Activity: Embrace Cultural Diversity
We each have a rich cultural history and also diverse qualities– let’s embrace who we are and each other! Vibrant colors and flavors, interesting perspectives, unique gifts and challenges – we can create community and expand our awareness through sharing and exploration.
Here are ideas to help you, your family and friends to celebrate diversity any time.
- Choose a dance to get things going! Any dance that brings in a festive note will be great!
- Chinese Dragon Dance: play this music and encourage everyone to dance like a dragon! Whatever it feels like to them! No right or wrong. Here is the music: https://www.jamendo.com/track/487888/dragon-dance-miaou-version
- Moroccan dancing – play the music and encourage everyone to move their bodies, clapping, stamping their feet and allowing ourselves to be moved by the music. http://kidworldcitizen.org/2013/09/20/multicultural-brain-break-dance-hits-from-around-the-world/
- Include someone who is multi-lingual that feels comfortable teaching some of their vocabulary to people that do not know their language. Hopefully this person will be relaxed and comfortable knowing that their “students” very likely will not get it right immediately.
- Ask participants to be prepared to share about their ancestry.
Itinerary for the Gathering:
- 10 – 15 minutes: Share about what we identify as our culture. The goal of today is to embrace diversity and live in the world together.
- 5 – 10 minutes: Dance! (see Plan Ahead #1 above)
- 5 minutes: Gather as a group and the leader introduces the theme for the day: Celebrating Diversity brings us all together. We have different skin color, have different ancestral backgrounds – came from different countries. Our bodies and our brains are different too. We are all humans. We are all people. We all have a heart, a mind, bones, skin and muscles. We all want to feel love and be part of our group. Let’s celebrate being a human today.
- Is it our heritage? Is it our nationality? Is it religious?
- Do we identify culture in terms of skin color, food, where we live, how we dress?
- Do you feel like an outsider even with others that are of your same “culture” or “race”?
- How do you feel about being in that group?
- Where do we get the ideas of other cultures that aren’t like us being “wrong?”
- What do you like about interacting with people from different cultures?
- What is difficult about that?
- 5 – 15 minutes for each activity: (If you have more than 10 people, and you have someone who will also be a leader you can split into two groups and do these activities one at a time and then switch groups.)
- Learn a new language – (see Plan Ahead #2) have a multilingual person teach simple phrases in another language: Please, Thank you, Can I help you? What would you like to eat? My name is: xxxxx.
- Kaleidoscope Depending on the size of the group, make one or two circles; then the order of the people in the circle would change by the leader asking us to “line up” in several different and changing ways.
- Create a circle by size (from tallest to smallest);
- then by age
- then by number of languages we can understand and speak
- then by males and females;
- then by those who live with an animal and who don’t;
- then from birthdays from January to December, then by….maybe they will have a suggestion.
- Discuss how we felt in different configurations, and how it felt when the configurations change, and how silly it is to think that certain things matter when they really don’t.
- Gather again and break into smaller groups of 3 – 5 people. Talk about how we feel.
- Do we still feel different from one another?
- How are we REALLY different? I may be short and you’re tall. That is a real different if we are reaching for a high object but not if we are connecting as people.
- Talk about whether you still feel like an outsider from the other cultures that are represented in the group today. If yes, what can we do about it?