A feast of cultures at South Loop Around the World night

South Loop Scoopers fanned out across Friday’s Around the World night, an annual event showcasing our school community’s rich diversity. Our student reporters covered some of the 30 booths from countries around the globe.

India, by Katie B: I managed to catch a few seconds with the Agrawal family to ask a few questions. The Agrawal family  was running the India booth with Saleema Syed and her son, Shaan L.

Q: What is the most important thing about Indian cuisine?

A: “It’s all about the spices. They find a way to balance out the spices so they work together,” said Mrs. Agrawal.
“It’s like a band playing. They all have to work together,” said Ruhi Agrawal.

Q: What are the clothes and jewelry like in India?

A: “You can see that for woman and girls dresses are very colorful and there are beautiful dresses called Saris and men wear very comfortable clothes called Kartas,” said Mr. Agrawal

“The clothes are very colorful. A lot of different fabrics and sometimes you have gems and mirrors sewed on,” said Mrs. Agrawal

Q: Where is India located on the map?

A: “India is in Asia on the Southern side,” said Mrs. Agrawal.

Q: What is the population in India?

A: “1.2 billion” Ruhi said

Q: What are the schools like in India?

A: “The schools are different based on where you live. Most schools teach in English and are very competitive and hard,” said Mrs. Agrawal

China, by Will S: The China booth had chocolate and plain-flavored fortune cookies and traditional chopsticks that were made of wood and the package had designs on it. There were lots of pictures of the Chinese flag, which is all red with five yellow stars — one big and four small. The language they speak is Mandarin or Cantonese. China is known for having pandas. The population is more than 1 billion people.

The Philippines, by Malachi C.: The food for the Philippines was good. They had Ube cheesecake and Ube macarons. Then I interviewed the woman running the booth and asked her questions like, “How do you make Ube?” She said it has sweet purple yam with coconut milk and a little sugar. Then stir it in a pot over heat until it gets thick. It will take 17 hours to get to the Philippines from Chicago with 2 different airplane rides. Lastly, a little fun fact is that the Philippines is comprised of 7,641 islands!

Mexico, by Will S.: The cuisines of Mexico were salsa, tortilla chips, guacamole and soft, spicy, sour candy. Some of the decorations on the Mexican booth were dolls, famous Mexican people in history and maracas and wood masks. The flag of Mexico is green, white and red with a brown eagle at the center.

South Korea, by Penny P.: The official name of South Korea is The Republic Of Korea also known as ROK. The capital of Korea is Seoul. People have been living there for at least 10,000 years. Samsung, one of the world’s biggest technology companies, has its headquarters located in Seoul, Korea. Tigers used to roam the Korean peninsula, but hunters wiped them out because they needed their bones for medicine. Some people think that some tigers still roam the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea. The last fact that people learned was that mandatory military service for 21 to 24 months is required for male South Koreans.

Cuba, by Brandon B.: Cuba is a very unique island with a very unique culture. In Cuba, Cubans speak Spanish. Women and men often wear bright and vibrant colors (red, blue, yellow, green, orange, pink, or even white.) The current president is Miguel Diaz-Canel. The capitol of Cuba is Havana. Cuba has very delicious foods like tamales, plantains, rice and beans and Cuban sandwiches. Cuba is known for their sugarcane production. Cuba is where we get a lot of our sugarcane imported from. Cubans love to play baseball and dominoes. A lot of people who visit Cuba enjoy it very much.

Canada, by Will S.: For cuisine, the Canada booth had maple cookies and chocolate coins that were replicas of Canadian money. There were quiz questions about Canada, including, “What’s the longest road in the world?” The answer is Yonge Street, which is 1,100 miles. Canada is also the second largest country in the world, by square miles. The Canadian flag is red and white with two red stripes on the outside with a red maple leaf in the middle.

Holland, by Flora S.: I visited the Holland booth hosted by the Boone family. I learned that tulips are their national flower. I also tried on a pair of clogs (a sturdy wooden shoe) that were very fun to wear! When I left the
booth, I got a delicious Stroopwafel. The Holland booth was very fun and I loved it.

Greece, by Ben S.: Greece’s culture heritage, which also forms the founding of Western Civilization, is felt in all aspects of modern Greek society. While numerous archaeological sites and museums offer visitors the opportunity to experience Greek history up close, the legacy of the country is also kept alive in spectacular venues, open-air theaters, and in crowded galleries in Athens. People in Greece eat bread, grape leafs, olives and olive oil. The main animals near Greece’s shore are starfish, seahorses, sponges and sea anemones. In Athens, Greece, the first modern Olympics games were held there in 1896. So were the Summer Olympics in 2004. If you go to Greece, make sure to have euros; that is the currency they use in Greece.