November 16th, 2020 - November 21st, 2020
Welcome to Multicultural Week 2020! Here at BHC, we are a diverse bunch. Collectively, we have a wealth of backgrounds, experiences, and cultures that we all bring to the table. And this month, we are asking each of you to share your culture with us during our Multicultural Week! Starting on Monday, November 16th, we will feature submissions from one continent each day: North America, then South America, Europe, Africa, Australia/Antarctica, and finishing with Asia on Saturday, the 21st. You can share any aspects of your culture, including food, dance, music, history, fashion, art, and language, and you can submit in any format, such as videos (please keep to 5 minutes or less), recipes, write-ups, or pictures. Earn one point for submitting a part of your culture, and have the chance to be featured on our Instagram and website!
For additional questions/concerns, feel free to reach out to the Director of Housing at firstname.lastname@example.org!
North America (11/16)
Food has always played a central role in bringing people together. During these unprecedented times in 2020, I am sure many are enjoying the comfort of a home cooked meal surrounded by their immediate family. Both of my parents are from Alabama, and southern food and hospitality have played a huge role in my life. During my childhood, I looked forward to traveling to visit my grandparents in Alabama and waking up to my grandma’s biscuits. Now as a young adult, I enjoy using my grandma’s recipes to make her signature sweet potato pie and red velvet cake for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Although the food can never quite measure up to how my grandma made it, it is more about the memories shared and the family gatherings. When times are back to normal, I cannot wait to experience moments like these again.
Since I grew up in Clemson, South Carolinian culture has a place deep in my heart. One of my favorite things about South Carolina is its distinguishable flag. I'll be sharing more about the flag's history in this video.
South America (11/17)
The caipirinha is the national drink of Brazil, and it is super easy to make! All you need are four ingredients: Cachaça, limes, sugar, and ice. And if Cachaça is not available, vodka is a commonly used substitute. Note: Don’t drink a caipirinha unless you are 21 years old. Or 18 if you are in Brazil. I myself am not Brazilian, but I did study abroad there this spring. Brazil is a huge country with a variety of environments and aspects. Some of those that I remember from my experience include: gorgeous oceanside views where the jungle meets the beach, pleasant parks where people relax and exercise, and busy streets swarmed with hurried drivers deftly weaving their way through traffic.
Despite myself not being of South American descent, my mother had immigrated from Heshan, Guangzhou, China to Chile at a young age; she grew up and went to school there for a few years before moving to the United States. When I was younger, I didn't really know or understand just how cool the mix of culture/lifestyle she has lived through and now embodies until we traveled to Chile to visit my maternal family there. In Chile, I was exposed to a new way of life, one which was thoroughly reflected through food. I tried so many new dishes and drinks, all of which tasted amazing and gave me a sense of happiness because I was finally able to learn about and experience an aspect of my mother's childhood. Throughout our trip, all of the food I had was amazing but I found myself really enjoying one certain street food--sopapillas. Orange pumpkin (always savory, never sweet) is cooked, mashed, and needed into a dough that is then fried in hot oil until it floats, resulting in a delicious, fluffy, savory taste. Although there were lots of ways to dress it with sauces, cilantro, and so on, sopapillas on their own were just as delicious! I would share a recipe but I don't specifically have one and the street style, hot and right out of the oil just hits different!
This is the MacDuff family crest that was passed down by my great-great grandparents, while we don't follow much in regards to their traditions (such as kilts) we still respect the Scottish culture and history our family crest emerged from. 'Dues juvat' means God assists. But I would be remiss to not mention that Halloween was first claimed by the Scottish/Irish (Halloween being a shortening of All-Hollows-Eve). :) So maybe in a way we are all taking part in some Scottish and Irish culture with Halloween to an extent!
Knepfla (also known as Knoephla) are dumplings that are made by German-Russians. Knepfla can be served on their own with gravy or added to broth to make a soup. Knepfla soup is one of my favorite comfort foods, so I am excited to share this recipe! My mother's side of the family moved to the USA in the early 1900s. Before coming to the USA, they lived along the Volga River in settlements with other ethnic Germans. Knepfla soup is an easy meal to make, so it is a staple in my family.
My submission is a showcase of Italian art from the Renaissance period and its impact on art and culture.
