Learning American Culture, One Bite at a Time!

On March 14th, Americans celebrate a day known as “Pi Day”. Why do we call it “Pi Day”? Well, March 14th, is written as 3/14 or the first three digits of the mathematical symbol pi (the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter). How do people in the United States celebrate? Well, we eat pie! Pie is a sweet dessert that is usually made with a buttery flaky crust, and filled with a custard or fruit. Some popular pies include: fruit pies (apple pie, cherry pie, blueberry pie), pudding or custard pies (banana cream pie, Boston cream pie), while others have nuts or vegetables (pumpkin pie, pecan pie, sweet potato pie). This is a uniquely American tradition as most other countries around the world write the day, month, and then year. For them, March 14th is written 14/3. 14/3 means “I love you” in text language, and what better way to celebrate love than eating pie?!

At EC New York, we aim to have students learn about American culture both in their ESL Courses at EC New York, but also in our activity programs. For many of our students, this was their first time trying pies. We served a lemon meringue pie and a fudge pecan pie. We also played some games about “pi”. Did you know that pi inspired its own language? “Pilish” is a language that combines both English and the digits of pi. When speaking or writing Pilish, you produce words the same number of letters as the next digit in pi. For example: “Now I live a tired existence.” matches the first six digits of “pi”: 3.14159.

Instead of writing stories in Pilish, we decided to play some card games, enjoy each other’s company, speak English, and of course, eat some delicious pie!


A fruit, custard, and nut pie baked on Pi Day!