Television shows and web-based video services can provided glimpses into other cultures from all around the world. Whether it is a documentary on life in Cambodia or an exploration of the use of spices in Brazil, you can use the topics as guides to further introduce yourself and your family to the tastes and traditions demonstrated of the country or region.
With a variety of cable networks, such as the Travel Channel and National Geographic, dedicated to exploring the world, and an endless number of YouTube videos, the options are almost endless. If you are not sure where to begin, consider these options for combining educational videos with a real world experience.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
With the 2016 summer Olympics being hosted in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, this is a perfect time to introduce your family to the culture and traditions from the area. Explore specials about interesting destinations, like Sugarloaf Mountain or Iguaza Falls, while trying treats based on local recipes, such as brigadeiro and coxinhas. If you are feeling particular inspired, try your hand at a few common phrases in the national language of Brazil, Portuguese.
One beautiful tradition from the island nation of Japan is the Japanese tea ceremony, also known as the Way of the Tea. While the ceremony normally uses a form of matcha, you can certainly substitute it for your tea of choice, such as oolong or longjing tea, if you are just looking to replicate the experience in a basic way.
If you want to continue to experience, consider eating a meal with chopsticks. Whether you decide to try it with a traditional Japanese noodle dish, such as ramen, some fresh spicy tuna hand rolls, or a simple stir fry, it can be a fun experience for family members of any age. You can take the experience even further by eating while seated on pillows on the floor around a coffee table.
Many cultures have traditional dances, and Cambodia is no exception. Consider introducing your family to the style known as Robam Apsara, which found its inspiration in the carvings found in the Angkor temple complex. If you are feeling adventurous, and are in a large enough space, consider trying a move or two yourself.
If dancing isn’t your style, consider trying something a little simpler, a traditional Cambodian greeting. Begin with a Sampeah by standing and taking both hands, pressing your palms together in from of your chest, and then performing a small bow. While bowing, give a friendly, “Chumreap Suor” before returned in a standing position.
Looking for More Inspiration?
If you are looking for more ways to combine educational entertainment with real world experiences, consider examining the different restaurant cuisines offered in your area, and then looking for a matching show or video. This can be a fun way to learn about traditional food offerings while being able to try them first hand.
You can also explore other cultural classes or seminars, such as those focused on dance, language, or art. If there are not classes in your area, consider pulling together some resources and trying your own versions at home. This can involve trying to replicate various dance moves, finding an introductory language lesson online, or gathering art supplies to produce a piece in a similar style.