For non African children; a knowledge of the history and culture of other people has become critically important today. Globalization, is now a reality that cannot be reversed.
Schools within the independent sector prepare children for life, not just for exams. As wars today become increasingly asymmetric and very unconventional, independent schools take the view that the safe child in today’s reality is a child who is fluent in more than one language and is at home in any seaport or airport they find themselves. This ambition to broaden the cultural horizon of pupils led to a project that delivered a high quality African Story telling sessions to several independent schools in Manchester, and then to whole school assemblies in inner city schools, through funding provided by Excellence in Cities.
The book Seluwa of the Fulani people offers an insight into North African culture.
AIM: To increase the cultural understanding of North African people using the book Seluwa of the Fulani people.
ACTION: Pupils are shown the Sahara regions of Africa on a map. The children are reminded of the alluring beauty of the desert with its shimmering golden sand dunes. Along side this beautiful dimension is the stormy and dangerous reality of the Sahara desert during a sand storm. Pupils are introduced to grains and spices germane to North Africa’s culinary culture, i. e Couscous, ginger and coriander seeds. Some children involved in the project felt golden couscous grains; for the very first time. They also got introduced to root ginger and were made to realise that ginger powder is derived from dried, pulverised ginger roots and then used, in the baking of ginger bread and ginger biscuits.
The session is finished off with the showing of a colourful African cookery video called (PALMWINE & PLANTAINS).
The African cookery video showed children how to slice up and shallow fry plantains, a rhizome which belongs to the banana family, and is regarded by African as a symbol of fertility, due to its ability to propagate itself annually without the need for outside assistance. The lovely and popular West African Kebab Suya is also featured on the video.