In a multi-racial, multi-cultural family, incorporating cultural experiences into your lives is important. This is often times a purposeful exercise, especially if you are White parents of Children of Color.
If you are already supporting cultural organizations in your area, you may be privy to a schedule of fun events your children can be a part of. Parades and festivals are a great way to allow your kids to experience activities for and with people whom they share a race or culture.
Many cities hold Latin American festivals in the summer. You can usually contact the Latin American cultural center in your city or your local newspaper for information. These festivals may focus on food, music, dance, art and unity. Children from Hispanic countries can get a chance to taste the food, hear the music, learn the dances and meet the people who share a tie to their country and culture.
Juneteenth is an important African American festival which commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. The official date is June 19th, but cities and towns often hold events and celebrations for Juneteenth over a period of a couple weeks. A visit to your local Juneteenth festival could be a great way for your Black child to see themselves in the majority and to experience food, songs and poetry important in Black culture.
If your child is of Chinese heritage, you might take them to your local Dragon Boat Festival, typically celebrated in June. This is a festival with native foods, drinks and dragon boat races. The festival is to commemorate the life and death of Qu Yuan, a famous Chinese scholar. It’s a public holiday in China. Your city may hold a local celebration this summer.
In addition to celebrations and street parties, there are also “culture camps” in all parts of the country. Typically for international adoptees, these camps are usually for children and their adoptive parents to spend time immersed in the food, language and culture of their child’s home country. If a visit to the child’s home country isn’t possible, this is a way to connect on a local level that can give your child a rich experience. We have never attended one of these camps but my advice is to always make sure any cultural camp, celebration or activity is facilitated by natives of the culture. This is very important for authenticity and a general respect for the culture and its people.
We would love to know any plans you have to celebrate your child’s culture this summer! These events are great for anyone but especially important for you if you have a child with a culture that is under-represented in your home and neighborhood. Have a great summer and don’t forget to share your summer activities with us!
The New American Family