English News: A Taste of India
Instead of discussing their homework for Jhumpa Lahiri’s novel, The Namesake, about the Indian immigrant experience in the U.S., students in D Period Advanced English IV got a literal taste of India last Saturday.
Suzanne Mazzarelli, mother of Arwen Neski ’15, treated the class to an early-morning feast of chicken masala, dal and rice, naan, and chai. She also told them a story about the gods Shiva and Ganesh, to explain Hindu concepts of success and wisdom. Ms. Mazzarelli, a social worker and registered yoga teacher, is the mind/body program coordinator at Mountainside Treatment Center in Canaan, CT.
Aromas that filled Berkshire Hall from Room 209 lured another class visitor, Mr. Wil Smith, Dean of Community & Multicultural Affairs.
"An engaging, unique, and delicious experience." Aaron Fang ’15
“With a strong background in yoga teaching, Suzanne brought a sense of peace when she came to our class. She immersed us with knowledge of Indian culture through her food and stories. First the waft of the Indian food, then the taste of the food helped me imagine scenes from The Namesake better and gave me a deeper appreciation for the book and Indian culture. I loved the food so much that I was inspired to write down the names of the dishes to hopefully make when I go home." Alyssa Cass ’15
"Since one of the main topics in The Namesake is culture, it was really valuable to get to experience a little piece of it ourselves to understand the main characters better. There are multiple times in the book where the narrator talks about the traditional Indian food, and many of the students had never tried it before. Suzanne also told us a short story about the spiritual figures of India, and although it wasn't directly related to the book, it still had a powerful message. It was a perfect example of our mission statement." Renee Dreher ’15
We are all grateful to Ms. Mazzarelli for sharing her enthusiasm for the Indian culture and delicious food with our class.
-- Linda Bellizzi, English teacher