P.E.A.C.E. Blog
  • Neomi Fletcher

Journeying Beyond the Ordinary - The Importance of Culture in Experiencing P.E.A.C.E.

Oftentimes I participate in conversations where we struggle to define what is the culture of the United States? I find difficulty responding because I am aware of the role of migration in the formation of the current structure called the United States. The culture that once defined the territory currently known as the United States was that of the indigenous people of this land, now referred to as Native Americans. Their culture, one of acknowledging the earth and all of its abundant resources, one of communal gatherings, a culture of oral tradition for sharing wisdom and history, a culture of dancing and celebration, is now covered by a mixture of traditions, foods, music choices, dance styles, manners of dress, ways of connecting to the supernatural forces of life, and ways of celebrating. This mixture of flavors represents many regions from around the world. And, the United States continues to increase in the number of cultures interacting in public spaces. Therefore, it is essential that in our parenting we make a habit of experiencing and respecting cultures different from the ones we choose to ascribe to.

This element of P.E.A.C.E. is particularly important in the current state of society as we are

witnessing some of the tensions that form as a result of having neighbors with a variety of

perspectives and outlooks on how to experience life. In the midst of these differences, we are always presented with the challenge of finding a way to co-exist in harmony. As a result, it is encouraged that while having a set of customs that define your own individual culture,we embrace the courage to build cultural competency within our homes.

This holiday season I invite you to do this in two ways:

  1. Look into how your holiday tradition is celebrated around the world. Add a practice that is unfamiliar to your household into your celebration this year. Example: Wait until February 1, 2022 to celebrate New Years and shape your New Year celebration with elements from Chinese culture.

  2. Find a way to teach your family about a practice during the holiday season that is completely different from your own. Example: Many people of the Jehovah Witness tradition do not acknowledge holidays. Take your household members on a journey of what it would be like to go the remainder of the year without celebrating any of the winter holidays.

Embracing other holiday traditions can be especially fun with younger children when they are not aware of calendar dates. Their framework of what should happen throughout the year is still taking shape. To push back a celebration would be nothing in their little minds, unless they get around other children who expose us as parents for making a change!

Nevertheless, P.E.A.C.E. is promoted when we build the capacity in ourselves and our young

people to experience culture without judgment. Taking time to acknowledge that there are

different ways of enjoying life and different does not mean less valuable.

My hope is that your holiday season will be rich and that finding a new practice to embrace will bring an extra layer of fun to your holiday experience!

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