Start the Year off by Encouraging Appreciation for Other Cultures
In our increasingly globally aware communities, it is important for young people to be able to recognize and respect the differences between other people’s cultures. Here are some ideas to help parents and other supportive adults share with their children a multicultural view of the world.
1. Explore a new culture through books
There are many books available that describe what it
is like living within a different culture. Select books that represent a
different culture than your own and read them with your children. Encourage
children to ask questions once the story is
2. Visit an Ethnic Store or Restaurant
Most communities include grocery stores or restaurants
that feature a specific type of ethnic food. Visit a store or restaurant with the young people in your life to select
a special treat that they would like to try. Many store managers are happy to
recommend favorite foods.
3. Celebrate a new holiday
Every culture has special events and celebrations. Whether it is Chinese New Year, Kwanzaa or Halloween, choose a holiday in which you may not normally participate. Learn about the event and look for local events in your community for you and your family to attend. This can be a great way to gain appreciation for a different culture.
4. Learn about the music of a different culture
Many children love music, and many cultures have their
own particular style of playing an instrument. Borrow music CD’s from the
library. Encourage your child to use available materials or instruments (flutes,
drums, maracas, sticks) to play along as you listen to music from another
5. Encourage friendships
One of the greatest lessons a child can learn is how
to communicate with people from another culture. By encouraging friendships with
a diverse range of people, you can also encourage others to be more accepting of
those who have a different background or upbringing.
6. Travel somewhere new
Immersion within a culture offers a hands-on way for people to explore a new culture. By being surrounded by a different way of life, people are able to fully experience a new culture. You don’t always have to travel far to experience a new culture, there are many unique cultures here in Tompkins County!
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Community Coalition for Healthy Youth
Ithaca NY 14850