Have a Multicultural Thanksgiving with Little Pim

When most people in America think of Thanksgiving, they think of eating traditional foods like turkey, cranberry, and pumpkin pie with family and friends. Uniquely American traditions like football and Black Friday shopping may also come to mind. But Thanksgiving looks very different in other countries, each of which have their own way of celebrating the bounty of the fall harvest with loved ones. You can teach your child about other cultures and build on their foreign language learning by introducing them to some international Thanksgiving traditions.

Germany: Germany's version of Thanksgiving is national holiday called "Erntedanktag," which translates to "Harvest-Thanksgiving-Day." Harvest Festivals (Erntefests) are held in churches, markets and dance halls throughout the country, each celebrating foods for which the region is famous.

China: China's Mid-Autumn Moon Festival, like the American Thanksgiving, is a time for family and loved ones to celebrate the end of the harvest season with a giant feast. Legend says that the moon is at its brightest and roundest on this day, which is said to inspire rekindled friendship or romance.

To represent the full moon, the Chinese eat a delicious flaky pastry called a mooncake, which is stuffed with either sweet or savory filling. If you're up for a tasty challenge, check out this step-by-step guide to making your own.

This trio of soups for Sukkot is the perfect way to celebrate a Hebrew Thanksgiving.
This trio of soups for Sukkot is the perfect way to celebrate a Hebrew Thanksgiving.

Israel: Jewish families celebrate a 3000-year old harvest festival called Sukkot. A hut of branches called a Sukkot is built, and Jewish families then eat their meals beneath the Sukkot under the night sky for eight days. These hearty, seasonal fall soups from Israeli Kitchen are the perfect way to celebrate the end of the autumn harvest.

Korea: Chuseok is a major harvest festival and 3-day holiday in Korea celebrated on the 15th day of the 8th month of the lunar calendar. During this holiday, Koreans return to their hometowns to perform traditional rituals in the morning to remember their ancestors. Family members also visit their decreased loved ones, offering food, drink and crops. A popular food for the holdiday called songpyeon, a crescent-shaped rice cake, is prepared using healthy ingredients like sesame seeds, cinnamon, and pine nuts.

Check out the video below for a tutorial on preparing your own Songpyeon.

Tradition is great, but don't be afraid to mix in a few international foods and activities this holiday. As the Portuguese say, "Feliz (dia de) acção de graça" (Happy Thanksgiving)!

Basketball Around the World

During March Madness, as we carefully fill in our NCAA tournament brackets, we tend to think about basketball as a quintessentially American pastime. But the United States hardly has a monopoly on a love of hoops. The sport has thriving leagues and devoted fans across the globe -- in Europe, Asia and South America -- as well.

Here are a few countries where basketball's big:

Israel: Basketball has been bouncing around in Israel for decades. The Israeli Basketball Super League, known in Hebrew as Ligat HaAl, was founded way back in 1954 and has, over the years, exported players to the NBA and pitted its star players against NBA teams in exhibition games. In October 2005, the Maccabi Tel Aviv got a lot of attention when it defeated the Toronto Raptors in an exhibition game in Toronto. It was the first victory for any European or Israeli team over an NBA team on an NBA home court.

China: Hoops is one of China's most popular sports, with hundreds of millions of people both playing and watching the game. (It actually embraced the sport shortly after it was invented in 1891.) The country's most prestigious professional basketball league (yes, there's more than one) is the Chinese Basketball Association, founded in 1995, which has produced NBA players including Yao Ming, Yi Jianlian and Sun Yue. The CBA has imported talent as well, with NBA players like Stephon Marbury, Steve Francis and Gilbert Arenas traveling to play with teams like Beijing Ducks and Shanghai Sharks. Beijing even recently erected a life-size bronze statue of Marbury, who led the Ducks to their first-ever CBA championship win last year.

Spain: Yes, they're mad for soccer in Spain, but they're also big into basketball – or "baloncesto," as it's called in Spanish. Spain's Liga ACB is not only the top-tier professional basketball league in Spain, it's among the best in the world and has turned out NBA superstars like Barcelona-born L.A. Laker Pau Gasol. Last year, Spanish B-ball fans got something new to brag about, when their national team gave Team USA – a new dream team that included NBA superstars like Carmelo Anthony, Kobe Bryan and LeBron James – a serious run for the gold at the 2012 Olympics before ultimately settling for silver.

With basketball mania raging and rebounding through countries from Argentina to Australia, as well as Italy, Macedonia, Greece, the Philippines and France, basketball has become a big-time global sport, crossing cultures and languages. Turns out the whole world's mad for hoops – and not only in March.