We recently participated in the Worldwide Culture Swap, where families (or schools) exchange cultural packages and learn about another culture. The letter and package was so thoughtful, I though I would share it with you here. Emma’s mom is the founder of Be Bilingual and has written a fabulous practical guide for multilingual families.
Opening our letter and packages from Finland!
I am part of a world-side, diverse group of bloggers called Multicultural Kid Bloggers who write about their experiences in multicultural parenting. Every month we host a different blogging carnival, which focuses on a relevant topic, and includes perspectives from (literally) around the world. For example, we discussed teaching heritage to your children, and talked about winter traditions around the world, and the importance of family traditions. Join us on facebook, Twitter or pinterest to meet other multicultural, globally-minded parents.
This month’s carnival is all about our Spring traditions. Continue reading
Posted in Africa, Around the World, Asia, Australia, Australia and Oceania, Canada, Celebrations, China, Europe, Malawi, Mexico, Poland, The Americas, The Netherlands, United States
Tagged spring, traditions
This April, for our “Around the World in 12 Dishes” series, we are traveling to France! We were fortunate to visit France several times when we lived in London, and thoroughly enjoyed the fresh, local ingredients, phenomenal artisan cheese, and the delectable pastries. We decided to incorporate these elements into our evening by doing a French cheese taste test, enjoying a fresh salade nicoise, and finishing with by some coconut macaroons.
Cheese. A visit to France is not complete without tasting some of the gorgeous French cheeses. After the main meal in France, a course of cheese is often served with the salad before the dessert. In fact, even French school lunches often include a cheese course (drool over samples of French lunch menus here). When we were in France, we were told that there are so many types of French cheeses that you could try a different variety every day for a year and not ever repeat. We decided to hold our own French cheese taste test! Continue reading
Finding similarities and differences when reading fairy tales from around the world hones kids’ critical thinking skills, and helps them to focus on the details. Even the Common Core Standards includes this in one of their “Reading Literature” standards:
Compare and contrast two or more versions of the same story (e.g., Cinderella stories) by different authors or from different cultures (RL.2.9.).
There are many reasons to read fairy tales to children- especially because they’re whimsical, creative, and fun! Today we’re looking at Gingerbread stories. Continue reading
Posted in Around the World, Asia, Australia, Australia and Oceania, China, Europe, Food, France, Ireland, Literature, Mexico, Norway, Russia, The Americas, UK, United States
Tagged fairy tales, fiction children's books, folktales, Gingerbread Man stories
It’s that time again! This month for “Around the World in 12 Dishes” we visit the green island of IRELAND!!
When I was very pregnant with Maya, and Vivi was 2.5 years old, our family took an unforgettable trip to the gorgeous country of Ireland. We toured up and down the west coast: from County Mayo and Achill Island, through the Cliffs of Moher, down to Killarney National Park- with a quick trip to the east side to visit Dublin. It was an amazing trip of emerald green landscapes, grey stone castles and churches, and dramatic shorelines looking over the Atlantic. Continue reading
People celebrate carnival around the world the week before Lent, a Christian period of fasting and reflection. Traditionally held in areas with large Catholic populations, carnival often includes a parade with costumes and music- yet each country has their own unique traditions. Let’s look at some unique ways people celebrate carnival around the world.
Carnival in Europe
Creative Commons Photo by: David Edgar (2006)
Posted in Around the World, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Celebrations, Dominican Republic, Europe, France, Germany, Guatemala, Italy, Peru, Russia, The Americas
This is our 4th post as a part of the “Around the World in 12 Dishes” series! This month we visit Austria! Can you find Austria on a map? In which continent is it located? What language do they speak? (hint: it’s not “Austrian!”) What is the name of the majestic mountains that traverse the country?
Creative commons use; author Simm 2009
This is our 3rd post as a part of the “Around the World in 12 Dishes” series! This month we visit GREECE! Can you find Greece on a map? What is the body of water next to Greece? Let’s look at the terrain and weather of Greece:
- more than 250 sunny days per year
- 80% of Greece is mountainous
- No point in Greece is more than 85 miles (137 kilometers) from water. Greece has about 9,000 miles of coastline, the 10th longest in the world
- the wild olive tree originated in ancient Greece, and it currently is the 3rd largest producer of olive oil in the world
- Greece has between 1,200to 6,000 islands, depending on the minimum size taken into account
Our guest writer, Michelle Seitzer is a writer who loves elders, chai lattes, satire, all things Norway, antiques, her family, NYC, the arts & her Boston Terriers. She is currently in the process of adopting a child from Bulgaria and is sharing a bit of Bulgarian food and culture with us.
In the fall, my husband and I had the pleasure of being Bulgarian — or at least eating like one — for a night.
When we were first married, my husband and I lived and worked in London for a bit. I taught English at a local college, and had the pleasure of becoming friends with many of my wonderful students. One lovely woman, Janka, and I have been able to keep in touch through facebook. I am so excited to have her share with us the traditions around Christmas in Slovakia, plus her extra-special recipe for the most delicious, spiced honey cookies you’ll ever try! D’akujem vám- thank you!!
I will talk mainly about the differences between Slovakia and Western Europe, and possibly to the USA.
So the first difference is that our Christmas (Vianoce) is very much driven by Christian and mainly by Catholic tradition. For us the first Christmas holiday day is Christmas Eve – in Slovakia it is called Generous Day. This has a reason, we get the presents already on this day )
Thank you to my friend Janka Kožíková from Bratislava, Slovakia for sharing this soft, honey & spice cookie recipe with us!
Christmas in Slovakia is a beautiful time of year- and no family would celebrate without making these delicious, soft honey and spice cookies. Continue reading
My good friend Laura Rossi of Como, Italy, mother of 2 beautiful children, shared with me some of the many Italian Christmas traditions taking place during the month of December.
Used under Creative Commons, image by S. Deepak from Kalpana.it
Christmas traditions in Italy are based heavily on the religion of Christianity, and on the Italian holiday calendar. Christmas in Italy isn’t only the special day of December 25: throughout December and January there are a number of religious holidays to mark the festive season.
DECEMBER 6: La Festa di San Nicola. This festival in honor of St. Continue reading
This guest post is written by award-winning multicultural musician “DARIA-” Daria Marmaluk-Hajioannou. Thank you so much for sharing these great music videos with us!
All over the globe, people of the Jewish faith are preparing to celebrate the festival of lights. This year, Hanukkah (also spelled Chanukah, Chanukkah or Chanuka) begins at sundown on December 8 and ends on December 16. Although foods, traditions and music vary slightly from place to place and country to country, these two kids Hanukkah music videos share some of the joy and fun that is a universal part of this winter holiday.
Today’s delicious borscht recipe and guest post comes from Varya, author of “Little Artists.” Varya is originally from Russia, but currently lives in China. She is the mother of 2 beautiful little girls, and also is an ESL teacher and Montessori teacher.
I am from Russia, and even though I don’t cook much traditional Russian food, I like that your cuisine offers a variety of soups and salads. The most popular soup is borscht. It is good for any season and can be consumed in hot or cold form. I would like to share a recipe for vegetarian borscht. There are many versions and this is the one I use. It is always a huge hit with friends and family, and even my picky 4 year old eats it! Continue reading