One of the greatest blessings I have had as a mother is that I am lucky enough to have a multicultural moms group (MuM) in my area. As a mom trying to raise children that appreciate diversity, it has been a tremendous source of support for me, both on a practical level and on a personal one. Through the group I have been able to expose my children to other cultures in a fun and educational way, plus I have had the pleasure of meeting other moms from around the world, who have similar struggles and concerns – and who know how to have fun!
Today I’m happy to share an interview I did recently with the founder of our multicultural moms group – an amazingly energetic and creative woman with an incredible vision and a big heart who I’m proud to say is also a close friend. Here is Corina’s story about why and how she started MuM, plus some resources you can use in your own group!
Disclosure: I received complimentary copies of the Diversity Calendar and Games Around the World for review purposes; however, all opinions are my own.
Starting a Multicultural Moms Group
What inspired you to start MuM?
As you know, becoming a mother can be quite a dramatic shake up to your life. But, becoming a mother in a country other than my country of birth could not be more challenging.
Suddenly, I found myself immersed in a deep, constant battle not only about what to do with my little baby, and how to do it, but lacking of familiar resources and trying hard to find substitutes to motherhood practices similar to those of my country of origin.
It might sound strange to you, but even the concept of “mother’s support group” was totally new for me. Still, I tried to join some moms groups. But I still couldn’t just fully relax in the motherhood system that I had seen so far, thinking: “My kids speak more than one language, they enjoy my ethnic food, they have been exposed to different cultures already!”
So, OK, let’s do this, let me go to the NEXT level, I thought! And MuM was born. My darling husband offered to guide me and support me investing time and all type of resources, to help me start my own multicultural moms group. We were both confident that soon God would bring me wonderful friends, who shared my same interests.
Our children stand proud, confident and secure.
For them, our multicultural heritage is a plus!
What makes MuM different from other moms groups?
Here are just a few amazing points:
• We are a group of international mothers.
• Most of our kids know at least two languages.
• Our kids are very familiar with world maps and geography. Many travel a lot.
• Our kids love, experience and LEARN from our cultural activities. For example, on a visit to the zoo, my daughter says: “Mum, look that elephant. Look how huge it is! I can see why in India people love this animal so much!”
• Another very important difference is that I have seen and felt mums’ excitement and pride to host a MuM event. It’s just beautiful!
What response do you get from moms when they discover your group?
Grateful smiles, loving hugs, and lots of new ethnic dishes to taste! :o)
What tips do you have for moms wanting to start a similar group in their town?
First that all, to whoever wishes to create a group like this, thank you for thinking about foreigners and diversity around you.
Second, befriend someone from a different culture, and invite them over your home, and share your culture with that person.
So, after this, if you liked the experience and would love to start your own group, let me tell you, you are not alone anymore: MuM is already here, and I am ready to help you set up your own group, in your location. You can contact me directly at allwcrhett [at] yahoo [dot] com, and/or multiculturalmothers [at] yahoo [dot] com and I will love to help you step by step, forming your own MuM group, and walk with you from the birth to the future of our MuM groups.
Thank you to Corina for taking the time to answer my questions and for providing such an inspiring example of supporting diversity in the community through MuM, a multicultural moms group!
One of the best things about MuM are the parties, um, I mean, the educational events! All kidding aside, we do try to keep things fun for the kids, but you’d be amazed at how much they will learn even as they are having fun at cultural events! MuM hosts many events to learn about specific cultures and to celebrate holidays together. Here are some great resources you can use as you plan your own events.
The Diversity Calendar of Multicultural Holidays is a must have! It has 285 holidays, including not just the holidays from the world’s major religions, but also fun days like Elephant Appreciation Day and International Friendship Day. It is so incredibly comprehensive. As a member of a minority religion, I can’t tell you how nice it is to have our holidays included, something you don’t usually find!
This makes it so easy to plan ahead so you don’t miss a major cultural event – or a fun minor one, either! You can use it to create your own events, look for festivals in your area, and acknowledge the special days of your members. This is also a wonderful resource for teachers and homeschoolers as you plan your school calendar!
Please note that this is specific to the 2016-2017 year, meaning that all of the dates have been updated, so you don’t have to try to figure out when Chinese New Year will be this year, or whether Easter is before or after spring break. All that work has been done for you!
- multicultural and ethnic festivals
- religious holy days from all major religions
- environmental days to celebrate and honor our planet
- United Nations International Days such as “Global Youth Service Day
- fun holidays that celebrate friendship, empathy, and kindness.
Find the Diversity Calendar of Multicultural Holidays for 2016-2017 on TeachersPayTeachers!
Games Around the World
When I learned of the Games Around the World pack, I thought to myself, What a neat idea! But I seriously underestimated how amazing it is.
- It has so much! 35 games from 23 countries (!)
- It is so practical: The summary table lays out exactly what materials you’ll need for each game, whether it’s best played indoors or outdoors, and how many players are needed, so it’s easy to scan and see what is best for your classroom or event.
- It is helps kids make global connections: Students get their own copy of a map to track which countries they have learned about through the games.
- It teaches skills: Some of the games reinforce fine motor skills, others gross motor skills, and you can even learn some Spanish vocabulary!
- It has so much variety: There are table games (with printable cards or board included), hand games, outdoor games, and much more, including extension activities. There is something to fit every situation and group of kids!
Find the Games Around the World Pack on TeachersPayTeachers.