The more I learn about another culture, the more I realize how people across the globe share many more similarities than differences. We (most people) all do the best we can given our circumstances, we want the best for ourselves and families & we all love good food!
My parents encouraged me to see world from a young age and that made me incredibly curious and excited to learn as much as I could. I was lucky to come from a family that embraced two cultures, Iranian and Italian, but I grew up in a very non-diverse city in Wisconsin. This sparked my curiosity even more- I craved exotic dishes and wanted to meet people with totally different experiences than I had.
Global Gastronauts international cooking boxes was created to ensure that kids can learn about the world right at home, no matter where they live. Here are some reasons why your kids need to be learning about the world early on.
- Exposing kids to the unfamiliar activates new ways of thinking. Stepping outside of our comfort zone can be hard, but it’s often not as difficult as we make it out to be in our heads. The sooner kids are exposed to something different, the less scary it becomes growing up. Trying something new helps build open minds and hearts that are confident and courageous, Give your kids the right opportunities to encounter the unfamiliar right at home. See our first blog post about activities to do as a family.
- Learning about the world helps us develop empathy and inclusivity. We all have the need to be accepted by others, especially as children. In my own experience, kids who bully others are often intimidated by someone who is different from what they know and understand. You all can think of a kid who was ignored or bullied for being different. Learning to understand how other people live can help ease the fear of the unfamiliar. Ask questions about your child’s classmates who are ignored or picked on for being different. Then come up with ways your kid can include that someone. If your child is uncomfortable with this, ask more questions to get a better idea of the source of discomfort. Find a solution that’s right for your family.
- Cultural education can help break stereotypes and misconceptions. We all have heard stereotypes of specific groups of people and these misconceptions exist everywhere in the world. I’m always fascinated to learn what stereotypes people in different countries have, even here in the US. I heard MANY misconceptions about Americans and the USA while traveling, which did affect me in various circumstances (I will save those stories for another post:). The bottom line is, talk about stereotypes, racism, and other social issues of culture with your kids. Start the discussion early and come up with ways for your family to become even more culturally inclusive. The more interaction we have with people who are different, whether it’s a kid at school or someone from a different culture, the more kids will see and embrace our similarities.
From my kitchen to yours,
How does your family learn about new cultures and what resources are available in your community?