Whether it’s around the world or around the corner multiculturalism is thriving. And while being exposed to other cultures broadens our worldview, it also can be intimidating if you don’t know exactly what’s acceptable and what’s not.
For instance, in some Middle Eastern countries, a thumbs-up is considered rude. In Russia, it’s polite to bring a gift when visiting someone’s home. And in most Asian homes, it’s important to remove your shoes before entering.
Sometimes these differences can make our interactions and conversations awkward.
Maybe you’ve experienced this when corresponding with your sponsored child. It can be discouraging to write a letter and receive a response that isn’t what you expected. Sometimes basic cultural differences can get in the way of what should be a beautiful relationship.
Thankfully, there’s a solution.
Learning about your child’s culture is not only easy, but it also can be fun! Here are three simple ways to get started:
1. Read your child’s country biography.
You might be surprised to find that you already have the tools you need for this step! You’ll find information about your sponsored child’s country and even some specifics about the particular program he or she is a part of on the back of the biography you received with your sponsorship materials. Can’t locate your child’s biography? Just contact our office and we’ll send it to you.
2. Do some research!
The internet has made learning about other cultures incredibly easy. Online resources can offer key cultural insights. By doing some basic research, you can learn more about your child’s culture and become more comfortable as you communicate.
3. Experience the culture.
There’s a huge difference between understanding a culture because you’ve read about it and understanding a culture because you’ve experienced it. Experiencing as much of your child’s culture as possible is one of the best ways to bridge that gap. You can listen to music that’s popular in your child’s country, try a traditional dish, or even follow people from your sponsored child’s country on social media. If you have the time and money, visiting the country is the best way to learn about it.
Exploring a new culture is an adventure, one that’s exciting for the whole family. And it’s a great way to remind your sponsored child how much you love and care about them.
So don’t stop here! Share with us on Facebook if you learn anything interesting, think of other ways to learn about a culture, or even just enjoy the process of learning more about the world your sponsored child lives in.
We want to help make your sponsorship as fulfilling as possible!