Skip to content

Registration is OPEN for summer camps, swim lessons and pool passes!

World of Food Trucks

World of Food Trucks

Brazil | Samba Dancing

Samba DancerSamba dancing is a lively and energetic dance style that originated in Brazil, particularly in the city of Rio de Janeiro. It is characterized by fast-paced footwork, rhythmic hip movements, and lively music with a strong drumbeat. Samba is often danced during celebrations and festivals, particularly during the famous Carnival in Brazil.

The history of Samba can be traced back to the late 19th century when it emerged from a fusion of African rhythms and Brazilian culture. It was influenced by various African and European dance styles, eventually evolving into its own unique dance form. Samba became increasingly popular in the early 20th century, gaining recognition both within Brazil and internationally. Today, Samba is an integral part of Brazilian culture, representing joy, energy, and the vibrant spirit of the country’s music and dance traditions. [1] [2]

Puerto Rico | Puerto Rican Cuisine

Puerto RicoPuerto Rican cuisine is a vibrant and flavorful fusion of indigenous Taino, Spanish, African, and American influences. Known for its bold spices, tropical ingredients, and hearty dishes, Puerto Rican cuisine offers a diverse range of flavors and textures. Staples like plantains, rice, beans, and pork are commonly used in dishes such as mofongo, arroz con gandules, and lechón asado. The cuisine reflects the island’s rich history and cultural diversity, making it a delicious and unforgettable culinary experience.

India | The Art of Henna

What is Henna?

Henna ArtThe art of Henna — called mehndi in Hindi and Urdu — has been practiced in Pakistan, India, Africa, and the Middle East for over 5,000 years. It was originally used for its natural cooling properties for the people living in hot desert climates. [1]

Henna is a small shrub (Lawsonia inermis) of the loosestrife family that is cultivated in India, Arabia, and Egypt. Its leaves yield an orange dye, also called henna, that is used in coloring hair and leather. The dye is also used in temporary tattoos and as a cosmetic. The plant’s sweet-scented flowers are used in perfumery and embalming. Henna is also called Egyptian privet, Jamaica mignonette, or reseda. [2]

Japan | Origami

japanThe literal meaning of origami is “fold” (ori or oru) and “paper” (gami or kami). The art of paper folding is enjoyed around the world as a pastime and is thought to have come from Japan, where it was originally used for decorative and ceremonial purposes. Paper origami, however, traces its origins back to China. The following will explain more about the history of origami, discuss the modern-day art of paper folding, and provide some interesting facts about it.

The history of origami can be traced back to Japan in the 6th century. The word “kami” or “gami” in Japanese is the noun for “paper,” and the word “ori” or “oru” is the verb for “to fold.” Although the word origami is Japanese, the origin of origami was likely in China, shortly after the invention of paper in the 2nd century. After being introduced to Japan in the 6th century, Japanese origami was reserved for ornamental purposes. For example, a pair of origami butterflies would be used as a decoration at a Shinto wedding to signify a beautiful life for the couple. [1]

Minnesota, U.S.A. | Dream Catcher

Dream CatcherIn many Native American tribes, a dream catcher is a handmade willow hoop woven into a web or literally, a net. They can include feathers and beads, and they’re traditionally suspended on cradles as a form of armor and protection or to ward off evil spirits.

Dream catchers can be traced back to the Ojibwes. The Ojibwe people started the trend and over time, dream catchers were adopted by other tribes, cultures, and even nations. This adoption was made possible through the process of intermarriage, trade, or both.

Dream catchers became widely accepted by Native Americans in the 1960s and 1970s as a result of the Pan-Indian movement.

Each part of the dream catcher had meanings tied to the physical world. One notable meaning is the dream catcher has a round shape that represents the earth’s spherical character. The web absorbs bad dreams at night and discharges them during the day. The feathers act like ladders allowing good dreams to descend on the infant or adult who is sleeping. [1] [2]

The links below are third-party sources

  1. Popwows.com/Dream Catcher
  2. About the Ojibwe People
  3. Symbol Sage – You Tube Video (A detailed video on the origin of the dream catcher.)

Poland | Polka Dancing

Polka is both a dance and a type of music that originated in the Czech Republic. Eventually, it spread to Vienna, Paris and across Europe, Russia, South America and the United States. The etymology of the word “polka” is uncertain and debated among scholars. However, the name of the dance may have come from the Czech word, “pulka,” which means half-step, referring to the characteristic syncopations used in the dance.

Folk style polka music is thought to have started in the early 1800’s. Later, in the mid-1800’s, the dance developed in Bohemia (now part of the Czech Republic).  While the dancing and music started in the Czech Republic, it was also popular in Austria, Poland, Switzerland, Germany and the Slavic countries. Moreover, the music and dance spread to Russia, Italy, Belarus, Netherlands and Slovakia. Also, it reached some popularity in the United Kingdom, the Nordic countries, Ireland, South America and the United States. Finally, it gained in popularity in the U.S. after WWII with the influx of Polish refugees. In addition, other Eastern European dance genres flourished in this period like the mazurka and the schottische. [1]

 

The links below are third-party sources

  1. Dancetime.com/polka
  2. WORLDDANCING – You Tube Video

Taiwan | Bubble Tea

Bubble TeaBubble tea, also known as boba tea, is typically a combination of milky tea and chewy tapioca ‘pearls’.

