Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Learning About New Cultures: North Dakota

Every time I open my mailbox it feels kinda like a mini Christmas morning.  I never know what exciting presents and adventures await me.  A lot of days I get the equivalent of Christmas socks and underwear*. Yes I'm happy to continue receiving health care, but I can't get overly enthused about letters telling me that.  Sometimes I get more exciting things, like offers for enough free flight miles to get my wife a free ticket to Japan just by signing up for a credit card.  

But today, I found a completely awesome present waiting for me from my friends from North Dakota. If you've never heard of North Dakota it's technically an American state and it is cold.  I don't know much more about North Dakota, but my friends live there and they sent me a present full of items that represent the culture of North Dakota and it's people.  The didn't explain any of the items, so I've had to use a little deductive reasoning to understand the meaning of the gifts.

I did a little research about North Dakota and discovered that North Dakota is 90% farm land and has an average of 9 people and 25 cows per square mile**.  I didn't find any articles about North Dakota's culture or what kind of currency they use, but based on the three gifts my friends sent me I've learned some other very important things about North Dakota.

North Dakota's National Snack

1. One of the most popular snacks in North Dakota seems to be Hello Panda chocolate filled cookies.  I know what you're thinking, I had the same question.  How do they fill the cookies with chocolate creme, but still keep them crispy!?  I have no idea, but apparently these crafty North Dakotans have discovered the secret and are keeping it all to themselves.  No wonder those South Dakotans are so jealous.

A Typical North Dakota Farm Animal

2. Cows there are green.  I'm not sure if all cows in North Dakota are green or just certain breeds.  But if the stuffed animal my friends sent me is any indication, cows in North Dakota are mostly green and don't have tails.  I wonder if they eat a special kind of grass that makes them green or if they just had some kind of strange mutation.  Although apparently the hair on their head is immune to whatever causes the rest of their hair to turn green.

Trendy North Dakota Facial Hair

3.  Apparently most people/farmers in North Dakota have or want green mustaches.  I assume they sent me these mustaches so that when we visit later this summer, we can wear them and look like locals.  Are people's mustaches in North Dakota green for the same reason their cows are green?  Or do the farmers just paint them green in honor of their great cows?  Hopefully I can find some answers to these questions on my journey to the great white north.

North Dakota sounds like an incredibly fascinating culture, full of ancient traditions and delicious foods like Hello Panda cookies and green facial hair.  I hope that I can learn more of their traditions and meet lots of kind people and green cows on my road trip there this summer.  I can't wait to meet you North Dakota.

P.S. If you're reading this and are my language partner from Japan, this blog is a joke.  If you are anyone else, everything I said is absolutely true.

*Even if someone you know has a lot of holes in their underwear/socks, don't get them new ones for Christmas or their Birthday.  There is a time and place for boring, utilitarian presents; it's called April Fool's Day.

**This is actually true.

1 comment:

  1. Cheers on the "no socks or underwear" for Christmas, unless it's the later to a saucy loved one and you'll both enjoy it.


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