Monday, September 26, 2011

International Food Festival at AISJ.

Last week, after the Parade of Nations we had the International Food Festival at school. Every year a big event, since we have to feed all the children plus the teachers and caretakers. This year that meant a 1000 mouths to feed. The kids and teachers from Pretoria were invited as well.

A daunting task!!

But we pulled it off, and did a great job!!

42 countries were represented with different kind of dishes. Can you imagine that your child walks through the gym of your school and can taste food from 42 different countries during one lunch?

How wonderful is that? From sushi to samosas to hamburgers to spring rolls to pancakes to curries, all on 1 plate. Made with love and dedication from each mom of a different country.

We are so blessed to have this yearly event at our school!!

Since I was behind one of those tables in the gym and with another mom from Thailand, Nacha, we made 16 kilos of BBQ Pork neck or in Thai: Kor Moo Yang / คอหมูย่าง, and I was BBQ'ing since 5:30 am in the morning and then serving the kids from elementary to high school I don't have that many pictures to show for. But I hope you will get an idea of what a great event that was!!

An overview from the gym with all the tables of food and people choosing their favorite dishes.

Eastern European ladies with their beautiful outfits! Representing Russia, Bulgaria, Poland, Hungary & Czech/Serbia. Looking GLAM girls :-)

A huge pile of yummy samosas from India.

Japanese ladies with their gorgeous kimonos. Sumie (R) is in my cooking group and she taught us last month some fab dishes.

One of these dishes were these smoked salmon & avo sushies... YUM YUM!!

Corn fritters, always nice!

And here the Korean table with lots of delish food. Stella (middle) my friend learned me already a few of these!

Two beautiful ladies in African attire piling their plates with all those goodies that you can only eat once a year all together like this!

My Chinese friends in their beautiful gowns. Always a favorite table of many!

South African milk tarts, a real yum dessert!

Talking about dessert... look at these vibrant cakes!! I forgot which country they came from.... But they look amazing!!

And last but not least; our table with the Thai food and decoration. Here is Nacha (R) my friend who came up with the idea of making Kor Moo Yang ~ BBQ Pork Neck. So good!! I was never really familiar with this cut of meat, but you have to try it!! It is so moist, tender and superb!! Go to this link and try this recipe. You will LOVE me for it, that I shared it with you!!

Nacha & me for the Thai table, serving this yummy dish which you have to try :-)

Events like this bring people of different cultures closer together. By tasting and liking someone else's food you connect with each other in a positive way. Such a great thing!!

So good to be at an International school who organizes cultural events like this!!
Does your school do these things or other cultural events?? Tell me!

Mireille xx

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Heritage Day, King Shaka, Desmond Tutu and, er, Jan Braai

What do Shaka Zulu, Desmond Tutu and Jan Braai have in common?

National Heritage Day of course!

Today all of South Africa celebrates Heritage Day, but it's now also known as National Braai Day and if you know any Saffers (South Africans), you'll know we need no second invitation to burn some meat on a fire!

If you're wondering what the deal is with this most welcome but somewhat confusing holiday, and asking yourself "How did Heritage Day come into existence, and where does braaing come into the picture?" and "Why is there a picture of King Shaka on this page?" then read on...

Here’s the skinny – thanks to Wikipedia

In previous years, in KwaZulu-Natal, the 24th of September was known as Shaka Day, in commemoration of the legendary Zulu King.

Then along came The Public Holidays Bill which was presented to the Parliament of South Africa - 24th of September was not on the list of proposed public holidays.

The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), a South African political party with a large Zulu membership, was not happy about the exclusion and objected strongly to the bill. Parliament and the IFP reached a compromise and the day was given its present title and seen as a day

“...when South Africans celebrate the diverse cultural heritage that makes up a "rainbow nation". It is the day to celebrate the contribution of all South Africans to the building of South Africa”

Since 2005 the holiday has been re-branded as National Braai Day, in recognition of the South African culinary tradition of holding informal backyard barbecues, or braais. SA’s favourite bishop, Desmond Tutu, is the patron of this initiative which, in 2007, received the endorsement of South Africa's National Heritage Council.

Jan Braai is the poster boy for National Braai Day and has become somewhat of a household name around these parts.

Check out this website for more on Jan Braai, Tutu and plenty of braai recipes and tips.

Source of this story: here

What I am doing today?? Well, since my braai master is not home and on a business trip to Europe, I am going to see Gordon Ramsey and some other international great chefs at the Coca-Cola dome to see and taste their specialties.

What are your plans for today??
Mireille xx

Friday, September 23, 2011

~ Parade of Nations 2011 ~

Last week we had the Parade of Nations again! 83 countries are represented at our school. AMAZING!!

How wonderful it is to see all these countries hand in hand, walking together in their national dress behind their own flag. This is always a very emotional day for me. I get tears in my eyes when I see all those beautiful children walk proudly around the field to show the world that YES we CAN be UNITED!!

All the kids getting ready on the field to parade. Each country walks a round the soccer field alphabetical order.

AISJ band is getting ready to play some music to start off.

The Pretoria campus is represented as well for the first time, and here they do a Zulu dance and music performance.

All the kids wear recycled clothing, like the Zulu's used to do...

We start with Argentina... I will show you a lot of pictures, but unfortunately not all countries I had a picture from.

My good friends from Brazil.

Hello Luciane & Candice!

Colorful Cameroon.

A sweet girl from Hungary.

Our friends from Israel.

Gorgeous girls in colorful kimono's from Japan.

Mexico is well represented with stunning girls in beautiful outfits.

Estela with her boys, walking proudly for Mexico.

Beautiful girls from Namibia.

A huge crowd from the Netherlands!

Here my neighbor Jaslynn and a friend.

And her younger sister Cathlynn and brother Daryll. Good friends of us.

Teresa from Peru with her boys. Such beautiful outfits!!

Cute girls from the Philippines.

And this sweet girl is from Poland in such stunning outfit!

A beauty from South Africa.

South Africa, our host country is well represented, here some beautiful women in gorgeous outfits.

And the big and beautiful crowd from South Korea. I just love love these outfits!!


Simply Adorable!!

Yellow & Blue from Sweden!

How cute is this girl with her beautiful flower wreath from Sweden.

And here I was waiting for: my girls walking for Thailand!

Our gorgeous girls, stunning in their Thai national dress.

Sweet Jasmine with her parasol.

and radiant Jen Su in a stunning Thai outfit.

A happy crowd for Turkey.

A huge group for the USA, love all the red/white and blue!

Stars & Stripes.

Colorful Zimbabwe.

And here some close-ups after the parade. Thailand & the Netherlands together.

Korea & Thailand, hand in hand.

Besties together: Elle from the USA and JJ.

4 of the 5 girls from JJ's class. India, Thailand, USA & UK.

Isn't this a wonderful blog post?? I always love love the Parade of Nations!!

For those who have been following my blog for the last 3 years, now that this is the fourth Parade of Nations our children are participating in. See here my blog post of the Parade of Nations of 2008, 2009 and 2010 and again 2010.

Each year this is a huge event, and I hope we can do a few more before we leave South Africa!
How about you? Is your school International? How diverse is it?

Have a wonderful day,


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