Food

foodFood is great. It really, really is. Who doesn’t like to go out to eat, or dish up a bowl of ice cream? I grew up in the South, and some of the many foods that I ate while I was down there were hush puppies, venison, and crab (that last one was REALLY south. Key West, to be exact.). And then I’ve also lived in New York, which is very proud of its pizza. And with good reason, the stuff’s delicious. Also bagels. Those are really popular there as well.

None of these foods make anybody think America, though. Pizza is about as far from American culture as you can get, it’s Italian! And then crab is from the Pacific Islands. You get my point.

America is one of the only places you can eat a dish from the Pacific Islands for lunch, and then have Chinese or Mexican for dinner. We’re a melting pot of culture, and that means our food as well. There is no one style of food that strikes people as American, because none of it is.

We’re all American. That doesn’t mean that we dress a certain way, act a certain way, or eat a certain kind of food. It meas that we’re all connected by the same dream, the same vision. America’s culture isn’t just one thing, nothing in America is just one thing, which means that we all fit in.

Just like crab and pizza.

American Phrase Friday

henry-van-dyke

Hey, guys! Today I’m going to do something a little different. This poem is called America For Me, and it was written by Henry Van Dyke.

 

‘Tis fine to see the Old World, and travel up and down
Among the famous palaces and cities of renown,
To admire the crumbly castles and the statues of the kings,—
But now I think I’ve had enough of antiquated things.

           So it’s home again, and home again, America for me!
My heart is turning home again, and there I long to be,
In the land of youth and freedom beyond the ocean bars,
Where the air is full of sunlight and the flag is full of stars!

Oh, London is a man’s town, there’s power in the air;
And Paris is a woman’s town, with flowers in her hair;
And it’s sweet to dream in Venice, and it’s great to study Rome;
But when it comes to living there is no place like home.

I like the German fir-woods, in green battalions drilled;
I like the gardens of Versailles with flashing fountains filled;
But, oh, to take your hand, my dear, and ramble for a day
In the friendly western woodland where Nature has her way!

I know that Europe’s wonderful, yet something seems to lack:
The Past is too much with her, and the people looking back.
But the glory of the Present is to make the Future free,—
We love our land for what she is and what she is to be.

           Oh, it’s home again, and home again, America for me!
I want a ship that’s westward bound to plough the rolling sea,
To the bléssed Land of Room Enough beyond the ocean bars,
Where the air is full of sunlight and the flag is full of stars

American Line Dancing

Quite a few people, (myself included) tend to think that our nation doesn’t have much…..culture, if you know what I mean. Sadly, most of the indigenous cultures were ignored as we plowed through America, and we’re too young to have anything that makes people say, “That’s America. That’s her.”

Except we do. I was talking with my parents yesterday, and the conversation drifted to line dancing. It’s uniquely, 100% American. Not because we’re the only country that does it, although that part’s true, but it reflects us. Think about it! America is build on team work, on every person helping the other. In line dancing, you can do it by yourself, but it doesn’t look as good. Yeah, we can do all of our amazing things on our own, but we all know that it doesn’t work that well.

In line dancing, every one is doing the same thing. The same thing. That’s it. But it looks so cool! And it’s because all the dancers are working together, because none of them are clamming the spotlight. Line dancing is American, not only in where it’s preformed, but what it is.

The Geography of America

download.jpegThere are many wonderful things about our nation. Mixing cultures, amazing schools, a people’s government, but yet another one of these beautiful pieces of our Nation is something that we cannot claim a hand in shaping. Her geography. Think about it!

When I say ‘desert’, you might think of Arabia. When I say ‘tundra’, you might think of Norway. When I say ‘island’ you might think of Britian or Japan. Either way, each bit of terrain above is almost the exclusive type of terrain found in the countries above. Yet, here in America, we have it all.

Mountains, deserts, tundra, tropical islands, prairie, swamps, forests, all right here! We don’t need to leave out country to see the North Star and the Southern Cross in the same sky, we don’t need to leave out borders to see the Northern Lights, or one of the few coral reefs left. Its all here, it’s all home.

Our culture and our Nation complement each other, they pull differences together to make it a masterpiece, a mural of color and life. We live in a country that has the whole world in its borders, how cool is that?

Kaleidoscope of Culture

c9x4trk3yo1cwdeaqsmyCulture is the ‘personality’ of a country. If you see something that reminds you of a culture, then you connect it with that culture’s country. Simple. But, when you look at America, we don’t seem to have a culture. The indigenous cultures of the Americas were all but eliminated when European explorers made their mark, bringing with them their culture.  After that, people wanting a new start came to America, and ethnicity wasn’t a problem. The result seems like a tangled, weird blend of differences in the middle of an identity crisis. But it is so much more!

We don’t seem to have a single culture because we are made up of the worlds cultures. I’m sure you are familiar with siestas, or Tai Chi. Each of these are from cultures on opposite sides of the earth (Mexico and Japan), yet we never question the blend in our country. You can have a siesta at three then catch your Tai Chi class at four. No one bats an eye. That’s what our culture is; it is the blend of beauty from around the world, it’s a messy kaleidoscope of differences, a mix of China and Russia, Mexico and India, England and Africa, everything! You have the world in your city, your state, your nation, and that, in my opinion, is one of the most magical cultures in the world.