Story of the World, Vol. 4, Chapter 39 talked about my childhood. Our history book has finally caught up with me. It feels strange to read about one’s lifetime in a history book. We called it “contemporary history” when I was growing up but I see they only call it “modern” here.
First step in a langar meal: roast potatoes and cauliflower, chop tomatoes
The 1980s in the East and the Mideast took us to India after partition and Iran and Iraq. In all honesty, I did not know much about those places. I mean, I knew Indira Gandhi got assassinated by her own body guards but why I did not comprehend. Now I know. And I had never heard of the Bhopal disaster. So this was very educational for me. Continue reading »
Story of the World, Vol. 4, Chapter 38 is titled Two Ways of Fighting, referring to Soviet invasions and the rise of international terrorism. Fascinating chapter, of course, for someone who grew up in Eastern Europe. We did not know much about the invasion of Czechoslovakia or Afghanistan under communism. So every new detail I learn or every new angle means a lot to me.
They made signs and I placed them in the wrong direction so that they would not find the toy.
The first invasion happened before I was born, so I cannot tell you what the communists reported in their highly controlled news at the time. But I do remember reading in the newspaper about the Mujaheddin in the early 80s, when I was in elementary school, and we had to prepare a news flash for a report. Continue reading »
Story of the World, Vol. 4, Chapter 37 has a funny title: Two Short Wars and One Long One. The Vietnam war represents the long war. Two wars in the Middle East appear as the short ones in the titles. After all, they only lasted days.
Apricot coconut rice cake for the Vietnamese Festival of Tet
The Six-Day War lasted exactly six days, miraculously enough. The Yom Kippur War went on for 20 days or so. Of course, the Vietnam War went on for twenty years, with American involvement shifting from economic pressures to actually sending troops. Continue reading »
Story of the World, Vol. 4, Chapter 36 is rather dark, covering the assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. On the bright side, we have the Civil Rights movement and the victory over segregation.
Pop art: comic strips and book cover
When the chapter mentioned Rosa Parks, we Googled it and found the famous pictures of her bus protest and subsequent arrest. Also, we pulled up a copy of Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous speech, “I Have a Dream.” I would start crying just reading it, so I let them do the reading to themselves. What is it with me and crying these days? Am I getting soft in my old days? Continue reading »
Story of the World, Vol. 4, Chapter 35 is titled The Cold War. The space race between the Soviet Union and the USA covers the first story. The second story takes us to Cuba during the 13 days in October, when the world teetered on the brink of nuclear war.
My son weighed himself with a stack of books.
Once again, I teared up during reading because of my personal experience with communism. The kids make me laugh with their reactions to my tears, so I end up crying and laughing at the same time. Continue reading »
In Story of the World, Vol. 4, Chapter 33, we visit Argentina to learn about Evita Peron and oh, yeah, her husband, too. Later, we travel to the Belgian Congo for one sad story after another. The history of Africa has been such a source of heartache for us, but we are mere spectators. Africans have endured much injustice and cruelty during colonization.
We get passionate about combining science and history.
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Evita” plays in my head any time we talk about Argentina and President Peron. I teared up while reading the story for the children because the story is so artistically ingrained in my memory, it touches me all over again. Continue reading »
“Western Bullies and American Money” is the title of this chapter. To be more precise, the first story covers the Suez Crisis while the second describes the Marshall Plan.
Last year, I watched “The Crown” and they have an episode about the Suez Crisis and how the Queen had no idea of what the British Prime Minister plotted. So I felt like I knew something about this story as I read it to the children. Continue reading »
Story of the World, Vol. 4, Chapter 30 talks about partitioned countries: Palestine and India. We worked on this chapter the week of Thanksgiving, so the recommended cooking project fit. I decided to make a gluten free cake about partitioning Palestine.
Two cake layers with peanut butter M&Ms
For the first time in my life, I bought candied cherries. I did not even know they existed. My husband warned me they did not taste good, but I was determined to try them. After all, the recommendations discussed using M&Ms instead and how that would be an inferior option. Continue reading »