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Archive for April 30th, 2013

Slice of Life Tuesday

Slice of Life Tuesday

I have an incredible mother-in-law who loves to travel. The more exotic, the better. This spring she traveled to Burma (now known as Myanmar). When she returned, she visited my classes to take them on a virtual field trip through Burma.

My mother-in-law’s grandmother name is Minga, so I told the children they could call her Minga. (Some of them called her Miss Minga to be respectful.) Minga came dressed in costume. She wore a traditional Burmese skirt which was merely a piece of woven colorful cloth wrapped around her waist and tied on. She didn’t wear shoes. In Burma, the people take off their shoes anytime they enter a building. The kids thought this was so cool that they tried to take their shoes off, too. Minga carried a bright red parasol and wore a pasty sunscreen substance on her face as the Burmese women wear.

When she came in the classroom, she bowed and said, “Minga la ba.” This means hello, goodbye, good afternoon, everything in the way of greeting. We thought this was so funny that Minga’s grandmother name is a greeting in Burma.

Minga told the children about the many differences in the culture across the globe. She also talked about how they were similar. She had a photograph of children playing a game like the game Qwirkle that we had only recently been playing in our classroom.

She shared the cake-like substance that they put on their faces as well as some sweets. She showed the students the process for making the sweet candy, from climbing the tree to get the fruit, to grinding using a mortar and pestle.

The students were full of wonder and questions. They enjoyed being able to try to carry a basket on their heads. They realized that we have a great many luxuries, even our bathrooms and electricity. It was invaluable for my students to be able to experience this foreign culture first hand.

A picture gallery

Boys go to monk school in the summer and must beg for their food.

Boys go to monk school in the summer and must beg for their food.

Girls shave their heads to attend a nun school.

Girls shave their heads to attend a nun school.

Women carry foods and other things on their heads.

Women carry foods and other things on their heads.

A pagoda, a Buddhist holy temple, at sunset.

A pagoda, a Buddhist holy temple, at sunset.

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