This post is part of the Multicultural Kid Blogs World Cup for Kids Project. Each time Cameroon plays, I will be posting about something you can do with your kids to get to know the Cameroonian culture. You can follow along with each country here, and find our introduction and schedule here.
With Cameroon playing against Mexico today, here are a few interesting facts about the country:
Cameroon is in the West Central Africa region. Because of its natural and cultural diversity, it's often referred to as 'miniature Africa'. There are beaches, deserts, rainforests, mountains & savannahs. The official languages are French & English (having formerly been under French & British rule) but there are over 200 linguistic groups! The name "Cameroon" is derived from the Portuguese word Camaroes which means shrimps. A Portuguese sailor in 1472 arrived at a river in Cameroon and discovered so many shrimp that he called the place Rio Dos Camaroes: River of Shrimps.
Traditional sports, like canoe racing and wresting, are an important part of Cameroonian life. Wrestling is particularly popular, found in almost every village. Canoe racing is enjoyed along the coast, with villages competing against each other. As people increasingly move to the cities, traditional sports are losing their popularity.
The most popular sport in Cameroon is football/soccer, played across the country. Their national team, Les Lions Indomptables (The Indomitable Lions) is a source of great national pride. It has qualified seven times for the Fifa World Cup, more than any other African team. They have also won four Africa Cup of Nations titles.
Our World Cup posts about Cameroon include a list of books for kids, here, and a tutorial for an art project inspired by traditional toghu cloth here.
Ginger beer is a popular, refreshing drink very much enjoyed in Cameroon, and throughout West Africa. It would be perfect after a game of football! It's a non alcoholic drink kids and adults love. If you're interested in more Cameroonian recipes that would be tasty while enjoying the World Cup, try out these snack foods from Afro Fusion Cuisine: Cameroon croquettes and cassava beignets.
Our appreciation for ginger varies in our family, and we all enjoyed this recipe. The ginger is less pronounced than what we've tasted from Jamaican ginger beer, which appealed to the kids. Of course, if you like a stronger ginger flavor, just add more. Ginger is also very healthy, and if you reduce the sugar, this is quite a healthy drink. Some recipes include yeast and fermentation, but we chose this simple recipe where all the ingredients are blended and then poured through a sieve.
West African Ginger Beer
Recipe adapted from Kadi African Recipes
- 4 cups water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup lemon juice (juice of one lemon)
- 1 generous cup of ripe pineapple, roughly chopped (approximately 1/2 of a small pineapple)
- 3 inches of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
- Ice, to serve
1. Dice the pineapple and ginger, and put all ingredients into a blender or food processor.
2. Blend, blend, blend until nice, smooth and a bit frothy.
3. Strain through a sieve into a pitcher. Serve with ice or refrigerate for about 2 hours.
Come back tomorrow for another great West African drink, Bissap, and a refreshing Greek drink, the Greek Lantern.
Don't forget to find out about what other bloggers and families are doing to follow along with the World Cup and learning about different cultures. I've outlined how it works in my introduction and will be featuring other posts on our Facebook page.
You can find more cultural and historical activities at the following linkups: