One of my biggest fears, living and raising a family in North Dakota, is failing to expose my children to different cultures. Not only do I live in a state who's population is more than 90 percent white, but it's also mostly Christian and predominantly German- and Norwegian white.
Don't get me wrong, living in a state so small and area so rural has SUPER advantages for child-rearing, namely, my child will never have to walk through metal detectors on his way to school. Check mark: pro.
I grew up in a bigger city and at age four, still touched the head of a little black girl at Sesame Street Live. I wanted to know what her hair felt like. Even with my upbringing, I didn't and don't know nearly enough.
I don't want my son to walk the graduation stage without ever meeting someone who's skin tanned faster than his does.
So what to do?
* Cable TV, movies, media is a start. Watch a show with black people in it. And if I'm feeling really civil rights-y, I can throw in "The Color Purple" or "How to Kill a Mockingbird." I guess that has potential. The problem is, reality TV is so seldom realistic. I don't want him getting the impression that these over-the-top personalities represent any one culture as a whole. And he won't have much by way of real people and local examples to teach him any different. Plus, I don't subscribe to cable. Figures.
* Art: I can't think of any other offering here that would expose him to more cultures and perspectives. Even if the project is a little cheesy, like: here, make a fan. That's what Asian people do... A project like that at least it opens the door for opportunities to explore that fan and the reasons and culture behind it. He and I can read books on the topic or research "Asia" on the internet. In fact, I like that idea. I'm pretty sure hand-held fans don't represent modern Asia, but perhaps making one represents an opportunity to explore another heritage.
* Travel: Duh! It's the bottom line frightens me. On our budget, traveling to relatives and friends in Colorado and small-town Iowa will have to suffice. As much as I'd love summer vacations in India, Egypt and Ireland, something tells me they'll have to discover oil in LaMoure County first.
After watching this video multiple times and even Levi laughing, I figured I'd better share. As of today, 93,000 people had watched the video. That's like the entire city of Fargo. My goal is these bois will reach 700,000 and surpass the population of the state of North Dakota.
My favorite parts in the song are about knoephla and kuchen. Those dishes are totally German and totally regional. My grandmother is 100 percent German, and even she hadn't heard of them. I *may* speak ill of N.D. from time to time, but one joke I will not crack is the food. Unless you count lutefisk. Shiny, see-through fish really shouldn't count as food.