The diversity of cultures in the world can be seen in a unique way through the eyes of children. This list travels the globe and gives us a glimpse of the ways in which we nourish our future generations. It also offers a poignant look at the varied standards of living in the world today, particularly from the perspective of our precious children.
Abdul is 10 and he loves Kibbeh. Syria’s second-largest city Aleppo, has over seventeen varieties. Kibbeh is like a type of dumpling made primarily of bulgur with a variety of meats, vegetables, and spices added. Life for children in Syria can be unbearable with many living without shelter, food, or clean water. Abdul is two years overdue for a life-saving heart operation that he probably won’t get. His family lives in a refugee tent city with sixty thousand others.
While couscous is the definitive national dish of Algeria, Basem pictured here with his face concealed behind a mask of the Algerian flag, loves shakshouka which is a dish of eggs poached in a tomato sauce. Algeria has a 32% child mortality rate and at least 10% of the childhood populace is unvaccinated. Children born out of wedlock are not protected by many laws.
Photo credit: Unicef
The Ukraine has a varied set of national dishes that resemble those of many neighboring nations formally in the Soviet Union. One national dish is holubtsi which is a cabbage roll filled with almost anything you can imagine, though usually beef, lamb, or pork seasoned with garlic, onion, and spices. It is a favorite of Artyom (aged 10), pictured above, who still gets headaches from the shelling in 2014, and has to visit the doctor a few times a month to have his eyesight checked.
Aberto loves feijoada which is a stew made of beans with beef and pork. It is served with rice and sausages that are sometimes cooked in the stew. Children in Brazil must often work (girls as servants and boys as laborers) and nearly 30% of the entire workforce is child labor. Privileged kids get to go to school for four hours a day.
Photo credit: Ebtesam Ahmed
Fragrant rice dish Kabuli palaw is the national dish of Afghanistan. But Neo, pictured here, prefers Sheer Khurma which is a sweet dish made of vermicelli, saffron, milk, sugar, nuts, dates, and rose water. It is a festive dish with Muslim origins. The average wage in Afghanistan is $135 a month and children (who legally cannot work under the age of 14) are paid even less to work in dangerous conditions.
Moambe Chicken is the national dish of the Congo. It is made by combining chicken, Congolese spices, and palm butter (made from the fruit of the palm tree) to make a thick stew. It is also a popular dish in Gabon and Angola. The Congo has a serious problem with child trafficking and child soldiers. If you are born in the Congo like Dira pictured above, there is a 75% chance of dying before you turn five.
Chasin is thirteen years old and his parents are ultra-orthodox Jews living in Jerusalem. His family follows the kosher lemehadrin laws which are the harshest dietary laws in Judaism. Chasin’s favorite food is lokshen kugel, a type of creamy pudding or casserole made with egg noodles and dairy. It is an old Ashkenazi Jewish dish.
3 North Korea
Photo credit: CNN
Ji-seok is 10 and lives in North Korea. His father earns $1,000 a year which is the average wage. Ji-seok Loves chatting with friends online which is now possible with the government sanctioned Red Star operating system. His favorite food is mul naengmyeon which is an icy cold noodle soup that is a speciality of North Korea. It is made with buckwheat noodles and slices of beef and pear.
Photo credit: Jakarta Post
Rubel is 12 years old and he works in a factory that makes metal utensils. He earns $5 per week. He loves learning in school when he gets a chance to go. Rubel’s favorite food is fish curry (Hilsa), the Bangladeshi national dish.
1 United States of America
This is James Charles. He became a Youtube Celebrity at sixteen years of age with a channel focussed on makeup. He lives in Los Angeles and is worth twelve million dollars. His favorite food (judging by his Twitter feed) is junk food—especially French fries!
Disclaimer: some content on this list is dramatized to protect the identity of the children.
Jamie is the owner and chief-editor of Listverse. He spends his time working on the site, doing research for new lists, and collecting oddities. He is fascinated with all things historic, creepy, and bizarre.