/ / 01: Expanding Our Understanding of the World

01: Expanding Our Understanding of the World

On the first episode of the Families Exploring Culture podcast, we explore a little about expanding our understanding of the world, why understanding other cultures matters, and we get to know the host, Jade Jones.

The Jones family on the beach in Southern California

What is the Families Exploring Cultures podcast?

Learn how families teach their children to explore and embrace the world, its people and their differences with a compassionate heart and open mind.

When we reach out of our comfort zone and seek to learn about other people, nationalities, and cultures, we become more empathetic. This creates a feeling of social connection and unification.

Some of the topics we will cover on the podcast include:

  • Discussions on different aspects of culture (food, books, lifestyle, attitudes, beliefs, etc.) and how to share those with our families and children. 
  • Discussing some of the benefits and challenges to exploring other cultures and what to do with that knowledge.
  • Learning about different ways to learn about cultures and how to overcome the objections and challenges that specifically our children may have when it comes to learning

Who is this podcast for? 

This podcast is for parents, grandparents, caregivers, relatives, teachers- really anyone who as an influence with children or anyone wanting to understand more about other cultures.

We will cover lots of topics about sharing cultures with children but the ideas are adaptable for many different age groups and many of the episodes will be for everyone, young and old.

Why is cultural awareness important?

We all live in diverse communities and come in contact with a variety of cultures every day. We need to understand how to navigate all those cultures with kindness and respect.

As we seek to learn about, understand, and appreciate other cultures we can see the unique strengths and viewpoints that each culture has.

How does understanding other cultures benefit us?

  • Create a more welcoming and understanding environment for children to develop in.
  • Help us know how to be a stronger advocate of ant-bias and anti-racism work.
  • Can increase our partnership with communities other than our own and therefore increasing the amount of change we can collectively have. 
  • Decrease ethnic and racial tensions and decrease the potential for those tensions to perpetuate to the next generation by teaching our children to first communicate to understand rather than demean and fight.

With rising racial tensions in the US and a growing community awareness of the need to be an anti-racist and anti-bias advocate there has been an increase interest in learning and teaching our children. 

The biggest obstacle I’ve heard is the overwhelm of knowing where to start and how to even go about learning about others and their cultures. It might seem like a huge task to take on but it is worth it!

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About the host

The drive to start this podcast came from my own experiences growing up, my own heritage, and the many different places we have lived around the United States and now the world.

My background

Living in a fairly diverse community outside of Los Angeles I got to know many different people from many different cultures and got to know a little bit about their cultures and languages. I developed a great love for the Korean, Armenian, and Mexican cultures that surrounded me.

I grew up in a home with a great love for my Hawaiian ancestry. My grandmother is 100% Hawaiian and despite leaving Hawaii when she married, she ensured that her children had a knowledge and love of their heritage. The food, music and dance of Hawaii were something that were a strong influence on me.

However, I always felt that I was different and didn’t belong. My sister was the only other Polynesian to attend school with me until high school. Yet in high school, when we visited family in Hawaii I was very much aware of how much I didn’t fit in there either.

Despite generally good relationships amongst the various groups within our community I was still aware of tensions that often became hostile as we grew up.

My heritage

My ancestry is very complex with ancestors coming from many continents around the world. As I’ve learned more about my own heritage I have wanted to make sure that my children had an appreciation and love for the cultures that they come from.

Then, marrying someone white made me realize how differently I was brought up and the gulf that exist if we don’t figure out how to bridge those differences in culture.

The moves

We’ve moved around the United States living in 4 different states and in 2019 we moved to Europe! I have seen the benefits for our family of learning different viewpoints and from different people.

Which brings us back to this podcast. We will talk about:

  • different programs that can help you learn
  • strategies to help you as you teach your children
  • ways to explore cultures both at home and abroad
  • hear the experiences of people from around the world who have left their own home cultures to experience new ones

Thank you for joining me on this journey! Happy exploring!

Listen to episode 1 of the Families Exploring Culture Podcast here:

https://ctb.ku.edu/en/table-of-contents/culture/cultural-competence/culture-and-diversity/main

Story of the stripling warriors being chased by Lamanites and Antipus’ forces’ efforts to protect the young warriors as metaphor for the effort we can make at home. Alma 56: 30-56

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