5 Multicultural Parenting resolutions to help make 2023 a year of cultural celebration.
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This year I purchased (for the first time ever) a daruma doll. These dolls are a symbol of luck in Japan and a traditional way to start the new year. You paint the left eye when you make a wish or set a goal at the beginning of the year and paint the right eye once that wish or goal is fulfilled. At the end of the year, you take your daruma doll to a temple for a burning ceremony.
And yes, I learned all of that on google.
Did you know there's a special paint traditionally used to fill in the eyes?
Did you know that the daruma doll's eyebrows are the shape of two cranes and its mustache is the shape of two turtles symbolizing longevity?
Did you know the kanji written on the doll translates to "bringing luck"?
I didn't know any of that, which could be disheartening that I know so little about something so basic in my culture. Instead, I'm choosing to focus on the fact that I'm learning now and I'm excited to share what I'm learning with my children!
With the start of a new year, now is a great time for all multicultural parents to get their own daruma doll. Whether that's literal or figurative is up to you! We polled our Instagram followers and 80% of responders said they have at least one resolution that's focused on parenting. As you are planning resolutions and goals for 2023, I encourage you to add a goal that's specific to multicultural parenting.
We've rounded up five ideas that would make for great multicultural parenting resolutions. Feel free to use one, or use the list to spark a goal unique to your family situation (we'd love for you to share your goals with us).
And if you want your own daruma doll, we recommend this one that we bought on Amazon!
1. Join a Cultural Community
There are a lot of great organizations and online groups dedicated to celebrating specific cultures. In fact, our number one recommendation for multicultural parents is to join a cultural community. Whether in-person or virtual, they are a wonderful source of support for multicultural parents because they openly share facts about cultural holidays, authentic recipes, recommendations for buying cultural decor, ingredients, and clothing, and are great resources when you have a specific cultural question. And if you’re lucky enough to find a local cultural community, you’ll be in the know for local festivals, live performances, and small cultural businesses you can support with your family.
2. Start a Cultural Home Library for Your Kids
Books are a great way to expose your children to cultural folklore and history in a fun way. Cultural picture books engage them as they follow along with the story via the pictures on each page. By starting a cultural library, you normalize your child’s exposure to their culture while also allowing them to participate at their leisure.
3. Try a New Tradition
Between the decor, food, clothing, and family member expectations, we understand that it can be overwhelming to practice a cultural tradition you know little about. The good thing is that trying a new tradition is not a lifelong commitment! You can also tweak the tradition to fit your family culture. Simplify it. Modify it. Choose which parts you want to practice. The important thing is that you try. It could become something your family looks forward to every year and become a source of cultural pride for your kids.
4. Record Your Family’s History
Knowing your roots helps you understand your direct connection to your cultural heritage. By recording your family’s history, you’re not only learning about your ancestors for your personal benefit, but you’re preserving it for future generations. The stories you record will bring family heirlooms to life, make cultural celebrations more meaningful, and make any travels to your ancestral country easier to plan as you visit specific towns and landmarks that influenced your family.
5. Cook One New Recipe Each Month
Cultural cooking is one of the fastest ways to immerse yourself in culture. You're able to experience culture through each of your five senses just by participating in one activity. By trying one new cultural recipe each month, you'll slowly become more comfortable using ingredients and cooking methods you might not have heard of before this year. There's also the added bonus that by the end of the year, you'll have up to 12 new recipes to add to your family's meal rotation.
What are your cultural New Year's traditions?
While daruma dolls are a Japanese New Year tradition, we know other cultures have equally meaningful traditions. Here are some other cultural New Year traditions our followers practice:
~ "Eating 12 grapes at midnight and wishing luck for the new year."
~ "Writing journal and goals."
~ "Spanish side: Eat 12 grapes on New Year's Eve and churros with chocolate on New
Year's Day. Chinese side: We'll celebrate Chinese New Year later."
~ "In Hawaii we popped fireworks."