Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Global Wonders

If you know anything about me - you know I am ALL about cultural awareness. Even long before we adopted our daughter, Chloe, from China, I tried to fill my boys' lives with awareness of other cultures. Being a librarian - we read books that build a sense of "culture" into our lives, I do what I can to stress that America isn't the only culture out there and that, even in America, we all live very differently. We make it a point to learn about where the missionaries our church supports live - we even email them periodically just to get a "feel" for their culture. We have done different reports on countries that we want to learn more about; and our favorite?? We celebrate holidays from other cultures. Since getting Chloe, we celebrate the New Moon Festival every fall AND Chinese New Year. We attend an FCC Chinese New Year event each year that our whole family looks forward to. We are BIG fans of Putumayo CD's - and bringing music from different cultures into our home as well. SO, when I saw an annoucenment for these DVD's on TwitterMoms - I was just thrilled. We need more awareness of how others live - and these DVD's look wonderful for helping us do just that. Global Wonders are a set of DVD's that are put out to encourage kids to celebrate and learn about other cultures. They are quality - they have catchy tunes and characters that keep kids excited and interested. There are 4 DVD's out now - Around the World, Mexico, India, and African-American - with more to be relased soon - China, Italy and America. Make sure and check out their accompanying CD's - what a great series!
I would love, if you read this, for you to leave me a comment telling us all what you do to encourage cultural awareness - let's share the ideas and ALL benefit!!


bermudaonion said...

Our son is 21 now, but when he was younger we read books about other cultures and religions. We went to ethnic festivals and restaurants. We lived in France when he was in kindergarten and 1st grade and he attended French schools. We encouraged him to go to Japan when he was in high school - he lived with a Japanese family for part of the trip and he still talks about it. We moved to a university town when he was in the 6th grad and had a lot of foreign classmates. He had friends from Rwanda, Jamaica, Turkey, Korea, Ireland and China.

Kristi Valiant said...

Very cool, Becky. We celebrate some of the festivals and holidays of other cultures with international college students we know. My husband and I volunteer with the Friendship to Internationals ministry at our church. We hold "Talktimes" on Friday nights to help the international college students with their English and we get to hear about their hometowns, families, and cultures. We also introduce them to some American traditions; a couple weeks ago we did hayrides, pumpkin pie, s'mores over a bonfire, etc. We'll be having a bunch of international students over to our house for a Thanksgiving meal and to share with them about how the first founders of our country were thankful to God for His provisions.

adrienne said...

Cool--I'll have to check these out for the library's collection!

By the way, I also love Putumayo's CDs. I quite often do my aerobics to African Playground.

SmallWorld at Home said...

We did that with our church missionaries, too. They each have an information binder, and we went through them all, talked about their culture, etc. We did a whole year of studying non-European/American countries. That was awesome. We celebrated festivals, did lots of mapwork and crafts, and--our favorite--cooked lots of different foods! Our favorite cookbook for this was the Usborne Childrens' World cookbook.

We also support girls through Compassion International from Rwanda and from Perus, so we are learning a lot from letters from them!

Lynn said...

This is my first time visiting your blog. Thanks for the interesting book reviews! How fun, to be a librarian. Have you heard of the book, My Half of the Sky by Jana McBurney-Lin? I think you would like it, it's based in China and it's all about a young woman who feels torn between the desires of her old-fashioned parents (arranged marriage, etc.) and her own desires. The author has a blog ( and posted recently about the New Moon Festival. Anyway, thanks for the resources you mention. I'll go poke around and find out more about them :)

JourneytoFamily said...

My daughter is from Ethiopia, so we listen to a bunch of Ethiopian music, eat out a Ethiopian restaurants often and are friends with a lot of Ethiopians (and Ethiopian kids adopted by Americans). We also leave our Xmas decorations up until Jan. 6th, which is the Ethiopian Xmas.

GNO Gals, Jyl and Carissa said...

We are fortunate in that my parents are living in Guatemala and my in laws are living in Ukraine. This alone has opened my children's eyes to the fact that the world is bigger than the corner of it they live in.

We do traditional things like exposing our kids to cultures through food, religion, museums, cultural celebrations, etc.

Still, the biggest thing I have done to raise cultural awareness for them is to start a cultural awareness program at their school. I chaired it the first year, co-chaired it the second year, and now it runs on its own. Each year, for the 9 years the kids attend that school, the program focuses on one region of the world—this year it is Western Europe. Each class chooses a country to study and they focus on that country for the school year. Additionally, we have an assembly with the kids to introduce them to the region, then later an evening with families to celebrate the cultures of the region. The culminating activity is one day where each child receives a passport and "travels" with his or her "tour group" to five other "countries." When a child leaves the school in 8th grade, they will get their passport, showing all of the countries they visited and learned about during their time there.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this post. I admire how you take advantage of opportunities to teach your family about other cultures in a way that applies to them (like learning about countries where your church missionaries are—great idea!). I am sure celebrating the Chinese New Year, New Moon Festival and other holidays are enriching cultural experiences not only for Chloe, but your entire family as well. Thank you for taking the time to share you experiences with us.

-Rashmi Turner
Founder/CEO, Global Wonders

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