When people immigrate, they often leave more than just the familiar environment of their homeland. They may travel to new continents, new states, and new places with very different cultures, languages, accents, and traditions of every kind.
Though this is a chance to find what you seek, it also presents the challenge of maintaining the very culture and traditions your family holds dear. So, it’s up to you as a parent and keeper of your family’s history to pass on what you know and your heritage to the children as they move on into the future.
The first thing to do is consider maintaining specific religious practices, habits, and values. These will vary with environment, and many times access or the available opportunity to practice these will change. It is always best to find an area or location where you’ll be able to access these opportunities. We hope you enjoy this article about teaching children about culture for parents to keep there heritage.
Decide what you want to teach
When you first immigrate, you will want to decide what cultural aspects to pass on to your children. What is it that you want your children to not only remember of their heritage but to want to pass on to their own children?
Cultural and family traditions- what is it that you want to pass on to your children? What can you pass on? Are there differences in a new location that would inhibit these practices or traditions? Are there certain adaptations you want to make in your beliefs and practices to merge with a community?
Share with your community. The trick to maintaining cultural practices is to share it with others. New environments will introduce you to new people and traditions. Of course, it will also introduce other people to your new traditions. Because curiosity is a powerful learning device, it is always advantageous to share with anyone eager to learn. Involve neighbors and others within your community to share in some of your traditions and share your culture with everyone.
Culture through family
While culture is composed of many daily practices and rituals, it is also extremely important to pass on the history of the family and the specific traditions that a family has. Culture can cover a large spectrum, from adapting to a certain environment, manners, and language to the specific nature within a family group.
Family heirlooms: It is important to know the history of things which are passed down within the family. But, this history incorporates more than a short story, but also validates the meaning and what it represents. Don’t just pass it on as a gift, but place it in the perspective as something that has depth in your culture and must continue on down the family line.
Tell it like it ought to be: When it comes to folklore, sayings, stories, humor, study how they’re told and incorporate the native language spoken. Though it is valuable to learn new languages in new locations, practicing that which is familiar in a familiar essence maintains the feel of heritage instead of being copied down in mere words. This embeds the cultural values and history by preserving them in the very soil that gives them value.
Maintaining contact with your culture: One of the most intervening cultural hindrances is distance. The distance from place to place builds barriers which can be difficult to overcome, which is where amenities such as international calling services can overcome any distance across the world. Whether you’re talking with grandparents, relatives, or just staying in touch with some old friends, you can reach a friendly voice at the touch of a button to continue teaching children about culture learning.
Building a bridge between generations
There will always be differences between parents and the children they raise in a new cultural environment. Bridging the difference is an ongoing process which must be practiced every day and can never be ignored, lest it be forgotten.
Through our children, we are able to truly live forever. Our traditions, culture, and memories carry on into the future, maintaining all the very depths of knowledge that we all accumulate and passing it on to the next generation. From there, it will be up to our children to do the same. And that is the most important thing we can teach them, not that they must just learn habits and traditions, but that they too must one day teach their children and others about where they came from and who they are.
* Use this article on teaching children about culture only as an informational only guide. Please seek professional authority resources to help find relevant training guides about your specific cultural background.
**Photograph “Teach Your Children” by Oobwoodman under Creative Commons Attribution