Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Teach your children about their heritage

There’s no doubt that today and the future is what matters, not the old moldy past that we can't even change. But it's also important to know where you and your family come from, so you can learn from previous accomplishments and avoid repeating the mistakes of your ancestors. As George Santayana said, those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

Circumstances, such as your child's school project, may force your child to research his / her how culture and heritage. Here are a few tips to help your child research his culture and heritage:

A. Use the Internet to research your cultural practices and the accomplishments of your people:

1. Find interesting cultural about your people. These little nuggets are what will make the subject interesting enough for your kids to keep up the research.

2. Look up burial practices, wedding ceremony, births and deaths, food, art, dance, music within that culture.

3. Find online images that depict the different aspects of life of your people.

4. Identify a few unsung heroes, and research their biographies.

B. Use personal/family history

5. Chat to the older generation in your family about your most memorable ancestors-Focus particularly on those who achieved something remarkable/ were notorious, conducted feuds or formed strange alliances.

6. Tell your child stories of your town/city/country - not the popular stories that are already in the public space, but the little known facts that make a place and people even more fascinating.

7. Tell your child stories of your own childhood- The people you met, the places you went to, the things you did that show her a different aspect of you.

8. Read family journals.

C. Prepare traditional meals

9. For many young people the world over, food=burger with fries and a fizzy or juice, or pizza. But that particular diet, or even the healthy one recommended by the surgeon general, is not necessarily the traditional meal of old.

Why not spend a day researching traditional meals and cook something unique. It doesn't matter if your kids decide they don’t like it. They will at least know what the food is and how it’s cooked.

D. Take an interest in the arts

10. Take lessons - Learn how to play a traditional instrument or to do a traditional dance.

11. Visit an art gallery or museum and look at some of the artwork related to your culture. Take some lessons to try it out.

12. Read a book set in some historic time of that culture.

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