To rear a child bicultural, educating him/her bilingual is not enough. Their knowledge of their minority language (ml) culture is necessary to make them aware of their roots and to be able to relate to their ml peers.
Though I am not an English native, I want my daughters to have general knowledge of the British culture, to complete their linguistic knowledge. Hence every year on November the 5th and April 24th, I organise a themed day around Bonfire Night and Saint Georges’ day.
For instance, for November 5th, we celebrate Bonfire Night with:
- Me reading a little story I wrote synthesising the events of the plot in simple terms, and explaining why Bonfire Night is celebrated.
- Activities on the topic found on educational websites such as Twinkl (colouring-in, cutting out, puzzles, mazes, crosswords…)
- Crafts. Last November, we made paper firecrackers (see picture below)
- Firecracker drawings that we hang on our windows as night falls, to represent the fireworks that are going off in England.
- A British meal for dinner, such as sausage and mash with homemade gravy, or a Shepherd’s Pie.
- Our own “fireworks” show – crackling sparklers on our pumpkin pie or apple crumble – that is definitely the biggest hit with my girls!
Bonfire Night has by far been the most successful themed-day (apart for Christmas, obviously! Nobody beats good old Santa! 😉 ).
We also do a themed day around the 3 Wise Men (Spanish tradition) at the Epiphany. My husband does not do themed-days for other Spanish celebrations but I am contemplating arranging them myself for the day of the local patron as well as for Spain’s national day (October 12th), so as to instill more Spanish culture in our daughters’ general knowledge.
My daughters thoroughly enjoy these themed days that feel like a celebration in our home. And what better than a celebration to build the sense of belonging to that ml culture?
Do you do anything similar, and if so what do you include as part of the celebration? Please share your ideas in the comments section.