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Helping an Adopted Child Maintain Culture By Getting Personal

Ideas on How to Use Personal Facts to Help Maintain Culture

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If you have adopted a child through international adoption, you may be curious as to how to help your child maintain culture and a sense of pride for her country post adoption. It may also be helpful if the information learned about a child's country of origin is more personal to the child and her adoption story. Here are several ideas on how to accomplish that goal.

Maintain Culture with Personal Facts About the Child and Her Adoption Story

  1. Make sure that the child can locate his birth country on a world map. Have the map hanging on his bedroom wall as a part of his room decor.

  2. Make sure the child knows the name of her home town, or the town where the orphanage was located. Help her pinpoint that on a map as well. Do you have pictures of the child's home town or orphanage that you can include in her lifebook?

  3. Help the child learn the name and proper pronunciation of his town of birth or town of orphanage location.

  4. Names are so important to a child's identity. If known, does the child know and able to pronounce her birth name. Discover it's meaning.

Maintain Culture with Personal Facts About the Child's Birth Country

  1. Find information on important holidays or unique traditions in your child's culture or country. Keep at least one of these traditions during the year or try to weave a few into your own family traditions each year.

  2. Teach her at least one folk tale, song, or fairy tale that is common or traditional to her country. Consider sharing these with her as part of your bedtime routine.

  3. Make sure that he can name at least one traditional dish. As the child grows older, teach him how to prepare a dish that is popular in his country.

  4. Help her learn a game from her birth country that is popular. Perhaps she can teach it to other children at her school or to her siblings within the adoptive home.

  5. Teach him the basic history of his birth country. Concentrate on the main points or highlights.

  6. Known and keep at least one celebration that is unique within the culture of her country. Does her birth country have a special celebration for birthdays, coming of age, marriage, death, or the birth of a baby?

  7. Make sure he knows a traditional dance from his country. Help him to understand when such a dance was performed.

  8. Help him learn a few key phrases or words in the main language of his birth country.

  9. Help her learn about traditional dress from her country. Make sure she knows when such garments were traditionally worn and why.

  10. Make sure she can pick out her country of origin's flag. Does she have one for her room? This would make another great addition to her room's decor.

Maintain Culture with Your Child's Personal Choices and Top Picks from His Birth Country

  1. Help him find a few key artists from his birth country. These artists can be from history or more contemporary. Why does he like their work? Consider having a print of this artist's work displayed in the home.

  2. Help him find more contemporary sounding music from his birth country. What music is popular today in his country of origin? Help him download a few songs to enjoy and share with friends.

  3. If he is interested in dance, help him find out if there is any contemporary dances that are popular in his country. What dances are the kids in his country currently doing?

How have you helped an internationally adopted child get personal with their culture or country of origin? Take a moment and share your ideas.

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