International Flavor

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At times, it’s easy to forget just how large the world is. Earth contains seven continents, one hundred ninety-five countries, about four thousand cities, and seven billion people. All of these different people and places around the world have brought about plenty of cultures with them.  For many of us, our culture and background helps define who we are. Not only does it tell the story of our lives, but it also paints pictures of the lives and hardships of our families. That story can be expressed in different ways. Dance, language, and perhaps, most popularly, food are some of the many things that go into telling the story of a culture.

With the world becoming more and more populated it is of the upmost importance that people, especially students, are able to fully express their cultures. With that in mind, LHS’ ESL program, led by Ms. Vado, put together an event to showcase just how many cultures make up our student body. Eleven different countries were on display, each of them with their own story to tell, simply told  with a plate, a fork, and plenty of food. Ms. Vado had her own take on it calling food a “unifier.” She expressed how it helps students build “respect and compassion for one another.”

Others at the event had their own take on the impact of food on culture. According to Ms. Ramos, food can even show the influences of other cultures on one another. When describing Spanish food, for example, she talks about how it shows off “all the aspects of our culture from the indigenous side to even the African influences in it.” You can almost compare a plate of food to how we are as a people, especially in America. There are so many different influences from various places in the world that can make this one ordinary looking thing become so special with a deeper look. Anita Rodriguez, a student at the event, called food a storyteller in “the melting pot” of a world in which we live.

We all have our own story to tell. We all come from somewhere and for most of us that “somewhere” has played a huge role in making us the person we are today. So next time someone asks you, “Where are you from?” –maybe the easiest way to answer them will be by telling them to grab a plate.