3 Ways to Share Cultural Appreciation with your kids!
Cinco de Mayo is tomorrow, and we want to help you plan a special project or activities with your kids! Celebrating Cinco de Mayo can be a lot of fun, but it’s important to make sure that we truly honor both the holiday as well as the culture. Here are a few suggestions to help get you started in recognizing cultural holidays like Cinco de Mayo in a way that encourages both cultural sensitivity and appreciation.
1. Learn the History
Take the time to understand and learn the history so that you can share it with your children.
Here’s a brief rundown:
May 5th marks the day in 1862 that the French invaded Puebla to claim it as a French territory but the Mexicans were able to defeat the French, despite being outnumbered. The battle symbolized the strength and resistance of the Mexican people. It also kept the French from moving north and possibly even joining the Confederate army.
Until I did my own research, I wasn’t aware of this, so don’t feel bad if you weren’t aware. The important thing is to keep learning and stay curious. check out this blog list of books for kids at Mothering.com
2. Encourage art making with personal choice.
Think about the intent of your project. Having children create a cutesy product for Cinco de Mayo may be stripping away the origin of the holiday. Instead, have your kiddos create a piece of art that reflects a larger idea or theme, such as celebration or strength and resilience. For example, you could have a discussion about how different cultures have different celebrations and then create a piece of art based on a celebration of their own or they could create a piece of art based on an event in their own life in which they have overcome a specific challenge.
3. Celebrate diversity.
Generally, culture can’t be represented in any one way. We want our children to know this, instead of basing their understanding on a stereotype. To do this encourage end products to turn out differently, allowing them to add variety to any given project meant to celebrate a particular holiday. Offer more experiences and time to engage more with the culture can help celebrate the differences. Check out your local area for events such as parades, festivals, and opportunities to learn more about the culture.
I have been using an app to reintroduce myself to Española, and have delved into some of their art history. Below are a few projects that would be fun to do!
When Americans think about Cinco de Mayo, bright colors, tacos, and margaritas come to mind. Decorations such as giant flowers, papel picados, and sombreros fill the stores.
But Cinco de Mayo is a celebration of Puebla’s victory over the French, and in Mexico, celebrations do happen, but with reenactments and by displaying the Mexican flag proudly. In this Cinco de Mayo Art Project, celebrate Puebla's gorgeous Talavera pottery.
Papel picado is a traditional Mexican craft that features colorful paper sheets with intricate cut-out details. It was made by stacking many sheets of paper and using chisels to cut the designs. You can easily make your own papel picado by layering sheets of tissues paper and using scissors.
Amate (pronounced “ah-MAH-tay”) is a type of paper produced from the fibers of the bark of fig trees. Beginning in pre-Hispanic times, different indigenous groups used the amate to communicate with others. For example, the Aztecs used the amate paper to register data, or as a gift for soldiers. In today’s Mexico, the Otomí people of Central Mexico produce this paper in a way similar to its historical origins. Howeve