In our times, the world is more connected than it was last century. It is now easier for us to learn about cultures different from our own. Also, it is important to learn about other peoples in order to show respect for them and appreciate other ways of life. Here some ways, how you can teach your children about other cultures.
Orient the Kids
To expose your kids to other cultures, you don’t need to travel far, since you can immerse them by simply visiting places like Greenhills, since it is a place where Catholics, Evangelicals, and Muslims come together to trade. If the kids ask about why Muslims are different, then explain to them that they follow a different religion and culture. Remind them that the Filipino Hispano-American Catholic culture is not the only culture present in the country. Also, it’s better that you, dear parents, guide them, rather than have the kids exposed to negative stereotypes prevalent in the media.
Take Them on a Food Trip
When travelling, don’t just stick to familiar places, but go to places that are only found in the country you are visiting. For example, when I visited Indonesia for a seminar, I ended up eating in roadside eateries, and enjoyed what the locals would regularly eat. Also, if you do go to the mainstream eating places, it is fine, since at least you get to see how these restaurants, like McDo or Burger King, adapt to the local palate. I do remember that fastfoods in Indonesia would serve chicken and rice, like what we have here in the Philippines, but instead of gravy, they would have spicy sambal. In fact, Indonesian food is like ours, but spicier, for I had a spicy dish, and I needed two bottles of water and a milkshake to cool my tongue. Remember, the best way to experience different cultures is through their food, since food is something we all share.
Visit Different Places of Worship
Also, when exposing your children to other cultures, it is important to drop by different places of worship, to show them how different cultures perceive their Supreme Being. In the Philippines, you can show them Chinese temples in Binondo, the Sikh temple in Manila, various Islamic Masjids, and the Taoist temple in Cebu. In other countries, you can even show your kids how other peoples following your religion worship differently.For example, I attended Mass in Indonesia, and I observed they use a gong instead of a bell, but in the US, they have different songs. Thus, there are many cultural variations of a single religion, which should be appreciated.
Teach Them a Different View of History
To teach your kids about other cultures in our country, try to introduce them to histories written about these cultures, like the works of Cesar Majul on the Filipino Muslims, or William Henry Scott’s works on the Cordillera peoples. This will help them appreciate our country’s cultural diversity by showing them that the history taught in schools is just the dominant perspective. Other cultures in our country have their own views on history, which must be acknowledged as well.
Diversity Makes the World Colorful
In the end, it is important to teach the kids about different cultures so that they can appreciate the diversity of the world, which makes it colorful. Remember, they will learn that the world is bigger when they are older, so it is best to start early, so you can guide them to appreciate the beauty of a diverse world, or to start small, our diverse country.