Bubble tea as we know it today came into existence almost four decades ago. Two tea houses — Chun Shui Tang in the central city of Taichung and Hanlin Tea Room in the southern city of Tainan — both claim to have invented the drink in 1986

Bubble tea has since proliferated across the world, with dedicated shops popping up everywhere from Berlin to Brasilia, and you’ll find starch pearls (as the bubbles or boba are also known) in much more than milk tea. They’re served in all sorts of ways, whether that’s in rose-scented lattes or even as a pizza topping. (Source: NationalGeographic.com/boba-bubble-tea)

 

The links below are third-party sources

Philippines | Filipino Cuisine

Filipino cuisineFilipino cuisine is influenced by a fusion of various cultures, resulting in a unique and diverse culinary heritage. Some of the major cultural influences on Filipino cuisine include Spanish, Chinese, Indian, and American flavors and cooking techniques. [1][2][3][4]

The Spanish influence on Filipino cuisine is significant due to Spain’s colonization of the Philippines for over 300 years. Spanish flavors and cooking methods have been integrated into Filipino dishes, introducing ingredients like tomatoes, onions, garlic, and olive oil, as well as techniques like braising and sautéing. [1][3]

Chinese influence on Filipino cuisine can be traced back to centuries of trade and cultural exchange. Chinese culinary practices, such as stir-frying and steaming, have made their way into Filipino cooking. Chinese ingredients like soy sauce, tofu, and various vegetables are commonly used in Filipino dishes. [1][2][3]

Indian influence on Filipino cuisine can be observed in the use of spices, particularly in dishes like curry and Biryani rice. Indian traders introduced spices like turmeric, cumin, and coriander, which are commonly used in Filipino cuisine. [1]

American influence on Filipino cuisine came during the U.S. colonization of the Philippines in the early 20th century. American flavors and ingredients, such as canned goods, corned beef, hotdogs, and fast food, have had an impact on modern Filipino cuisine. [1][3]

These cultural influences, along with the rich indigenous culinary traditions of the Philippines, have shaped the flavors, ingredients, and cooking techniques found in Filipino cuisine. The result is a vibrant and diverse culinary heritage that reflects the country’s history, heritage, and multicultural influences. [2]

Mexico | Mexican Cuisine

TacoMexican cuisine is a rich and diverse culinary tradition influenced by a blend of cultural and historical factors. It is characterized by a wide range of flavors, ingredients, and cooking techniques. The cuisine is a result of the fusion of indigenous Mesoamerican ingredients and traditions with Spanish, African, and Caribbean influences. Mexican cuisine is known for its vibrant and bold flavors, and the use of ingredients such as corn, beans, chili peppers, tomatoes, and various herbs and spices. [1]

The blend of indigenous and Spanish influences has given rise to iconic Mexican dishes such as tacos, enchiladas, tamales, and mole, as well as a wide variety of salsas and guacamole. The cuisine also encompasses a multitude of regional specialties, each showcasing unique ingredients and flavors, reflecting the diverse geography and culture of Mexico.

Furthermore, Mexican cuisine is renowned for its use of traditional cooking methods such as barbacoa (slow-cooking meat underground), and the traditional grinding of spices and masa (corn dough) using a stone metate and mano. The cuisine’s rich diversity and cultural significance were recognized by UNESCO when it was designated as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2010. [1]

Hawaii, U.S.A. | Polynesian Cuisine

hawaiiPolynesian food originates from the indigenous peoples of the ethnogeographic region known as Polynesia. Polynesia encompasses a vast area in the east-central Pacific Ocean, with its apex at the Hawaiian Islands in the north and its base angles at New Zealand (Aotearoa) in the west. [1] The history of Polynesian food is shaped by the migration of Polynesian people across the Pacific islands, which occurred over thousands of years. These migrations brought new plants, animals, and cooking techniques to different islands, contributing to the diversity of Polynesian cuisine. [3]

Traditional Polynesian feasts are ‘Ma’a Tahiti’ in Tahiti, and ‘Aha’aina’ (commonly known as a Luau), in Hawaii. Luau traditions and customs vary, but they generally involve a festive meal with music, dancing, and other cultural activities to celebrate a special event such as a wedding, birthday, or festival. [3] The main features of a luau are the traditional Hawaiian dishes that are served at these events. Some common dishes served at a luau include:

  • Kalua pig: A roasted pig that has been slow-cooked in an underground oven called an imu.
  • Laulau: A dish made of meat (usually pork) and fish wrapped in taro leaves and then steamed to perfection.
  • Poi: A traditional Hawaiian staple food made from taro root that has been mashed and mixed with water to create a thick paste.
  • Lomi lomi salmon: A salad made with fresh salmon that has been salted and then mixed with tomatoes, onions, and green onions.
  • Haupia: A sweet coconut pudding that is served as a dessert.

In addition to these main dishes, other common foods served at a luau include fresh fruits, rice, and coconut milk. [1] [2]

Italy | Pizza

ItalyThe history of pizza dates back to antiquity when various ancient cultures produced flatbreads with different toppings. One possible precursor to pizza was focaccia, a flatbread known to the Romans as panis focacius, to which various toppings were added. Modern pizza, as we know it today, evolved from similar flatbread dishes in Naples, Italy, between the 16th and mid-19th centuries. [1]

Pizza is a dish of Italian origin that typically consists of a flattened disk of bread dough topped with a combination of olive oil, oregano, tomato, olives, mozzarella or other cheese, and other ingredients. It is baked quickly, often in a wood-fired oven heated to a very high temperature and served hot. [1]

Plainfield Park District

Install Plainfield Park District

Install this application on your home screen for quick and easy access when you’re on the go.

Just tap then “Add to Home Screen”