The first “make” I have created and think would be beneficial for our class to try out is a Cultural Diversity Potluck. Our Food for Thought class consists of students from various backgrounds, ethnicities, and countries but what we all have in common is food. Food is a part of culture and society. People enjoy trying new food, sharing their favorite recipes with others, having good conversation over a meal, and the list goes on and on. Food is what brings people together and is a major component of what civilization thrives on. Being from different backgrounds, we don’t always get to discover how food is tasted, enjoyed, and made by other parts of the world. It would be interesting if one day for class everyone were to bring in a food that is a favorite of theirs and originates from the country they are from. Another alternative would be to bring a cuisine from the country of their choosing. Everyone in the class would share what they have brought, how they made it; how it came to be the cuisine it is today, etc. It would be fun for the class, as well as a new experience for those of us who are not always up for trying new things.
I have thought of a way this could also be applied to working with ReEstablish Richmond. The non-profit organization works with refugees from Iraq, Afghanistan, Burma, and Bhutan. It would be a great opportunity for the Richmond community and the refugees to come together and have a Cultural Diversity Potluck. The refugees could bring their native cuisines and the community could introduce American food, maybe the refugees have also not tried before. I think what would be most interesting is the commonalities the different countries’ foods would have, making their way of life seem not so different. This could also be a time for the refugees and the community to interact and learn about one another.
My second “make” is an activity called Food Stories. There will be an assorted list of foods/recipes ranging from sweet potatoes, collard greens, corn, etc. that the class will go over. One by one students will share with one another the personal connection they have with this food. They can communicate a memory of a time they had that food, why its special to them or why they don’t like it, etc. Telling personal stories will allow students to open up and discuss food in a new way. I think this could be equally beneficial for the refugees. Just having conversation about foods they like could be good for them to feel more at home and in touch with adapting to a new life in America.