A Taste of America, and Beyond, at the Folklife Festival in Washington



HOST: Welcome to AMERICAN MOSAIC, in VOA Special English.

I'm Doug Johnson. On our show this week:

Music from performers at special concerts called Live Eight…

A question from a listener about the Presidential home known as Camp David…

And a report about the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington, D.C.

Folklife Festival

HOST: Every summer since nineteen sixty-seven the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., holds a special outdoor event. The Smithsonian Folklife Festival celebrates American and international cultures and traditions. This year, one of the subjects is "Food Culture USA." Faith Lapidus tells us more.

FAITH LAPIDUS: The United States has experienced changes in the past forty years in the way food is grown and enjoyed. Visitors to "Food Culture USA" learn how American food is influenced by different cultures and traditions.

Americans can choose many kinds of foods in stores and eating places because of the presence of immigrants from all over the world. Professional cooks in the United States use these food traditions to create new ones.

Americans have also become more interested in buying specially made foods. For example, many farmers grow fresh fruits and vegetables without using chemicals. Some producers make only one kind of food, such as cheese or olives. Even large companies are becoming more interested in selling healthier products.

Visitors to the Food Culture area of the Folklife Festival can see many exhibits that explain current food movements in America. In one area, famous professional cooks talk about their experience with food. Another area explains the history of spices, chocolate, and coffee. These products come from all over the world and are important to the food traditions of many countries. There is also a special garden where you can learn how to grow fresh food.

Visitors can also eat tasty food from different parts of the world. For example, one food seller makes meat and vegetables from Peru. Another seller cooks the traditional meat, bread and rice from the Arab nation of Oman. You can even try American food such as buffalo burgers.

This year's Smithsonian Folklife Festival is not just about food, however. Visitors can experience other cultural traditions from Oman, hear music of Latino culture and learn about the United States Forest Service.

Camp David

HOST: Our VOA listener question this week comes from Ondo State, Nigeria. Akingbulugbe Lawrence asks about a place known as Camp David.

Camp David is the official place where the President of the United States goes to get away from Washington, D.C. It is in the Catoctin Mountains in Maryland, about one hundred kilometers from the nation's capital. The President goes there to enjoy a quiet time with his family and friends.

American presidents also meet with foreign leaders at Camp David. In recent years, President Bush's guests at Camp David have included Russian President Vladimir Putin, British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. He has also met there with Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf and King Abdullah of Jordan.

Camp David has an office for the president and living areas for his family and guests. It includes a swimming pool and areas to play golf and other sports.

No one is permitted to enter Camp David except people invited by the president. Armed guards from the United States Marine Corps provide security.

President Franklin Roosevelt established the camp in nineteen forty-two. He wanted a place where he could go to escape the summer heat of Washington. He chose an area in the mountains because it was cool in the summer. He called it Shangri-La", the name of a perfect mountain kingdom in a popular book.

President Harry Truman made the camp the official presidential holiday home in nineteen forty-five. Eight years later, President Dwight Eisenhower changed its name

to Camp David, for his grandson, David Eisenhower.

Important meetings have taken place at Camp David in the past. President Roosevelt met there with British Prime Minister Winston Churchill during World War Two. President Eisenhower met with Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev in nineteen fifty-nine. And President Jimmy Carter used Camp David for peace talks between Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat in nineteen seventy-eight. Israel and Egypt made peace at those talks. Their agreement is called the Camp David Accords.

Live Eight

HOST: Twenty years ago Irish musician Bob Geldof helped organize huge concerts to raise money for people starving in Ethiopia. The concerts, called Live Aid, were held on the same day around the world. Many famous musicians performed.

Bob Geldof is doing it again. On Saturday, many famous musicians will perform in concerts around the world. They include the Dave Matthews Band, opera singer Andrea Bocelli and Latin singer Shakira. This event is called Live Eight. Its purpose is to raise concern about the economic and social crises in Africa. Gwen Outen has our report.

GWEN OUTEN: American singer Madonna was a new star when she performed at Live Aid in nineteen eighty-five. She will perform this time too, at the show in London. Here she is with an early hit, "Lucky Star."


Bob Geldof says Live Eight is not Live Aid Two. He says the concerts are free because he is not trying to raise money. He just wants people around the world to think more about the problems of developing countries. He named the event Live Eight because leaders of the Group of Eight major industrial nations will meet the following week in Scotland. He wants to put pressure on the world's richest nations to cancel the debt and increase aid for the world's poorest nations. But he says the public must demand such action.

Bono of U2 agrees. At a recent concert in Scotland he asked fans to help "Make Poverty History." U2 will also perform in London. Here is the band with their song, "One."


The concerts will be held in other European cities and in the United States, Japan, South Africa and Canada. Millions of people around the world are expected to watch live broadcasts of the concerts on television.

Singer Sara McLachlan will be among the performers at the concert in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. We leave you now with her song, "Angel."



I'm Doug Johnson. I hope you enjoyed our program today.

Our show was written by Dana Demange, Nancy Steinbach and Caty Weaver. Mario Ritter was our producer.

Send your questions about American life to mosaic@voanews.com. Please include your full name and mailing address. Or write to American Mosaic, VOA Special English, Washington, D.C., 20237 U.S.A.

Join us again next week for AMERICAN MOSAIC, VOA's radio magazine in Special English.