Learning about other cultures

It is Friday morning and we had a harrowing departure from our house. We are at the kids’ house to allow the young ones to sleep before we help out and get one of them to preschool and the other to the babysitter. We took care of them in our house yesterday. It was a day of Christmas decorating activities.

Harrowing because of the weather, something that has continually been on our minds. We went outside after a very dark and potentially slippery dog walk and tried to open MK’s car. It has two car seats, mine has only one. My car seat is okay for the older of the two but not optimum for the younger. Luckily, he is quite the big boy and I am actually guessing that my car seat is fine for him. Anyway, there was a slick covering of ice on it. We could get the windows clear but the ice and snow had melted and refroze low on the windshield, firmly encasing the windshield wipers in ice. It was easier to take my car. We had a time constraint in that we needed to get to the house to allow parental departure.

We are at destination, safe, and waiting for our charges to awaken. I will then take the older to preschool, and then come back and take the younger to the babysitter.

Culture is the topic and I am constantly amazed by the enriching ability of ESL Conversation hour. The other day, I came home with Syrian sesame cookies, also known as Barazek cookies. The current group has taken to bringing in things related to their culture, which I find fascinating. One of the participants has brought in several, champagne of tea grade tea bags for us more than once. She comes from Taiwan and told us of the wonderful tea that only grows on the mountain there and is unbelievably good. She wasn’t kidding. She told us to put nothing in it. MK and I have enjoyed her tea several times and it makes one wonder how one can stand to drink Lipton.
The other day, a woman who came from Syria brought in the Barazek cookies, delightful sesame and pistachio coated cookies with only a slight sweetness, but enough to satisfy a sweet tooth.

I love the way they talk of their cultures and share with all of us a little bit of themselves. It makes me think that our little group is welcoming and unafraid to communicate and talk. In order to speak, we all need to be comfortable and not on edge. Learning a new language is daunting and so I share of myself and my American culture and Hungarian heritage, and my learning about the French, Swedish, and Italian cultures through study and family.

ESL Conversation Hour is a humbling and wonderful experience.

About Richard Koerner

Sixty something, father, papi, educator, organizer, Francophile, traveler, amateur photographer, gardener, cyclist, kayaker, calligrapher, cinephile, reader, and overall renaissance type human being.
This entry was posted in Cuisine and Food, Culture, ESL, Life in general, Thoughts and philosophy. Bookmark the permalink.

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