MULTICULTURAL WINTER HOLIDAYS
Dr. Artika R. Tyner is a passionate educator, award-winning author, sought-after speaker, and advocate for justice. She is the founder of Planting People Growing Justice Leadership Institute, working to “plant people” while offering them key educational and learning opportunities. This organic process aims to cultivate a multicultural literary and leadership landscape that encourages both social and racial justice within individuals and communities.
Holidays are a time to bring the family together. Families celebrate by uplifting cultural traditions and honoring their heritage. This time of the year is also an invitation to learn more about other cultures and how your neighbors and friends celebrate the holidays. This learning journey is an essential part of creating a vibrant inclusive multicultural community.
Celebrating multicultural holidays provides an opportunity to build cultural bridges in three key ways:
- Encouraging Cultural Appreciation: Embracing diverse holidays allows community members to learn about different cultures and traditions. It increases knowledge and understanding, fosters respect, and promotes appreciation of the world’s rich multicultural tapestry.
- Cultivating Inclusivity: The foundation of inclusive communities is the creation of a welcoming environment where cultural experiences are honored and respected. Celebrating together whether it be honoring Kwanzaa (inspired by African harvest festivals) or Diwali (Festival of Lights) is an invitation to learn, grow, and connect within diverse communities.
- Building Connections and Promoting Learning: Multicultural holidays serve as an invitation to engage in community building. It is an opportunity to learn about different backgrounds and cultures. This is vitally important for children as they learn about their cultural heritage, honor other cultures, develop cultural humility, and learn how to engage in intercultural dialogue. These skills are essential for becoming inclusive leaders who seek to build a more just and inclusive society.
This booklist will provide you with a few ideas to celebrate your culture and heritage while learning about new holiday traditions from other cultures.
Family Whispers of Love: Cherished Memories with Recipes
By: Jacklyn Milton
Family Whispers of Love combines the beauty of culture with the legacy of family heritage. The book is both a memoir and a cookbook that explores how food can reflect important family values like resilience, faith, and purpose. Jacklyn Milton shares about her foremothers who inspired her to dream big and change the world.
Recommended because: It provides a model for families to come together and document their rich culture and family history.
Desserts LaBelle: Soulful Sweets to Sing About
By: Patti LaBelle
Patti Labelle’s recipes are perfection at their best. In this book, she shares her favorite dessert recipes and inspiration for families to create memories together in the kitchen.
Recommended because: Baking can help to build a family tradition of bonding in the kitchen as each person shares in the process of creating a sweet treat. This is a time to fill the kitchen with laughter, joy, and peace.
Home for the Holidays: A Thanksgiving Book for Kids About the Different Holidays That Bring Us Together!
In this book, Sesame Street characters introduce the power of community-building. They demonstrate how to embrace our differences as one human family by celebrating multicultural holidays together.
Recommended because: Long-time friends like Elmo and Big Bird take the entire family on a journey of learning and growth. Readers develop the strategies needed to build a more inclusive community.
Jaheem’s First Kwanzaa
By: Zephaniah Martin
This bestselling book was written by Zephaniah Martin when he was just 10 years old. He educates the reader on the importance of Kwanzaa as a community-building experience rooted in culture and core values like nia (purpose) and ujamaa (cooperative economics). Zephaniah also challenges the reader to honor Black history throughout the entire year.
Recommended because: It inspires children to learn about their cultural history, family traditions, and cultural heritage.