Cultural Rite of Passage is featured in the third session so as you can see with the blogs written over the last few weeks from the very start of the Parenting Program it is packed with tools and strategies to help parents from the very introduction and this continues for 13 sessions. Over the years I have witnessed parents change their lives, flee the violence to create their violence-free healthy lifestyles for them and their children. Last week I covered Culture and Family which is the prerequisite for the Cultural Rite of Passage and as we continue the journey, I do hope this is useful to you and your family. Last week I shared my cultural background from being Black British and having parents from the Caribbean Island and now we will go a Lil deeper. Your cultural background may be different from mine and that is ok because it is about passing down the unique family traditions that possibly are dear to you and hold some sentimental values for you. Over the years I have shared as much information as I know on our culture these rituals or customs have been handed down by both sides of my family. Unfortunately, my daughter hasn’t had her father in her life but even down to the rest of the paternal family have shared their customs with her and what I know of his customs I’ve shared that information also for her to connect more easily with their traditions.
In the last blog post I mentioned Caribbean food and the different tastes from the islands, and we have held onto the way we do things over the years because that is the way we do them. Going as far back as possible I remember a parent sharing one of her traditions and it was when they had a roast they would cut the meat in 2 halves, the entire family was doing it no questions asked. It was their family tradition. That is what happens we do the things that we do., it is the same with culture.
As with most groups it is varied with different cultures and some just lack understanding and not accepting of what others do. Some are willing to learn to gain an understanding. I appreciated the sharing because I got to learn how someone else does things but there was one parent who asked “why do you do that”, (as a facilitator I did roll my eyes ? because here comes the guise of ignorance) the parent replied “we’ve always done that, even my great grandmother does it”. Each week before getting into the meat of a new session we do something called follow up activities where parents get to share how they got on with new tasks. Well the parent came back and shared “you never guess what” with anticipation Michelle Burton (Co Facilitator) looked at each other and said “what is it”, “well” she said “last week when I shared my family traditions I started to ask the older family members why we cut our roast meat in half before putting it in the oven”; Michelle piped up and said”you didn’t have to do that (as it wasn’t part of the follow up activities). “Well it turns out that we’ve always done that because my great great grandmothers’ oven was too small and couldn’t fit all the meat in the oven so she would cut it in half”. The parent laughed and we joined in. My simple opinion is this, culture is culture it is one of the few areas in life I do not question too much, even though I was a “why” child I somehow knew not to ask. However, the revelation this parent got brought tears of joy because over the year’s things have changed, ovens are bigger and there was no real reason other than keeping the traditions of their family.
The Steps to Cultural Rite of Passage from SFSC.
Step 1 Help your child learn about what is happening in your country of origin.
Step 2 – Help your child learn about cultural rituals, ceremonies, and traditions.
Naming Practices, funerals, weddings, etiquette
Step 3 – Help your child learn cultural values.
Step 4 – participate in and teach your child about cultural holidays.
Step 5 – Help your child learn about traditional foods.
Step 6 – Help your child learn how people of the same cultural/ethnic background have influenced music, dance, hairstyles, and fashion.
The above steps are also attached to the Cultural Rite of Passage activities, Choose 1 out of the list of 13 different activities and let me know how you get on.
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Ruth Carter The Liberty Coach.