We All Have A Culture - What Does Culture Mean?
There are many definitions for culture however the The most suitable definition for this blog is the way of life consisting of beliefs, customs,traditions, values and habits of the individuals from different families and or country of origin.
Why is it important for children to be aware of their own culture?
Culture plays a very important role in forming a child's identity, belonging, family values and individuality. When children have positive role modelling from adults and awareness and about their own culture, they feel proud for who they are, where they are from and what they do. From a very young age, children will be able to conceive their actual culture which is much above the style of dressing or eating. They have genuine love, understand and respect for it. This awareness enables children to understand and respect others' culture.
How to bring awareness of other cultural experiences to the children?
Children often begin to notice cultural differences at a young age.
Questions like “Mum/dad/teacher why does she look like that?” are relatively common and often it is a natural reaction to silence the child and change the subject as soon as possible. As adults, we have learnt that asking these types of questions can potentially cause offence, yet children have not yet been socially conditioned to understand this.
When a child does ask these questions, we can seize the opportunity to help the child understand and respect cultural and ethnic differences. For instance, if your child asks why someone has brown skin, simply provide the child with the objective facts that will help them understand why these differences exist. So in this case, you would explain that because their parents had brown skin, they do too. If they ask why a person sounds funny or is speaking another language, explain that they may have a shared heritage and family from another country.
Through the process of teaching children to understand other people’s cultures, they will, in turn learn about their own. In the long term this will help them learn about a wide range of other important subjects including history, ethnicity, religion and geography followed by providing hands on experiences.
For example Cultural Leaning Made Fun in Brisbane offers school incursions to primary school children focusing on Indian culture which helps enhance children's self awareness and intercultural learning. To find school incursion programs in your area that help educate children about different cultures in a fun and interactive way. Search for school incursions in your area at www.schoolactivites.com.au
Here are 5 simple and fun Diversity and Cultural Awareness activities to share with your students
1. Celebrate Holidays from Different Cultures.
2. Learning a Second Language.
3. Celebrate Diversity through Reading.
4. Learn about Cultural Etiquette
5. Be a Positive Role Model