By Dahlia Fisher — April 14, 2020
There are as many ways to explore culture as there are countries. And, at the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage, we believe learning about different cultures builds empathy while developing open minds. If we aren’t able to jet set across the globe to experience the wonder of traveling first hand, perhaps we can satisfy our cultural curiosity another way.
Today, we’re exploring how to bring international flavors into your kitchens with more than just food. Check out our Top 10 Ideas for Hosting an International Day at Home!
TRAVEL WITH YOUR TASTE BUDS
Imagine going to an international festival that didn’t serve food? It just wouldn’t happen. One of the great joys of exploring other countries is through the cuisine. Taste of Home offers an online collection of 80 Authentic Recipes From Around the World. We suggest letting each member of your household pick one or more recipes they want to try. Everyone can work together to prep the food, which makes the tasting that much more enjoyable especially when paired with a discussion around the different spices and aromas unique to each dish. What international flavors will be on your menu?
RESTOCK YOUR BOOKSHELVES
Let’s pretend for a moment that your bookshelves are actually a bookstore featuring the best international options. What would you sell? We turned to Ann Morgan, a UK-based author and TED speaker who penned the book, “Reading the World” or as known in the United States “The World Between Two Covers” inspired by a year-long journey reading a book from every country in the world. Her blog catalogs a list of everything she read and also features a video of her explaining the project in which she says, “It opened my eyes to not just how literature shapes who we are but how we understand the world and how it effects our lives.”
TURN UP THE MUSIC
There’s nothing we love more about international festivals than hearing live bands take the stage and letting the music move us. Set the mood at home by playing music from around the world with a Spotify playlist. Not only will you get to explore global tunes but you’ll also have the option of reading more about each artist and where they are from. Want to dig deeper on a particular style? Just, click away and you’ll end up on a path to hear more for the artist and other similar sounding musicians. Here’s three of our favorite finds.
DRESS THE PART
National Geographic writes, “Most global fashions aren’t fads. They arise from centuries of tradition and don’t go out of vogue when the seasons change.” There’s no way you’d want to miss checking out what they consider Striking Photos of Cultural Fashions You Have to See cataloguing the way different cultures use beads, head wraps, and plaid as part of their tradition and style. How can you incorporate more global glam into your everyday outfits? Well, we leave that creativity to you…
LEARN NEW DANCE MOVES
Here’s a fun fact, each year on April 29, the world celebrates International Dance Day. “The intention of the International Dance Day Message is to celebrate dance, revel in the universality of this art form, cross all political, cultural and ethnic barriers, and bring people together with a common language — dance,” according to the International Dance Day website and an article on vox.com. They encourage us to dance around the world by learning about international dance styles. Once you’ve seen these global grooves we think you’ll be inspired to try a few dance moves on your own!
WATCH A FOREIGN FILM
The cancellation of this year’s Cleveland International Film Festival broke many hearts, ours included. But, we’re not going to let that stop us from buttering our popcorn and settling into our personal movie theater seats also known as the couch. Insider.com has compiled a list of the best international movies you can stream right now, noting “Streaming sites have made it easier than ever before to enjoy international movies.” Whether you’re using Netflix, Amazon Prime, or Hulu, there’s going to be a film that will transport you. Make a schedule to watch one a night and it’ll be like hosting your own personalized film festival. Plus, if you decide to coordinate what to watch with friends or family, you can also host a discussion using technology like Zoom or Facetime. Or there’s always the good ol’ fashion telephone…
MAKE YOUR OWN ART GALLERY
At the Maltz Museum, we love all museums, especially those that tell a good story. And, we can’t think of a better story than everyone we know investigating what pieces of art they would include in their own galleries. So, let’s see what you come up with! If you were going to create your own gallery featuring your favorite art from around the world, what pieces would you choose to display? Here’s a guide to help you get started.
There’s something about stepping off of an airplane and experiencing the energy and architecture of a city firsthand. As you choose what places you want to explore we recommend investigating the cityscapes, the roadways, and the buildings that bring people together. This YouTube video will help you get a feel for many international locations you might be exploring today or any day of the year. Check out these iconic buildings around the world from Homedit.
GET CRAFTY WITH KIDS
If you’ve got children at home and want to explore different cultural activities, Education.com has you covered. This resource allows you to learn about a variety of culturally connected activities from a do-it-yourself Zen Garden to making your own Shaman Stick to developing a working Aztec Sundial. Most materials can be found at home or easily accessible through the grocery store. We can’t wait to hear about what you come up with. Send photos to firstname.lastname@example.org and you might find your kids crafts posted on social media!
SPEAK THE LANGUAGE
Do you speak more than one language? It’s not uncommon for people to learn a second language, or maybe even a third, but there’s probably a seldom few who can speak twenty. Let us introduce you to hyper-polygot Tim Donor, a teenager who has taught himself languages since the age of thirteen and now speaks nearly twenty. What drives him to speak so many languages? Perhaps it’s cultural curiosity. He says, “Each language is in many ways an expression of how one society or culture thinks.” Check out this YouTube video from THNKR that profiles this young prodigy using his skills on a tour of New York City. Maybe you’ll pick up a few words!
We’re taking a tour of the world and all of its offerings to curate cultural connections aligned with our museum’s mission and values. Join us as we explore exhibits, art, film, literature, lectures and more.
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