Multiculturalism- More Than Our Differences

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Homeschool Blogging Carnival hosted by Lisa at The Squishable Baby and Keisha at Unschooling Momma. This month our participants are talking about Multiculturalism.

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Image courtesy of renjith krishnan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of renjith krishnan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

In this day and age of such diversity, multiculturalism is a buzzword you hear everywhere. It is so important to address the assortment of cultural traditions that abound in our ever-shrinking world today. Rather than use textbooks or documentaries, our family uses life experience to broaden our views of the world.

We live in an extremely racially and culturally diverse city. Just taking a walk down the street, you may well pass ten people coming from ten different countries. It would be very hard, indeed, for us not to be exposed to the many differing traditions around us. We have friends from all over the world- Japan, Dominican Republic, Lebanon, and Peru, just to name a few. My husband’s stepfather who raised him and whom my children call Grandpa is from Puerto Rico. We are so blessed to have such an array of friends and family from such a variety of places because this translates into great opportunities for us to experience life in far away places, right here in our backyard.

Devin attended a Shinobi Camp over the summer where she learned about ancient Japanese history and the basics of Ninjutsu. She also fell in love with our Japanese friend’s sushi recipe, and she made it herself over the weekend. Devin has been able to attend the Sweet 15 birthday parties of several of her hispanic friends and has attended church with a friend from Peru where they only speak Spanish. Devin doesn’t speak a word of Spanish but loves to attend because she loves her friend.

And this brings me to the one issue I have with how multiculturalism is taught these days. While learning how different our cultures are can be very informative and a lot of fun, I think that sometimes our differences can be stressed a little too much, and it can make some people feel alienated from one another. We need to shift the focus a little to include what we have in common, too, because when we look at and interact with someone raised in a different culture, we need to look at who they are. Not just where they were born. This is such an important trait to have in this increasingly diverse world. When my children and I see our friends, we don’t think: They’re from Jamaica, she’s from Japan, she’s from Peru. Instead, we think: They’re so wise, she’s a daughter of the King, she’s my friend.

As we go about life learning about our beautiful, kind, and amazing friends, I don’t want our main focus to be on how we are different. No…instead, I want to focus on how we are the same.

Devin with two of her friends
Devin with two of her friends

 

 

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Visit The Squishable Baby to see how you can participate in the next Homeschool Blogging Carnival where we will be talking about Homeschool Mythsconceptions . hmschool blogging button

 

Please take the time to read the submissions by other Carnival participants:

 

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Author: Shelly Sangrey

I'm Shelly, a Christ-following, homeschooling Mom of eleven children ( okay, not ALL children. My oldest is 23.) I met my husband right after graduation, and we've been together ever since. Though my life can be hectic at times... okay, ALL the time, I wouldn't change it for anything.

15 thoughts on “Multiculturalism- More Than Our Differences”

  1. Oh wow, this is such a wonderful point! You know it’s funny, I often make an effort to try and find common ground with people who hold radically different political views than mine but I never thought to emphasize what we have in common when it comes to different cultures. Love this; I will definitely make sure to highlight both differences and similarities. Thanks for a lovely and thoughtful post.

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  2. 2 people could share the same race, political views, religious beliefs, same economic background, same neighborhood, city and eat the same food. But they will not be the same. My daughter has a saying “Every snow flake is different, just like every person is different”. I think if we could just stop with that simple logic everything else would fall into place. We are all human, we are all different and we all want love. These are the things we all have in common. The greatest of these is love.

    Having written that I have to admit, you make me miss the city. I have always lived in diverse areas until Utah. This place is so vanilla. I do miss the rich cultural stew that diverse populations offer.

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    1. “These are the things we all have in common. The greatest of these is love.” I love that. Yes, Allentown is one big melting pot. Multiculturalism is something that none of my kids will ever miss out on!

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      1. That’s one of my top reasons for wanting to move. My kids have met maybe 3 people that don’t look like them. I’m actually afraid the longer they live here, the more they will begin to see the difference as something definable. I don’t like that. I didn’t grow up like that and I remember the first time I experienced racism in school, I was truly shocked that anyone could think that way or see the difference as something that should be mocked. I want my children to feel the same shock. Of course what I really want is for them to never know of such things, but such is the world.

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  3. @Deidre- my kids have grown up around all different nationalities. Racism is, unfortunately, something that kids will at one point become aware of, and it comes from both ends. It’s very sad. As my former pastor said, “God created ALL people, and GOD DOESN’T MAKE MISTAKES!” I’ve always loved that and have repeated it countless times.

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  4. Ah I love this post! I just started my new website, The World as One Project, and I believe that it’s so very important to teach our children to love one another. There are so many wonderful people in this world, and where they come from shouldn’t matter.

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  5. I love this because I love how you said, we have to see the common in everyone. I love that. I think people are so interested in debating, bringing the other person into their point of view, making someone else believe what they believe, etc.

    I wanted to live in a rural setting because it’s much quieter. I hate the noise. In my house, I want peace and tranquility. Especially being that I am home all day with the kids. I don’t want people running in and out of my house, I don’t want loud banging music in the middle of the day – I just don’t want it. I don’t want all the bad parts to living in a city. However, my children miss out. It’s blue color and white here. Nobody really values (that I can see) education. Everyone thinks the same way. I am the diversity of thought – which is scary. It’s like that song from weeds. Little boxes on the hillside, little boxes made of ticky-tacky….

    Thank you so much or participating in the carnival with us, Shelly! You are amazing! You are awesome! Your kids are very very lucky.

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  6. There is nothing good about multiculturalism.

    I could never inform you of the damage ALL of you are doing to Australia and the world.

    Youve forfeit your right to BE in my
    eyes and natures also.

    You are a totalembarassment to yourselves, your family, ancestors, race and all human kind.
    You should all be desgusted in yourselves.

    At least once australia becomes an islamic nation all of you will lose your “right” of free speech.

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