Have you ever stumbled on a family in the park or out and about with children who are seemingly so attuned to those around them? Have you ever thought, “We live in diverse surroundings, yet we still are not very culturally aware?”
If these or similar topics ever swarm your mind, we invite you to join the discussion on Raising Global Children. First, we would like to thank our contributors for taking part in this discussion to aid others in rearing global children.
For this week’s discussion, contributors provided insight on ways parents could promote interest in other cultures even if you are unable to travel the globe. Read the contributors responses below. If any of the responses resonates with you, then please, by all means, share your thoughts. Either way, please visit each contributors website and join them on Twitter to learn about their global adventures with their children.
Week 1 topic: What are some ways parents who are not well-traveled can start promoting an interest in other cultures with their young children?
One of our family’s favorite ways to learn about other cultures is by participating in cultural events throughout our city. We have had fun throwing color powder on one another during India’s spring time Holi festival, welcoming in Chinese New Year by watching parades in Chinatown and honoring the dead during Dia de los Muertos to name just a few. We are lucky to live in a large culturally diverse city, but even if you don’t have these options in your town, you can create your own celebrations at home with family and friends. Our favorite yearly holiday to celebrate at home is India’s festival of Holi. This is such a fun, colorful and easy holiday to celebrate with kids of all ages. Check out our post on how to welcome spring with your own Holi party no matter where you live.
Karilyn Owen of No Back Home, is a travel writer focusing on inspiring families to get out and explore the world around them. Visit her website: http://www.nobackhome.com or join her on twitter: @ciantravels
A parent who is interested in other cultures, regardless of circumstance, is already setting an example for their children. Today, global is often more local than you think. Start out simply with who is your own child; Where are they from? Where do they live? Use maps and globes. Branch out from there with libraries and events at cultural centers in your community. Engage with your school on how global is their curriculum. Introduce a relevant foreign language as early as possible.
Eleanor is a British TCK, teacher, accompanying spouse and mother, currently based in The Netherlands. Visit her website: https://eleanormccallin.wordpress.com/ or join her on twitter: @evnicolas
Parents who are not well traveled can start promoting an interest in other cultures with their young kids’ right in their hometown. Starting with some inspiration, a holiday celebrated around the world, a friend with a different ethnic heritage, a country discussed at school, anything your child can identify with in their experience. Parents can use any resources available in their city like the public library, cultural community centers, and culturally different neighborhoods around town, ethnic grocery stores, and restaurants serving authentic ethnic cuisine. Exploring a few of these places (a place to taste traditional food, a cultural event, books and video from the library) can give kids a multidimensional look at a different culture right in their home city.
Hi, I’m Tracey Tullis, a freelance writer traveling the world with my Husband and 6 year old Son. Visit her website: http://expatexperiment.com/ or join her on twitter: @expatexperiment
Start at the library! There are some great books that highlight how different children live around the world: Unicef’s Children Just Like Me or Donata Montanari’s Children around the World are two great suggestions. Use those books to introduce different cultures, then build on that base by preparing traditional meals from each country or doing selected crafts. Try out a few new phrases in the native language. Focus on one country or region per week so you can get in depth with your learning!
A former college literature professor, Natalie runs Cosmos Mariners: Destination Unknown, a travel blog that focuses on history, literature, culture, and arts from around the world. Visit her website:http://www.cosmosmariners.com or join her on twitter: @cosmosmariners
Thank you again to our contributor’s this week discussing how to promote cultural awareness even if you are unable to travel the globe. Many of us live in culturally diverse areas in which we can easily enrich our children’s lives by deliberately immersing ourselves in various different cultures. Join us next Thursday as we continue the discussion. And we sincerely hope you will add your contribution in the coming weeks as well.
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