Saturday, August 13, 2011

Multiculturalism at Home

I love learning about other cultures. If I had loads of time and money, I would travel all around the world seeing awesome sights, eating foods I've never tasted, and learning new languages. Unfortunately, I am not independently wealthy. How is a mom to indulge her wanderlust while living a conventional suburban life?

Find interesting music. My brother bought me Celtic Tides by Putumayo, introducing me to their music from around the world. Our family now owns African Party and World Reggae by the same publisher. I have a borrowed most of our library's international CDs at one time or another, broadening my horizons and getting a new soundtrack for our dance parties.

Explore the grocery store. My mom is probably smirking as she reads this, but I do explore new foods on occasion. Our most recent impulse buy was Icelandic yogurt. I didn't really like it, but I'm glad I tried it. We routinely have pasta and quesadillas, too, but I like to do something different now and again. There are many "ethnic foods" available at our grocery store.

Check out local festivals. Our city has celebrations of German, Irish, Filipino, Puerto Rican, Polish, and Ukranian cultures. There are probably more that I haven't found yet. This is an easy way to step into another culture for a bit and much less expensive than flying!

Maintain cross-cultural friendships. I have friends in Germany, Canada, Ireland, and Bangladesh. It's a wonderful gift to be able to discuss world events with someone who sees life from a perspective outside the United States. Some day I may even be able to go visit! I also have friends who are active in the deaf community and Hispanic community locally. These are unique cultures, too, and often over-looked.

Me, my husband, and our friend Nicolai

How do you bring the world to your doorstep?


  1. You should find out if there is a Greek festival near you - talk about good food!!! And Peter (and you) would probably love the music, too!

  2. Oh yeah, there is one of those too! I really should make myself a list with the dates of all the festivals so I don't miss any.