At the beginning of June, just before the summer break, we held a Ghanaian food event. Pupils were really excited about the lesson. It wasn’t just about food. They actually felt connected. They have penfriends in Ghana. They had written letters to each other, and they had heard about Ghanaian everyday life and education system.
They already knew many things about Ghana so different from what we are used to in Estonia. Just to mention some, which made our pupils see new perspectives: not every child in Ghana can go to school, going to school can be seen as a privilege; extremely big classrooms, meaning up to 80 pupils in a class; pupils help to make their school lunches; very different hygiene opportunities; very different school buildings; many male teachers at schools. All this made our pupils think and discuss. One topic which was always very interesting was food. Food in Ghana seemed to be so different from ours. So, the pupils were very much looking forward to the Ghanaian food lesson.
First, we talked about food safety and discussed about how differently food can be seen and experienced in different places of the world. Then we played a fun Ghanaian-Estonian food game, where we learned about different foods. We learned about okra, and we found out that apples are not as usual in Ghana as they are in Estonia. We learned that blueberries are being seen as something very strange for Ghanaians, and they don’t know what is rye. However, they grow cacao and mangoes and bananas.
Then it was time to try to make something Ghanaian ourselves. We made Zoomkoom – a traditional Ghanaian welcome drink. First, we watched a video about locals in Kongo village making it, and then it was our turn. It was new and fun, even a bit funny. Well, we are not used to add chilli pepper to our drinks. Ginger and chilli pepper got everyone excited. Preparing the drink was a very unusual experience.
When Zoomkoom was finally ready, it was time to taste it and express opinions. We had learned that the first one to taste the food had to be the eldest lady in the house. Our pupils thought that the drink was sweet and strange and hot, but something that one could easily get used to.
The food lesson was a perfect ending for this year’s penfriend project. All pupils involved have learned and experienced so many new things, and they are looking forward to continuing with the project in autumn when they return from their summer break.
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