How are we teaching our children about multicullturalism in the Peace Area apart from the occasional dinner out or vaction and why is this important?
For children, and some adults, learning and trying new things can be scary. Learning about new people, and helping then recognize that we are all unique, different and special helps children learn to appreciate others for who they are. This helps the learn to respect others choices, tradiions and beleifs. As they do this they learn to work and communicate better with each other. The idea that new or different no longer feels scary, and children are more comfrotable in unfamiliar settings. Taking the time to learn about the cultures in your community modles interest in others, and a willingness to accept diversity in your community.
Here are some ideas and resources that can help make learning about other cultures fun and interesting for children.
1. Have a family meal from another culture and do it as authentically as you can. Choose a culture from a map or globe and research a dish togehter that they would eat, find out how they would normally sit, dress and eat and make your dining room as autentic as possible. Get the family involved in decorations, meal planning and discussing the food and the culture as you eat. Here are some suggestions of places you could start.
- http://www.foodbycountry.com (check out the section on meal time customs here to ad authenticity)
2. Explore your own cultural heritage, or your parents or grandparents and find out what they did differently - try living like they did for a day - and look at old photos.
3. Explore the cultures in your community, attend mutli-cultural events and learn about other families traditions. If you have friends from other cultures - try a potluck where everyone brings one dish from their culture, or take turns sharing with each other something special about your individual cultures.
4. Read a story together or watch a video about a child or family in another country or culture. Here are some resources online:
5. Learn a new language together.
For more ideas check out these online sources: