We haven't yet traveled internationally as a family, and though I definitely plan on it once Violet is a little older, meanwhile, I'm always keen on finding ways to expose my kids to different cultures. And luckily, living in a city like Boston, it's not that hard a task! I'm subsequently thrilled to partner with au pair agency Cultural Care Au Pair to bring you a fun new editorial series to help you explore the world from the comfort of home.
The first post in this series is about Brazil. Here are 14 ways to introduce your family to Brazilian culture; for my non-local readers, the recommendations in the second half of the post are for you!
*** VISIT ***
1. Mark your calendar for Boston’s 20th Brazilian Independence Day Festival on September 13, 2015. At the festival, you can soak in cultural activities, food, live performances, and more!
2. Learn a variety of Brazilian dance styles at Moves & Vibes Dance Co. in Cambridge. Let go of inhibition and give forro or samba a try!
3. Experience capoeira -- a Brazilian martial art performed through dance -- at Capoeira Angola Quintal Boston in Somerville.
*** EAT ***
4. For vibrant, authentic Brazilian fare, try Muqueca in Cambridge. The menu offers lots of options but I've totally got my eye on the signature Brazilian seafood stews. #nomnom
5. Love meat on giant skewers? Midwest Grill has locations in Cambridge and Saugus and specializes in traditional Brazilian BBQ, and also offers seafood and vegetarian dishes.
6. When it’s time for something sweet (um, when is it not?), head to Padaria Brasil Bakery where cakes, breads, and snacks await. You can find Padaria at two Framingham locations, as well as Allston and Milford.
*** SHOP LOCAL ***
7. For many, Brazil is synonymous with soccer. If you've got soccer fans in the house, head to the Brazilian Soccer House in East Boston to gear up.
8. Casa de Carne Solucao in Somerville is a butcher shop that offers fresh cut meat and traditional Brazilian dishes.
*** PLAY ***
9. I love using crafts as a lever for cultural teaching. Try these Brazilian craft activities to create maracas, tambourines, and more.
10. As a former music and brain scientist, not surprisingly, I believe that music has lots of power! Learn more about -- and jam out to -- choro instrumental music, which was born out of Rio de Janeiro in the 1800s.
*** READ ***
11. Brazil ABCs: A Book About the People and Places of Brazil dives into Brazilian culture, geography, and history in an easy for kids A-B-C format.
12. The best way to build bridges across cultures? Pick up some of the language! Get started with My First Book of Portugese Words.
13. For a 3D learning experience, check out Rio de Janeiro: A 3D Keepsake Cityscape for a foldout tour of Brazil's landmarks in Rio de Janeiro. So pretty!
14. Looking to learn alongside your kids? The Brazil Reader: History, Culture, Politics offers a comprehensive look at Brazil's historical, cultural, and political development.
So awesome, right? Enjoy exploring Brazil and I'm excited to share more cultural educational material over the coming months. Also, totally related: Cultural Care Au Pair is hosting the Somerville 2015 World Fair at The Armory this Sunday, February 1. RSVP today for this free, fun-filled event celebrating South American, European, and Asian cultures.
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Disclosure: This post reflects an editorial partnership with Cultural Care Au Pair. Cultural Care Au Pair is a leading provider of intercultural childcare and educational exchange. Since 1989, Cultural Care Au Pair has placed more than 90,000 au pairs in American homes. Hosting an au pair offers many benefits, one of which includes the opportunity for your family to learn about another country's culture.
Image credits: 1) flag via Wikipedia; 2) compilation graphic by Christine Koh with images via linked sources above.