We need not think alike to love alike. — Francis David (David Ferenz, 16th-century Transylvanian Unitarian minister)
IN TODAY'S SESSION... A contemporary story about a Transylvanian community welcoming visitors from a U.S. partner church demonstrated action based on our sixth Principle, the goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all. The children tried activities from a variety of countries that have Unitarian partner churches: a Romanian folk dance, a game from the Philippines and a snack from India. Our signpost to help guide us in faithful action was "Build World Community."
EXPLORE THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Talk with your child about times when family members or friends have traveled outside the U.S. What did they find surprisingly different? What seemed surprisingly the same? Talk about countries and cultures of origin represented in your family. How might life be different if you lived in those countries today?
EXTEND THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Try... One of the themes raised by the story "Here They Come!" is hospitality. One of the ways that we build community is by welcoming visitors and making personal connections. How does your family practice hospitality? Is there someone in your community who has moved from another country, such as a foreign exchange student or a new family with children at your child's school, whom you could invite to visit you for a meal? Before the visit, talk with your child: What would you need to consider and do in order to make the person or family feel welcomed? How would you share your family's customs while learning about and being respectful of any different customs your guest might practice?
Promote the goal of world community by visiting an ethnically identified neighborhood (Chinatown, Little Italy, etc.) or restaurant you have not visited before and sampling food no one in your family has tried before.
If your community has an international market, explore it. Try to identify countries of origin for different products. If you find items you cannot identify, ask a clerk or another shopper if they can tell you about the items. Notice food, language, smells, clothing and social customs, such as how people share a public space.
A FAMILY RITUAL
In India and other parts of Asia, such as Sri Lanka and Nepal, people may greet one another by pressing the hands together in front of the chest and bowing slightly. This bow may be accompanied by the word namaste, often translated as "the divinity within me salutes the divinity within you." Your family may wish to expand the ways you say hello and good-bye, with customs such as namaste.
A FAMILY GAME
Chackgudo, the Philippine game the children played today, requires more people than most households include. However, you could try a Philippine game that requires fewer players. You will need an open space and a slipper. Select a player to go first. They will stand with their back to the other players and throw the slipper backward over their head. The other players try to catch the slipper. Those who fail must freeze in position as statues when the first player turns around. If a statue moves, that player is out. A player who catches the slipper returns it to the first player.
Then, everyone left in the game has a second and a third chance to catch the slipper. The third time the slipper is caught by one of the players, that player runs, and the player who threw the slipper tries to catch them. When a player is caught, start the game again with the "caught" player tossing the slipper.
Find myriad international cultural resources online. The website gameskidsplay.net offers a variety of international games on their website. Hugo's Folk Dance website describes international folk dances and has video clips showing how to do many of the dances. A Kids Cooking Activities website has international recipes and fun facts about different parts of the world.