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Celebrate 4th of July in Boston!

Global Immersions - Friday, June 29, 2012

This Wednesday, July 4th America’s Independence will be celebrated all over the country in the same way it has been for generations: with fireworks, parades, family, barbeques and an undeniable feeling of patriotism. As one of the thirteen original colonies and home to numerous American revolutionaries, Massachusetts played a formative role in the creation of our new Union. What makes Massachusetts so special in the story of American Independence? Here’s some more information on America’s birthday and how we’ll be celebrating: 

Massachusetts and the 4th of July:

  • The Second Continental Congress passed a resolution asserting American independence from Britain on July 2nd, 1776, a resolution that had originally been introduced in June of that year. Two days later on July 4th Tomas Jefferson introduced the actual “Declaration of Independence” document, which was signed by Jefferson, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin that day.
  • However, most historians have concluded that the rest of the Continental Congress took a full month to sign the document, which wasn’t official until August 2nd, 1776. From the outset, Americans celebrated independence on July 4th, the date shown on the much-publicized Declaration of Independence, rather than on July 2nd.
  • Of the 56 original signatories of the Declaration of Independence, 5 represented Massachusetts, tied with New Jersey for the third most after Virginia (7) and Pennsylvania (9). 3 other signatories, including Benjamin Franklin, William Hooper and Roger Sherman were originally from Massachusetts. 
  • In 1781 the Massachusetts General Court became the first state legislature to recognize July 4th as a state celebration. 
  • Before fireworks, New England towns used to celebrate the 4th by lighting huge bonfires: the bigger the bonfire the more patriotic your town was. Salem, Massachusetts was known as having the largest, using over forty tiers of barrels to light their bonfire! 

How will you Celebrate? 

The Boston Pops Fireworks show is one of the nations largest: over 500,000 people will attend the event and another 7 million people will watch it broadcast live on CBS! Watch the concert at the Hatch Shell, and then enjoy the fireworks over the Charles River. Get there early!

Celebrate American Independence at the Gore Place in Waltham, the Federal era historical estate and former home of Governor Gore. Visitors will tour the beautiful estate, still furnished in the Federal style, while hearing stories about the fight for Independence. July 2nd through 7th, time varies on the day. Call (781) 894-278 for more information, reservations recommended.  

Reenact the signing of the Declaration of Independence at the Adams Carriage House on the Adams National Historic Park in Quincy. One of the signatories of the Declaration, Adams knew from the beginning that this day would be celebrated with “pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more”. The event is free, call (617) 770-1175 for more information.  

Visit http://www.bostoncentral.com/events/massachusetts_fireworks_2010/p5389.php 
for a full list of when each town in the Boston area will hold their fireworks show. 

Share your 4th of July stories with Global Immersions! 

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Independence_Day_(United_States) 

Celebrate America's Independence Day at Harborfest!

Global Immersions - Tuesday, June 26, 2012

From June 28th to July 4th the whole city of Boston will celebrate the 31st annual Harborfest and the bicentennial of the War of 1812, America’s “Second War of Independence” fought to defend the new nation from England. This annual week-long gala celebrates all that Boston has to offer: history, culture, fun and excitement, culminating on July 4th with one of America’s biggest Independence Day celebrations. Share Boston’s rich history by taking part in any of Harborfest events, catering to all ages, interests and budgets. Your visitor will love to experience the celebration surrounding America’s Independence in one of the nation’s most historical cities.


Here’s just a sample of some Harborfest daily events, which range from classy brunches on the Liberty Clipper to fun reenactments of historical events in Boston’s intricate role in the fight for American Independence.  

Thursday, June 28th

Reenact the Boston Tea Party aboard the Liberty Clipper! Raid a British ship with the Sons of Liberty, throw tea in the harbor and fire cannons! Admission is $24-$35; reservations recommended (617) 742-0333 Noon- 2pm .


Tour the elegant mansion of Harrison Gray Otis, a Congressman, Senator and the third Mayor of Boston, his wife, Sally Foster Otis and their family. Free for Boston residents, 141 Cambridge Street Noon-4:30pm.

