Bicultural education: minority culture themed days

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:

  1. Me reading a little story I wrote synthesising the events of the plot in simple terms, and explaining why Bonfire Night is celebrated.
  2. Activities on the topic found on educational websites such as Twinkl (colouring-in, cutting out, puzzles, mazes, crosswords…)
  3. Crafts. Last November, we made paper firecrackers (see picture below)
  4. Firecracker drawings that we hang on our windows as night falls, to represent the fireworks that are going off in England.
  5. A British meal for dinner, such as sausage and mash with homemade gravy, or a Shepherd’s Pie.
  6. Our own “fireworks” show – crackling sparklers on our pumpkin pie or apple crumble – that is definitely the biggest hit with my girls!
Screen Shot 2018-06-24 at 22.45.55.png
Handcrafted firecracker

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.

2 Comments

  1. I love that you celebrate bonfire night! Have you tried making a bonfire and getting the kids to build a guy? This is the best bit! Going out in the cold and dark and staring into a massive fire. Obviously if you live in a flat or you have restrictions on making fires on your property it wouldn’t work but if you are more rural it might be possible. We now go to a communal bonfire but as a kid we’d have our own too. Typical bonfire night foods are toffee apples, but lardy cake and hot chocolate. If you want to visit Bristol I’d be happy to show you round. At Easter you can also do egg rolling if you have a suitable hill!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your kind invitation Tacodelenguas 🙂 If you ever go to the UK I’ll bear it in mind, especially that I had always wanted to visit Bristol, it has the reputation of being a lovely city!
      Unfortunately, we are in flats in a completely urban area, with no bonfire option for us but that would definitely have made a memorable celebration! Thank you for the bonfire food ideas… I’ll have that in mind for next November! 😉
      I completely forgot about the egg rolling but that could be a nice British tradition to add! 🙂

      Like

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