Parents and children often have a different feeling about ‘school lunches’. What seems to work and be good for one generation might make the other generation cringe. I was interviewed about CCK’s and the issue of holidays and food. We have a lively conversation about the pro and cons of being an American who is an expat and what happens around the traditional America holidays. Then we got around the to upcoming start of the school year, and we talked about the issue of cross-cultural school lunches.
The article can be found on Eatocracy- CNN.com Blogs in the article The Kid with the Stinky Lunch.
Do you have any real tales of alienation or acceptance in the school cafeteria? How do your global children cope in their changing environments?
My kids were TCK’s born in Australia where they grew to love Lamingtons, Tim Tams, and Fairy Bread often found at birthday parties. I never packed them into their school snacks, but I knew how much they loved them. When they moved to Indonesia, they grew to love Sambal, Satay, and Rendang which often showed up in their school lunches. Their move to Nigeria brought them the love of Suya, Dodo, and Puff Puffs. They were growing up to be connoisseurs of food from around the world.
Co-Mingling of Cultures through Food
You can imagine our delight when we recently got to merge the various cultures of two of our favorite foods in a restaurant in Los Angeles, California USA. They had perfectly mixed the best of Korean mains with American Desserts. Korean BBQ is one of the most fun and delicious communal dining experiences ones can have especially when it is with your adult child that you don’t get to see enough times in the year.
Lucky for me, my son knows banchan from bulgogi, and soju from sambap. We had a delightful lunch. He knew how to season the grill, flip the meat and let me know when we should eat. His skills made the food ready fast, and it seemed to be non-stop. We were stuffing our faces constantly over the course of the meal. When the server arrived asking us if we wanted the desserts offered today, Gyeongju bread ( a small pastry with a filling or red bean paste) or Yumilgwa a deep-fried mixture of flour and honey. We both declined.
Then the server suggested that we might want their summer dessert special. He offered Smores! A traditional treat consisting of a fire-roasted marshmallow and a layer of chocolate sandwiched between two pieces of graham cracker.
How could we say no to this American Treat we celebrated with every summer? See Learning from Failure with Marshmallows at Home and School – here or read the Significance of Food and the Expat Child here.