Friday, June 29th

Walk through the life of Paul Revere, one of Boston’s most famous patriots! Join the guided walking tour through the North End as you visit the sites that mark Revere’s life, including his silversmith shop and foundry. Admission $1.50-$5, 2:30-3:30pm at the Paul Revere House (617) 523-2338

Saturday, June 30th

Spend the whole day enjoying Spectacle Island!

Start your day by ferrying out to Boston’s Harbor Islands for a Hatha yoga class, appropriate for all ages and abilities. The ferry costs $9-$15 and space is limited. Boston Harbor Islands Ferry Kiosk, Long Warf to Spectacle Island 10:30-11:30am (617) 723-8666

After yoga build or bring a kite to fly over the harbor! Materials provided from 1:30 to 2:30.

Then have a real New England dinner from 6:00-9:00pm with the Spectacle Island Clambake featuring all the best seafood New England has to offer! Admission $70-$80 reservations required (617) 960-7166

Sunday, July 1st

Sample the best of New England’s clam chowder from the area’s top restaurants, then vote for your favorite! This is one of Harborfest most popular events, over 2,000 gallons of chowder were served last year! Admission $8 - $11; City Hall Plaza 11:00am-6:00pm


Take part in the Trial of the Century at the Old State House! Actors will reenact the trial of the British soldiers accused of taking part in the Boston Massacre featuring patriot lawyer John Adams arguing for the defendants. Admission $3-$7.50, 6:00-7:00pm (617) 720-1713

Monday, July 2nd

Watch the U.S Coast Band in concert as the national touring band plays patriotic favorites! Free at Pier One, Charlestown Navy Yard (978) 806-5050

Tuesday, July 3rd

Dance to a variety of classic rock and original blues with the Town Hall Blues Band on the Plaza at City Hall. Free, Noon-3:00pm

Wednesday, July 4th

Watch the 4th of July fireworks on the Charles River Esplanade! The Boston Pops Orchestra starts at 8:00pm, with the firework’s beginning at sundown and celebrations lasting until 11:00pm. Free! For more information call (888) 484-7877 


Visit http://www.bostonharborfest.com/  for more information. Share your Independence Celebrations with Global Immersions Homestay, we hope to see you at Harborfest!  

Taiwanese Food!

Global Immersions - Friday, June 22, 2012

In preparation for our upcoming group of Taiwanese visitors attending TALK Language School, we’ve been thinking a lot about Taiwanese foods. A world apart from the lo mein or sushi available on nearly every block, Taiwanese food is an often underrated slice of Asian cuisine. In Taiwan the idea is to eat small and often, and street side “boa’s” dedicated to snacking are always busy. From the easily found “bubble tea” to the more rare “stinky tofu,” Taiwanese food has a lot to offer. Here are some of the crowd favorites:

Braised pork rice (滷肉飯)

Taiwanese love their lurou fan, so much so that the capital city of Taipei launched a “braised pork rice is ours” campaign last year after Michelin’s Green Guide Taiwan claimed that the dish is from Shandong Province in mainland China. A good bowl of lurou fan has finely chopped, not quite minced, pork belly, slow-cooked in aromatic soy sauce with five spices. There should be an ample amount of fattiness, in which lies the magic.

The meat is spooned over hot rice.  

A little sweet, a little salty, the braised pork rice is comfort food perfected.

Oyster omelet (蚵仔煎)

 Taiwanese food

Here's a snack that really showcases the tastes of Taiwan. You've got something from the sea and something from the soil.

The eggs are the perfect foil for the little oysters easily found around the island, while sweet potato starch is added to give the whole thing a gooey chewiness -- a signature Taiwan food texture.

No wonder it was voted best snack to represent the island in a poll of 1,000 Taiwanese by Global Views Monthly in 2007.

Bubble tea (珍珠奶茶)

Bubble tea is representative of the "QQ" food texture that Taiwanese love and has found a solid following in America as well. The cute-sounding phrase refers to something that is very chewy, just like the tapioca balls that are the "bubbles" in bubble tea.

