It is this spark I hope to pass on to my children while also keeping it well alive within myself. So how to do this with kids? In the States?
- Have your kids start learning a foreign language. School curriculum be damned. You can just seek it out on your own. If you don't know of a connection in your area you can try searching for one at WyzAnt (wise ant). It is like SitterCity but for tutors. I am sure you could find someone looking to offer introductory foreign language instruction for children.
- Send them to French Camp! Or Swedish, or Italian, or any of the 15 languages offered by Concordia Language Villages.
- A friend just sent me a link to what looks like a collection of awesome summer experiences for teens around the world. Overland Summer Programs seem to run the gamut but they have foreign language and field study programs in Europe, South American and Asia. Check 'em out if this seems up your alley.
- Look to your city's yellow pages to see if there are cultural centers. Boston has L'Alliance Francaise, Chinese Cultural Center, amongst others. They have programs for kids and adults alike.
- Check to see if your local museums have cultural programs. A few of ours here will be putting on some fabulous Chinese New Year celebrations soon.
- And finally, don't forget the power of food. There are tons of ways you can give your kids a tiny bit of cultural experience just at dinner. Dig deep into your heritage and cook some things from your elders. Learn how other cultures prepare, eat, and enjoy meals and try it at your house.