Blending with the Americans

A little while ago I attended my first official American barbeque. As a kid I went to the Arab version all the time. The first major difference between the two traditions is dress. When Arabs gather at another Arab person’s house we always look fly. Silk shirts, jewlery, shiny shoes. At our bookstore employee “barbeque” I felt very out of place because I was not in demin.  In Arab homes you always, ALWAYS take your shoes off and there we all were prancing in and out of Sonja Potts’ house in our flip flops and sneakers.

Serving procedure at an American barbeque is also quite different. They use the line method. At the beginning of the line there is this cute arrangement of disposable and upsettingly styrofoam plates and silverware.  And everybody just moves on first come first serve. At Arab functions the men usually eat first. While this is a load of patriarchical stupidity it worked out nicely when I was a kid. Arabs use real dishes which are quite cumbersome in the hands of a six year old, but when your cute and little the older people who already have their food feed you. We also don’t usually eat the food oustide, we have sufras (tableclothes to you Americans) on the floor, one for the men and one for the women. Kids eat where they land.

Here are some pictures with some handy explanations for those of you who would like to understand American eating habits a bit better.


One Response to “Blending with the Americans”

  1. At Arab functions the men usually eat first.

    Funny but the ones I have attended, women go first.. and they take their sweet time because they have to yak and ask about your 6th cousin removed before they reach the end of the buffet! :p


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