It is said that this unique drink was invented out of boredom. Liu Han-Chieh threw some sweetened tapioca pudding into her iced Assam tea on a fateful day in 1988 and one of the greatest Taiwanese exports was born.

Bubble tea is easy to find in Boston. Try it out at Infusions Tea Spa (110 Brighton Ave), Lolicup (219 Quincy Ave) or Leisure Station (625 W Kendall St).

Stinky tofu (臭豆腐)

Taiwanese food 

This is the world's best love-it-or-hate-it snack and Taiwan does it just right. 

The "fragrant" cube of bean curd is deep-fried and draped with sweet and spicy sauce. If you hold your nose, it looks and tastes just like a plain ol' piece of fried tofu, with a crisp casing and soft center like pudding. Breathe deeply and your nose will tell you another story.

Want to try these delicacies? Here are some top rated Taiwanese restaurants in Boston:

Taiwan Café, 34 Oxford St, Chinatown (617) 426-8181

Jo Jo TaiPei, 103 Brighton Ave, Allston (617) 254-8889

Gourmet Dumpling House, 52 Beach St, Chinatown (617) 338-6223

MuLan, 228 Broadway, Cambridge (Kendall/MIT) (617) 441-8812

For more information about Taiwanese food read “40 Taiwanese Foods We Can’t Live Without” by Hiufu Wong available at http://www.cnngo.com/explorations/eat/40-taiwanese-food-296093?hpt=hp_bn5



Father’s Day Around the World

Global Immersions Recruiting - Wednesday, June 13, 2012

This Sunday, June 17th, many families around the globe will celebrate fatherhood and paternal bonds in the annual celebration of Father’s Day. Founded in 1910 by Sonora Smart Dodd, Father’s Day was created to complement the recently established Mother’s Day. Dodd was inspired by her Father’s ability to raise six children as a single parent, and pushed for a public holiday honoring fathers. Though the holiday took several years to gain success, in 1972 US President Richard Nixon designated the third Sunday of June as the permanent national holiday, Father’s Day.

In the US, Father’s Day is typically associated with male-oriented gifts such as tools or electronics, and spending time with fathers and grandfathers. Continue below to find out how Father’s Day is celebrated in other countries.


In Brazil, Father’s Day occurs three months after Mother’s Day, on the second Sunday of August. The holiday was originally created as a celebration of Saint Joachim, the patriarch of families.  Though it is not an official holiday, many Brazilians celebrate the holiday by spending time with their fathers and families.


Father’s Day in Germany is always celebrated on Ascension Day (marking 40 days after Easter), a federal holiday. Also known as Men’s Day or Gentlemen’s Day, the holiday is often celebrated with a group of males going on a hiking tour with traditional regional food and drink.  


Father’s Day in Nepal is celebrated in late August or early September depending on the lunar calendar. On the day of the new moon, families go to their temples to pay respect to their deceased fathers.


In Thailand, Father’s Day is celebrated as the birthday of the king. As the king is the “father of the nation,” Thais wear yellow on Father’s Day, representing the day the king was born. Thais also celebrate Father’s Day by giving their father or grandfather a Canna flower, which is considered a masculine flower.

Do you have any Father’s Day plans? Let us know! If you are in homestay, be sure to wish your host father a Happy Father’s Day!

source: http://www.history.com/topics/fathers-day 

Flag Day in America

Global Immersions Recruiting - Wednesday, June 13, 2012

In the United States June 14th is celebrated as Flag Day. While Independence Day on July 4th marks the “Birthday of America,” Flag Day commemorates the adoption of the American Flag by the Second Continental Congress on this day in 1777. The idea of devoting a day for the flag was lead by Bernard J. Cigrand, a Wisconsin schoolteacher who in 1885 encouraged his Stony Hill Students to celebrate the day by reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, giving patriotic speeches and ceremoniously raising the flag together. In 1916 President Woodrow Wilson officially established June 14th as Flag Day. Although the 14th is not a federal holiday, many American’s celebrate by raising flags on their homes and government buildings.


