Connecting is so easy for our students, our kids, these days. All they do is find a screen, press a few buttons and, mere seconds later, voila: They have contacted a classmate, a relative, or a friend. Indeed: Our 21st century instant-Web-connectedness renders boundaries a non-issue. In another county, state, or country? No problem! Speak another language or follow a different religion? No problem!
But while “making connections” has become easier, regular conversations and gaining understanding has become less so. On reason is that our global villages need “cultural connectedness” as well as physical connectedness in order that relationships thrive.
Here are 8 TIPS FOR CULTURALLY RESPONSIVE RELATIONSHIPS at school, at work, or in your neighborhood to become more attuned to cultures other than your own.
1. Know Your Own Roots How can we truly appreciate another's heritage when we don't know our own? From DNA to favorite recipes, from holidays and holiday music: Be ready to share your own family’s heritage.
2. Be Curious About Others' Roots Ask questions about others’ favorite family meals, hobbies, games, traditions, and culture!
3. Use a Second Language Learn and use a second language. Regularly use it for greetings, demonstrating your willingness to venture out of your cultural box!
4. Practice Saying Students Names The favorite word of everyone in the world? Their name. Practice saying new names correctly. TRY: "Hasan Minhaj” at https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Pronouce+Hasan+Minhaj
5. Celebrate! Attend a celebration unique to another ethnicity, country, or religion. TRY: Making this a field trip or a family vacation.
6. Enjoy Foreign Movies & TV Shows What child does not enjoy "Dora the Explorer"? TRY: Watching movies found at https://www.commonsensemedia.org/lists/bestinternational-films-for-kids
7. Try New International Foods In the classroom, at home, or in restaurants, sample diverse cuisines. TRY: Writing about your culture's desserts!
8. Listen to Multicultural Songs The hills are alive around our globe with countless songs from distinct cultures. TRY: www.songsforteaching.com/diversitymulticulturalism.htm