First, we need to make sure we’re clear about two definitions:
Prejudice is preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience.
Racism is systematic prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against a person or people on the basis of their membership of a particular racial or ethnic group, typically one that is a minority or marginalized.
Well, prejudice is *theoretically* easy to fight because if you just get some experience and exposure to the thing you have an opinion on, then you are informed. You can’t be informed and prejudiced about the same thing, as far as I understand it.
But if you become informed and still discriminate against and antagonize the person you’ve just had experience with, well, now you’re being racist. And that’s a problem.
Ok, but how am I supposed to be exposed to all kinds of different people? I can’t just pry into the lives of strangers at the store.
Let’s play a little brain game. There’s no right answer.
Scenario: You need to know everything you can about a particular culture. You are given a teleportation device that will take you to one place of your choice to witness that culture. You have to return with the teleportation device within 24 hours. What kind of culture would you *need* to know about, and what setting would you teleport yourself to??
Now, I’m still holding to the fact that there is no correct answer. But, here’s mine. Let’s say I wanted to learn as much as possible about Russian culture to impress a Russian friend. I would teleport myself to something like a Russian wedding, a huge celebration with lots of family and friends gathered together with the best food and entertainment.
It’s perfect because culture is: “the customs, arts, social institutions, and achievements of a particular nation, people, or other social group. (dictionary.com)”
The custom: throwing kopeki at the bride and groom (this coin is worth like an edge of a penny), exchanging rings, “kidnapping” the bride for the groom to rescue, and more
The arts: flowers, decor, special clothing, dancing, and singing are all going to happen at an event like a wedding
Social institutions: families and friends will all (hopefully) be practicing their best cultural etiquette
So, what is your answer? Where would you go?
Okay, but that’s an impossible scenario, so how do we really do it?
Glad you asked. Here’s one suggestion.
Rather than crashing weddings, celebrate all the multicultural holidays. And if there’s anything we need more of in 2020, it’s something to celebrate!
In studying holiday celebrations – much like weddings – we learn about the unique foods, music, dance, family dynamics, art, beliefs, language, and so much more.
That’s why I’ve been learning something about every holiday around the world I could discover throughout this past year. And now, the MultiCultural Holidays Subscription is ready to begin so that others can do the same! Bring into your classroom a celebration from cultures around the world. Learn the greetings, traditions, important symbols and legends of the holiday. By the end of the year, you’ll be a better, more aware citizen and have a celebration for most weeks of the year!
You can get yours now HERE!
Full Year of Multicultural Holidays Subscription
Purchase all of the holidays in advance and receive them via email before the beginning of each month. You will receive the current (and any previous, beginning with September) months holidays pack upon purchase. It breaks down to just $3/month, so you save $12.
Click the “Pay with PayPal” button above to purchase the full year subscription, or click HERE to pay month-to-month