Ilivetolearn's Blog

December 19, 2005

Santa Lucia

Filed under: Spain — ilivetolearn @ 9:31 am

Margo’s grade just finished a huge social studies unit in which each child researched a country (or for the US kids, a state) and gave a big presentation. You had to choose somewhere you had lived and felt like “home,” not just some random place you wanted to learn about, and produce a whole book about it. As you can imagine, the 60 kids in the grade reported on about 48 places. For some reason, Margo’s original request for New Jersey was not granted (though she was born there and lived there for 8 years…) and she ended up doing New York. This presented challenges because they were supposed to discuss typical foods (and bring in samples), languages spoken, special holidays, and such. She ended up concentrating on New York City, learning a lot about Central Park, writing about the Fourth of July, discussing the state flag—did you know that at the feet of one of the figures is a crown, symbolizing the overthrow of England’s rule?–and passing around little squares of cheesecake…I had to find a recipe that didn’t call for a Graham cracker crust or sour cream, neither of which can be found here.

The other kids who presented the same day were Camila, from Venezuela, and Claudia, from Sweden. It happened to be December 13th, Santa Lucia day, which Claudia didn’t even mention. (Her report leaned heavily on other Swedish exports like Abba.) But that same evening was the 3rd-5th grade winter concert, during which Margo’s grade processed into the gym wearing all white and singing the Santa Lucia carol, in Swedish and then English. The lead girl (a 5th grader) even had real candles on her head. It was lovely. And Margo has since discovered a love for gingerbread cookies. I think it’s funny that the Carmean kids had to come to Spain to discover their inner Swedishness; they are all now addicted to lingonberry juice from Ikea, and Phoebe puts away dozens of the Ikea frozen Swedish meatballs.

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