By Taylor Sellers
The demographics of D.C. are not what makes the city a hub of knowledge about people from across the Globe. The Smithsonian Museums expose people to the cultures of the world, and all on the National Mall.
During our adventures at the Smithsonian’s, I was exposed to history and culture that I could never see anywhere else. At the Museum of American History, the original American flag is preserved and on display (and much to my sadness, pictures were not allowed).
At the Smithsonian’s Slacker Gallery, there were exhibits both on the history of the Quran and Buddhism. I was able to see Qurans that dated back to the 8th century. The intricacy of the designs and calligraphy were an unexpected beauty. I also learned about differences in written Arabic and the process of penmaking as well.
In the Buddhism sculpture section of the Slacker Gallery, Isabelle Barrett and I learned about the hand symbols of the Buddhist statues. The right hand is Vitarka, meaning teaching. The left hand, turned town, is Varada, meaning passion.
I also saw Buddhist sculptures dating back as long as the second century B.C. It was enlightening to see what people were capable of creating so many centuries ago.
The Smithsonians also give people to opportunity to learn about natural history and the American Indian culture as well.
Not only do the Smithsonian Museums offer cultural insight, but the restaurants in D.C. do as well. La Tomate, an authentic Italian restaurant in the Dupont neighborhood, certainly tested my knowledge of pasta. Annie’s Paramount Steakhouse also treated the Drake in D.C. students to the experience of brunch, which could arguably be considered a sport in the D.C. area.
Washington D.C. is not only a hub for political culture, but has been the home to museums and restaurants that treat people to a unique insight to the world.