Note: This post was first published on March 14, 2013. As part of the Multicultural Kid Blogs carnival theme on heritage, and the contribution of various members. It’s been updated on May 14, 2019.
I have a few friends that have moved to their spouse’s heritage home country to further their children’s language learning and immerse them in the culture. I’ve been following their adventures, and journeys on Instagram, and what a gift they are giving their children!
As I see their journey unfold, I begin to question myself: Have I done enough to teach my child about his multicultural heritage?
While many families have been fortunate enough to be able to move to their’s (or spouse’s) heritage home countries many others can’t. I can’t just simply uproot our family from our home in the USA and move to Puerto Rico. Though that would be ideal, and if I could I would do it in a heartbeat.
With that being said, let’s read my thoughts and what other multicultural moms on teaching heritage to their children shared a few years ago, and today… It’s all still relevant and important.
Teaching Heritage To Our Children
I was thrilled with the theme for the multicultural kids blogging carnival because one of the reasons why I started blogging is to use it as a resource to educate on race, culture, and diversity to my child. I have a post on teaching my son heritage here.
However, I want to share an excerpt of my post:
“His heritage is his identity, and I pray that teaching our little one of where he comes from will help him embrace his individuality. Creating a sense of pride, of belonging, and knowing where he comes from will promote his character growth, and enable him to defend himself against prejudice and racism. Where he lives will not solely determine his identity, but so will his parent’s contribution on passing on his heritage.”
The group’s main focus is on raising global citizens. So how do they teach heritage to their children?
Teaching heritage to your family
Teaching heritage by wearing traditional clothing
Teaching heritage through cultural community events
Teaching heritage through story time and play
Teaching heritage by honoring ancestors
Teaching heritage as adoptive families
Teaching heritage as educators
Teaching heritage through food
Varya from Creative World of Varya has shared that her family has their own culture by adapting the best of the heritage from both sides of the family. However, there is one thing she really enjoys about her Russian heritage that she wants to pass on to her children, and that is cooking and eating! Cooking for family and friends during special occasions is a big deal. This process takes a few days of prepping, cooking, and freezing to cook later. I love how Varya is teaching heritage to her children through food, and gatherings of family and friends. These are memories that will last a lifetime! Varya is right on track to teaching her children about this wonderful heritage! To read more about how Varya teaches heritage to her children click here.
Amanda from Turning Dutch also teaches heritage through food. “My children learn about their cultural heritage through food: it may be little things like Branston pickle on their Dutch cheese sandwiches, or crumpets and scones brought back from England or more traditional British dinners that their Dutch friends don’t eat. I also share stories with them about life growing up in England – how different school was for me than it is for them for example or stories of Bonfire Night. We also bring in cultural traditions to special days, such as Christmas.”
Food is hands-down the best way to teach heritage to your children.
Adrienne from The Multilingual Home shares her experience: “We have been showing our kids how to make traditional food from our countries. My husband is Turkish, so he shows the kid how to roll out flatbread and make lahmacun (pizza). We also make a big batch of kofte (little bulgur meatballs) and sit on the ground and roll them together like they do in Turkey. For my American side, I have a family cookbook that my mom made and we pick a few recipes from it every month. It reminds me of when I used to make the same recipes with my grandma growing up. Bread and cookies are our favorites! I found it nice to connect to our heritage that way.”
To learn more about our group, you can follow us on:
Facebook: Multicultural Kids Group or join MKB’s Global Village for Raising Multicultural Kids