Understanding different cultures brings an appreciation of the world; others’ experiences, customs, beliefs, and traditions. By understanding these things it’s easier to understand you home and background. Learning about other cultures at a young age ‘normalizes’ them and makes culture an everyday part of life to be savored, not something to be afraid of.
It doesn’t matter where you are in the world, culture is interesting; and it’s important that we all appreciate the different cultures and traditions around the world. My Canadian hometown is bursting with multiple cultures. We celebrate with an annual festival called Mosaic in June. However, there isn’t as much multiculturalism in my current location although it has been changing in the 9 years I’ve spent in the country.
Here are some free or inexpensive ways that you can bring some culture into your own home and entice each of the five senses.
Listen to music from different cultures. It can be traditional music, pop music, or children’s music. Ask friends for referrals to get you started, or browse through your library or the Internet for free resources. There are so many different genres of music these days, you are sure to find something that everyone will enjoy.
See little glimpses of cultures around the world by joining www.postcrossing.com and receive postcards from around the world. You never know what will end up in your post box! By exchanging postcards you’re also helping your children with literacy and you can learn about geography as well by finding the locations of your postcards on a map.
Taste the foods of the world! Visit various restaurants to absorb authentic surroundings and meals. Even better: borrow a cookbook or find a recipe via the Internet and gather the family around to make a meal together. Why not try a new recipe each month? It’s a great way to get your children involved and interested in new tastes, flavors, textures, and aromas. Helping in the kitchen can involve math, fine motor skills, science, and patience.
Touch clothing, toys, artifacts. Some museums and art galleries have exhibits you can touch or try on. Feel the soft wood carvings of hand-carved art or instruments. Try on some traditional clothing to compare it to your own everyday clothing and talk about the similarities and differences.
Smell the aromas. Attend or take part in a cultural festival to smell the smells of the world; spices, perfumes, incense, food. It all comes together here.
Thanks for reading today!