports.org and facebook.com/NorthStarReports
Living in the Twin Cities offers a wide variety of different opportunities. There are several colleges and universities to further your education and a large concentration of Fortune 500 companies that call the Twin Cities home. One of the most distinct opportunities in the Twin Cities is the opportunity to learn about a different culture while still in the comfort of your own home town. The Twin City area is home to several diverse communities from around the world, and these communities each add to the area as a whole.
One of the ways these communities have shaped their neighborhoods is through the wide selections of food. In the neighborhood I live in, there is a Turkish restaurant, several Korean restaurants, and an Ethiopian restaurant. Food is often an important aspect of someone’s culture. Not just what they eat, but how they eat it.
Within my family, there are distinct cultural differences. My dad’s side has very traditional American food. The way we go about dinners is also very traditionally American. With everyone sitting around the table with the food all in the middle. On my mom’s side, our Slovenian heritage is quite prominent. The food we have is usually traditional Slovenian meals. There’s always a wide choice of smoked meats, struklji, potica, and some form of homemade alcohol. Not only is the selection of food a product of our heritage, but so is the way we hold family dinners. The food is simply placed on the counter and people grab a plate and find somewhere to sit. Since we have a large family seats aren’t limited to the table, but wherever there is an open seat.
When looking at meals it’s important to not only look at the food being served, but the rituals that go along with it. Whereas my family looks at dinner as very informal and relaxed, many cultures view meal time as formal and have strict rules and guidelines they follow while eating. This past summer I travelled to Spain and lived with a Spanish family, and they viewed meals as more formal. Everyday they ate at the same time and their meal consisted of eating bread before the meal, followed by the meal for the day, and then ended with some type of fruit. This was a stark contrast to my family’s informal approach to dinner.
Experiencing how different cultures view meals is a window into that culture. You don’t need to buy a plane ticket to experience and learn about a different culture when you can go down the road to get a glimpse during dinner.
Nick Lozinski is a student at Hamline University, St. Paul, Minnesota, USA.
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The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy (http://NorthStarReports.org) is a student edited and student authored open access publication centered around the themes of global and historical connections. Our abiding philosophy is that those of us who are fortunate enough to receive an education and to travel our planet are ethically bound to share our knowledge with those who cannot afford to do so. Therefore, creating virtual and actual communities of learning between college and K-12 classes are integral to our mission. In five semesters we have published 200 articles covering all habitable continents and a variety of topics ranging from history and politics, food and popular culture, to global inequities to complex identities. These articles are read by K-12 and college students. Our student editors and writers come from all parts of the campus, from Nursing to Biology, Physical Therapy to Business, and remarkably, many of our student editors and writers have long graduated from college. We also have writers and editors from other colleges and universities. In addition to our main site, we also curate a Facebook page dedicated to annotated news articles selected by our student editors (http://www.facebook.com/NorthStarReports). This is done by an all volunteer staff. We have a frugal cash budget, and we donate much of our time and talent to this project. We are sponsored by St. Scholastica’s Department of History and Politics and by the scholarly Middle Ground Journal: World History and Global Studies (http://theMiddleGroundJournal.org).
For a brief summary, please see the American Historical Association’s Perspectives on History, at: http://www.historians.org/perspectives/issues/2013/1305/Opening-The-Middle-Ground-Journal.cfm
Hong-Ming Liang, Ph.D., Editor-in-Chief and Publisher, The North Star Reports; Chief Editor, The Middle Ground Journal; Associate Professor of History and Politics, The College of St. Scholastica.
Kathryn Marquis Hirsch, Managing Editor, The North Star Reports.
(c) 2012-present The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy http://NorthStarReports.org ISSN: 2377-908X The NSR is sponsored and published by Professor Hong-Ming Liang, NSR Student Editors and Writers, The Department of History and Politics of The College of St. Scholastica, and the scholarly Middle Ground Journal. See Masthead for our not-for-profit educational open- access policy. K-12 teachers, if you are using these reports for your classes, please contact editor-in-chief Professor Liang at HLIANG (at) css.edu