Are you moving to another country and want to help your children stay close to your current traditions? While we all want to fit in to our new home to some degree, it’s important to instill your children with a sense of connection to their culture and home country.
There is nothing more beautiful than our differences, and celebrating cultural identity is important. Here are a few ways you can use family traditions to help your children understand their culture in a fun and engaging way.
- Make a meal together
Share recipes from grandma, or simply reserve Wednesdays for a traditional meal to help the little ones appreciate their culture in a delicious way. It gives them something to look forward to, while simultaneously creating excitement. Have your kids join in the preparation of the meal, or share stories of your connection to the traditional dishes. They will have those memories forever.
- Attend local festivals
Even if you are far away from your home country, you don’t have to miss your favorite festival or activity from your homeland. It is not uncommon for cultural groups to come together for traditional celebrations all around the world. These cultural events are often open to larger communities so that everyone can learn about different customs. Sure, the festivals may not be the real thing, but they are wonderful substitutes which will allow children to have fun and learn about their heritage.
- Celebrate traditional holidays
Are you worried your children will never know what it’s like to taste your mom’s fresh sweet bread or that they will never learn how your community comes together to celebrate a special event? Holidays can be difficult when you are far from home, but they are great opportunities for your children to connect to their culture. Make the sweet bread and invite the neighbors to join you in celebration of your special event. With time, these holiday traditions will become as meaningful to your children as they are to you.
- Share a song
During family time at home, play some of your favorite tunes in your language while teaching the lyrics to the little ones. In no time they will be singing and dancing along with you. It’s a great way to create a long lasting memory for them, and at the same time, keep them rooted in the culture of your home country.
- Read, read, read
Above all, education is key. Make a nightly ritual of sharing family stories and traditional fairy-tales before bed, or pick up a few children’s books about your home country they can read on their own. Most kids remember the books they read growing up, so fill them up on knowledge while they’re young enough to instill a strong cultural identity.
These are just a few tips you can use to infuse your family’s traditions into your children’s lives. Do you have additional tips for getting kids involved and learning more about their culture when moving to another country? Let us know!