Thursday, April 16, 2009

St Michael's Traditions

The Department of Applied Linguistics in Saint Michael's has a beautiful tradition: International Coffe Hours. Every Wednesday from 3:15 to 4:15 students are welcomed to try food from different countries in the lobby of St Edmund's Hall. There, they are also served tea and coffee.

I love this tradition! This is a wonderful opprotunity to learn more about the culture of the country to which the coffe hour is devoted. We have had Chinese, Japanese, Latin American, Greek and many other international coffee hours. Sure, we also have American ( the USA) coffee hours! A day before the coffee hour all students are sent messages with short information about the "topic" country and description of food they are going to try. Along with learning about new (or simply another) culture, it is a great time to socialize, to meet new people, and just to be in an international community! And, sure, food! The food is always delicious! I love American apple pies. And I am addicted to Arabic deserts...

This week it was an American coffee hour devoted to the Patriot Day which will be April 20. I enjoyed my favourite apple pie! Shamefully, I did not know anything about this holiday, but "Long live, long learn". And, you know, Russian curiousity lead me to the question about what Patriotism mean to people of the USA and of other countries? I know, I always ask difficult questions, but I am for a cultural exchange here... :-) Interestingly, the question was quite confusing. I could not even expect that! In Russia I was brought up with understanding of Motherland and Patriotism. Probablly, coming from a small distant limited world of a distant place in Russia, I expected that all people have similar attitudes and beliefs. And it makes my experience here even more exciting because I learn really really a lot about the other side of the world.
All the best!

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