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CULTURE CORNER March 9, 2009

Posted by priscilaraposo in Culture Corner.
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(by Priscila Raposo)

Saint Patrick’s Day

March 17th

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The History of the Holiday

St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated on March 17, his religious feast day and the anniversary of his death in the fifth century. The Irish have observed this day as a religious holiday for over a thousand years.

On St. Patrick’s Day, which falls during the Christian season of Lent, Irish families would traditionally attend church in the morning and celebrate in the afternoon. Lenten prohibitions against the consumption of meat were waived and people would dance, drink, and feast—on the traditional meal of Irish bacon and cabbage.

 

Wearing of the Green Goes Global

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Today, St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated by people of all backgrounds in the United States, Canada, and Australia. Although North America is home to the largest productions, St. Patrick’s Day has been celebrated in other locations far from Ireland, including Japan, Singapore, and Russia.

In modern-day Ireland, St. Patrick’s Day has traditionally been a religious occasion. In fact, up until the 1970s, Irish laws mandated that pubs be closed on March 17. Beginning in 1995, however, the Irish government began a national campaign to use St. Patrick’s Day as an opportunity to drive tourism and showcase Ireland to the rest of the world. Last year, close to one million people took part in Ireland ‘s St. Patrick’s Festival in Dublin, a multi-day celebration featuring parades, concerts, outdoor theater productions, and fireworks shows.

Who Was St. Patrick?

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St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, is one of Christianity’s most widely known figures. But for all his celebrity, his life remains somewhat of a mystery. Many of the stories traditionally associated with St. Patrick, including the famous account of his banishing all the snakes from Ireland, are false, the products of hundreds of years of exaggerated storytelling.

Symbols and Traditions

The Shamrock

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The shamrock, which was also called the “seamroy” by the Celts, was a sacred plant in ancient Ireland because it symbolized the rebirth of spring. By the seventeenth century, the shamrock had become a symbol of emerging Irish nationalism. As the English began to seize Irish land and make laws against the use of the Irish language and the practice of Catholicism, many Irish began to wear the shamrock as a symbol of their pride in their heritage and their displeasure with English

CHINESE CUISINE July 30, 2008

Posted by priscilaraposo in Culture Corner.
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Do you know that more than a third of the world’s population eat Chinese food daily?

Even if it was eaten regularly by some only, Chinese cooking would still be acknowledged as one of the greatest and original cuisines of the world.

The fact that Chinese restaurants are mushrooming in the West is undoubtedly a proof of the variety and quality of Chinese food. There’s a popular Chinese greeting:

“你吃了吗?” Ni (third tone) Chi(first) Le(first) Ma(third) which means “Have you eaten already?”

The culinary appeal of Chinese cooking has taken the Western culture by storm because those who experimented know how good and economical Chinese food can be. They discovered how easy it is to create Chinese dishes in their own kitchen and the joy of eating Chinese food can be experienced regularly rather than as an occasional treat.

The art of Chinese cooking does not, contrary to popular belief, present any real difficulty as you will soon find out at chinesefood-recipes.com. All the ingredients in Chinese recipes such as bamboo shoots, bean sprouts, water chestnuts and so forth can be readily purchased from most general food stores and supermarkets, and even online!

Color, aroma and flavor are not the only the key elements in Chinese cooking; nutrition is also a priority.”

Both the cooking and consumption of Chinese food are great culinary experiences. Besides appealing to our taste buds and eyes, food prepared in the Chinese manner is highly nutritious, retaining all its vitamins with quick and minimum cooking.

clip_image003The reward of cooking Chinese are obvious to anyone who has tasted a well-cooked Sweet and Sour Pork or was sustained by a succulent Chow Mein. Chinesefood-recipes.com has a great selection of free, easy-to-cook and delicious Chinese recipes. Give it a try and happy cooking!

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Sweet and Sour Pork