AHC Around the World


Junior Zosia Dobosz holds a Polish flag. Dobosz’s favorite Polish dish is Łazanki z Kapustą, which is noodles with cabbage, bacon, and lots of seasonings.

Kung fu, Hip-hop, tamales. Les Miserables, Arabic, and soccer. Culture comes in so many forms and surrounds the world in almost every aspect of one’s lives. Sometimes people participate in other cultures in their daily lives without even realizing it. 

Culture is so much more than trying a new food or enjoying a certain type of music, for many it is a lifestyle and at the core of their identities. It is important for people to educate themselves on different cultures and their significance, not just for their own knowledge, but to connect a little bit better with others in their own communities and out in the world.

Math and science teacher Minie James was born and raised in India, and experienced differences growing up during her childhood.  

“Traditional childhood you could say was more under control,” James stated. Although it may be a generational difference, “parents used to exercise more control, and interfere, with good intention of course. They were strict parents, but very loving, there was a lot of parental love.”

This tends to be a common theme within households. Junior Zosia Dobosz, a first generation Polish- American, has a similar experience. 

“We were raised tough,” Dobosz revealed. “To not accept disrespect from anybody, we learned respect and how to treat people early on.”

Junior Tatum Francois, who comes from Creole descent, agreed with this, characterizing her upbringing as “strict.” 

One thing James, Dobosz, and Francois all agreed that something other people should try from their culture is food.

“The food is so good. It’s definitely a whole different taste palette than the average American food,” Dobosz explained. “We have things like Gotąbki which is like beef and rice wrapped in cabbage. My personal favorite is Łazanki z Kpustą which is noodles with cabbage fried down, and its top with crispy bacon and a lot of seasonings.”
Francois believes Creole cuisine should be at the top of one’s bucket list. After having some time to think about it, she decided that “Mmmm, Gumbo,” was the dish to try.

James shared that Indian food has tons of flavor and would definitely recommend it for someone to check out. 

“I like the desserts. I also like the main meals, like rice with different vegetables and meat and fish,” James explained. “Every simple dish would have a lot of small spices. It’s not like one or two spices, it’s like four to five, maybe even more than 10, even in ordinary cooking.” 

This is not the only commonality, Dobosz and James both mentioned how their families were more patriarchal.

“It’s a little patriarchal because in my culture mostly the father had an upper hand.” James revealed.

James shared further to describe how this dynamic played out in her household.

“For example, Dad is coming late, probably the whole family will wait so that they can eat together,” James expressed.

However, James, Dobosz and Francois had all stated how much they enjoyed certain traditions because they could spend time with family.

“On Black Fridays we get breakfast and our parents get us little gifts, whether it’s like family PJ’s or whatever,” Francois stated.

Dobosz shared about her Polish tradition and how her family spends time together.

“We have this thing called Wigillia which is a twelve-course meal on Christmas Eve,” Dobosz stated. “It’s definitely a big family thing, so a lot of families from different states would come over. It lets you have some bonding time with those you don’t often see.”

James favorite tradition is also visiting family during the holidays.

“When you have holidays, it is a very normal thing that the children go stay with their aunt, or uncle,” James states. “All into our house the cousins come. Every summer I enjoyed that a lot. It means you are more connected to your cousins.”

The importance of family is one of the most relevant factors that connects all these cultures together.