One of the best-known Flag Day parades, which began in 1952 and is now celebrating its 61st year, is held annually in Quincy. This year’s celebrations will take place on Saturday, June 16th with a 7 p.m parade and fireworks at 9:15 p.m. More information about the Quincy parade, which draws up to 50,000 spectators, can be found here.

Celebrate in Quincy, raise a flag in your home, or share this story with your visitor to help commemorate this important day in American history! 

source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flag_Day_(United_States) 

The Jimmy Fund Scooper Bowl

Global Immersions Recruiting - Tuesday, June 05, 2012

This Tuesday through Thursday June 5 – 7th marks the 30th annual Jimmy Fund Scooper Bowl! As the nation’s largest all-you-can eat ice cream festival, the event will serve up ice cream, frozen yogurt, and sorbet from the nation's leading ice cream companies from 12 to 8 p.m. each day. Over the past thirty years, the Jimmy Fund Scooper Bowl has raised more than $3 million for cancer research and care. 

More information about the Scooper Bowl can be found here. Enjoy!

The 33rd Annual Cambridge River Festival

Global Immersions Recruiting - Thursday, May 31, 2012
Do you have plans for this Saturday, June 2? Check out the 33rd annual Cambridge River Festival! 

The Cambridge River Festival celebrates the arts with free outdoor music performances, dance, art demos, and more! Attracting a crowd of 200,000 to the banks of the Charles River, the Festival's enormous variety of visual and performing arts reflects the city's diverse neighborhoods and cultural heritage. Beginning with a procession from Harvard Square to the Charles River, the Festival runs from 12pm to 6pm, rain or shine.  

For more information about the festival, visit the Cambridge Arts Council website here

We hope to see you there!

Memorial Day

Global Immersions Recruiting - Thursday, May 24, 2012

On the last Monday of every May, Americans across the country celebrate the federal holiday, Memorial Day. Originally observed to remember the fallen soldiers of the American Civil War, the holiday is now a day of remembrance for all fallen American soldiers in wars. 

This Monday, May 28th, many Americans will visit cemeteries and memorials to honor those who have died in the American Armed Forces. Memorial Day, formerly known as Decoration Day, is also a day when families and individuals decorate graves and cemeteries with American flags. For many Americans, Memorial Day also marks the beginning of the summer season. Many celebrate the holiday by  having barbeques, picnics, parades, and family gatherings. 

If you are in Boston for Memorial Day, visit Boston.com for more information on events going on around the city!


Mother's Day Around The World

Global Immersions - Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Mother's Day has become a global holiday and while it is celebrated on many different days, countries including the United States, Japan, Germany, and Colombia celebrate it on the second Sunday in May, which is May 13th!

While spring festivals celebrated maternal goddesses during ancient Greek and Roman times, Mother's Day did not become an official holiday until May 10th, 1908 in the United States. It was founded by Anna Jarvis who campaigned for the creation of the holiday in remembrance of her recently deceased mother. 

In most Arab countries, Mother's Day is celebrated on March 21st. It was first introduced in Egypt in 1943 by journalist Mustafa Amin. The idea was overlooked at the time, but when Amin heard a story of a widowed mother who devoted her life to raising a son who eventually became a doctor, got married, and showed little affection to his mother, he began to push for its creation. By March 21st 1956, it was officially accepted as a holiday. 

Today, pink and red carnations pay tribute to mothers who are still alive, while white carnations pay tribute to those who have passed. 

How do you show your appreciation to your mothers? Have any suggestions? Let us know!

For those who are visitors, why not let your host mother know how appreciative you are of all she has done for you during your stay in Boston!




Cherry Blossom Festival This Sunday!

Global Immersions - Thursday, April 26, 2012

Have you ever been to a Japanese cherry blossom festival before?

Stop by Copley Square Park on Sunday, April 29th, between 11 am-4 pm for some Japanese festivities! This will be the first Japanese-style festival in Boston. There will be plenty of food, games, and performances for you to enjoy!

You can find more information about the festival here!

We hope to see you there!


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