When a child first attends a childcare centre, especially an area as culturally rich and diverse as Perth, there is a very good chance that they will meet people from very diverse backgrounds for the first time. Different generations may have been able to afford to live in cultural isolation, meeting only people of their own backgrounds.
However, the world today is culturally diverse. Thanks to the Internet, business is now done globally. It is now necessary and important that children become accustomed to other cultures.
What is Culture?
Culture can be loosely defined as the customs, attitudes, beliefs and behaviours of a particular age, ethnic or social group. Culture is what distinguishes any particular group from another. Culture is reflected in language, art, institutions, rituals and even material objects, not to mention cuisine.
Perth is a microcosm reflecting the multicultural nature of Australia and of the world at large. In a typical classroom, one will find many different ethnicities, races and religions. Those who embrace Australia’s rich multicultural base find that it provides energy and new ideas. Unfortunately, there are those who aren’t as tolerant of other cultures as they should be, meaning that children are eventually exposed to racism.
Teaching Cultural and Racial Tolerance to Children
It is essential that children are taught at an early age to respect those of other races and cultures. At the same time, children will ask natural questions regarding differences. For example, child who has never seen skin darker or lighter than his or her own will naturally ask another child why his or her skin is of a different colour.
When a child asks a question, it provides a teaching opportunity and must be answered honestly. It is a great way for children to learn more about other cultures and countries. It is also a great way for children to learn respect and tolerance.
We feel that the best way to address cultural differences is to have multicultural activities on a daily basis. Learning about other cultures is the best way to ensure respect and tolerance.
Cuddles Childcare Centres have three locations in the Perth area: St James, Bertram and Carlisle. For more information on cultural diversity, call any location today.