I studied abroad in South Africa during the summer a year ago, and it was a life-changing experience! There are so many different cultures to take in (12 national languages, in fact!), that it is impossible to learn much about all of them in just a few weeks. During our trip, we stayed in a Zulu-speaking region and learned about the Zulu culture, one tradition of which is the isiphandla. The isiphandla is a bracelet made from the skin of a goat that is worn by Zulu people to honor their ancestors. We were each given an isiphandla to wear when we were there and continue to wear them after the trip until they were to fall off naturally, as is the custom. We had several people come up to us and ask us if we were Zulu while we were in country, because it is a well-known and important tradition. They wanted to make sure that we knew about the significance of the bracelet, and we were all super excited to be able to participate in the Zulu culture in this way.
Everyone knows Antarctica for its penguins, but actually only a few of the 17 species of penguins can be found on the Antarctic continent. Here are some fun facts about 6 penguin species that you might find in Antarctica: 1. Emperor penguin: The largest species of penguin, the emperor penguin is the only bird that breeds during the winter. 2. King penguin: King penguin chicks look so different from the adults that early explorers thought they were different species. 3. Adélie penguin: These penguins live all over Antarctica as the most widespread penguin species and sport a smart tuxedo look. 4. Gentoo penguin: The gentoo is the fastest swimmer of the penguins, reaching speeds of 22 miles per hour underwater. 5. Chinstrap penguin: Chinstraps are the most abundant penguins in Antarctica, and it’s easy to recognize them by the distinct marking on their throats that resemblances a chinstrap. 6. Macaroni penguin: These penguins have quite the hairdo. Their feathery crest gave them their name, much like Yankee Doodle.
In my opinion, Chinese food is the best part about the Chinese culture! Here I have drawn what is called "xiao long bao." It's basically a type of Chinese soupdumpling and is really delicious.
This is an image of Huong Pham modeling a traditional Vietnamese áo dài dress. Prepared by the famous designer Thuận Việt for the Miss Universe 2015 competition, the luxurious áo dài and headpiece feature a crane motif symbolizing happiness and eternal youth.
This is a video showcasing a Bollywood fusion dance! Bollywood dance is usually done to an upbeat and fast-paced song, similar to the one we dance to in this video. Bollywood fusion incorporates many different styles of dance that are prevalent throughout India. Dance is an important aspect of Indian culture, whether it is used as an outlet for Hindu storytelling or just in celebration of someone's marriage!
Who really invented bubble tea?
Bubble tea, also known as boba tea or pearl tea, has rapidly become an international sensation, but even though we know that it originated from Taiwan in the 1980s, there is some debate as to who first thought to mix tapioca and tea together. Both ingredients had been staples of Taiwanese gastronomy well before their opportune combination, but how the tapioca balls found their way into the tea is a matter of contention in Taiwanese lore. Was it Tu Tsong He, the tea shop owner who needed to create something monumental to keep his business afloat after an economic nadir? Or was it Lin Hsiu Hui, the product manager who spontaneously mixed her desserts together during a mundane staff meeting? The dispute may never be resolved, but whatever the case, bubble tea has become an iconic component of Taiwanese culture and a beloved beverage around the world.
As a proud half-Taiwanese gourmand, here's my personal recommendation (it’s my go-to order at my favorite boba place): wintermelon tea with milk, tapioca pearls, and lychee jelly. Yum! ;)
I am sharing one of my favorite parts of Indian culture - the food! With parents from 2 different parts of India, my siblings and I get to enjoy a variety of cuisine. Some of my favorite South Indian foods include biryani, which is a spicy rice with vegetables or meat. One of the most memorable parts of my vacations in India are trying a lot of different kinds of foods - including varieties of samosas, which is a fried dumpling. I feel that food is such a large part of any culture because it brings people together and is an opportunity to spend time with family and friends, whether it be cooking or eating! Some of my favorite memories involve gathering in the kitchen with my family to cook in giant pots right before a party - it's always amazing to see everyone come together to make some thing as a whole!
The picture I have submitted is of my brother and I celebrating the Indian Festival of Lights, known as Diwali. The three days of Diwali took place from November 12-14 this year. During Diwali, Hindus clean their homes, decorate it with candles, conduct prayers, meet friends and family, and light fireworks.
Anybody a fan of Christmas decor? Filipinos certainly are! Well-known for their festive spirit, they spread Christmas cheer through many brightly lit decorations, one of which is the parol. Parol, which comes from the Spanish word "farol," meaning lantern, is a traditional ornamental decoration that spreads light to many homes. It is a colorful star-shaped lantern that represents the star which the three wise men followed on their journey to find the Christ, baby Jesus. Though not many people outside of Filipino culture are familiar with it, its beauty is a wonderful representation of their festive nature and foundational beliefs.