How I’m Teaching My Children About Their Brazilian Roots

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It is very important to me to make the Latin culture that runs in my children’s blood part of their everyday lives. I want my children to be able to connect with the culture that’s half of their being, as well as with our family back in Brazil. So, I’ve started with the basics:

1. We speak Portuguese, my native language. A friend of mine, who is also in a mixed-culture family, chooses a certain time of day to only speak his language to his children. I’ve been trying to do that with my kids and it has been working great. They are keeping up with it, and we’re having a lot of fun with it. The challenge is for me to remember to not speak English! 

2. My children enjoy Brazilian food, and they’re learning how to cook it. I always have a pot of beans on the stove! And a lot of times my kids take basic Latin foods to school, like rice, beans, meat, and vegetables.

3. We love Brazilian music and dance. 
There is always Brazilian music playing, and I’ve been teaching my children our different dances. Vida is better at Samba than the boys — but we are working on it!

4. They show respect to their elders. If you are Latin you know that your grandmother and the elders around you are the bosses. You respect and care for anyone who has been on this Earth for that long. You greet them differently, you get up and give them your seat, and you make sure they have what they need. My kids know to say Sim Senhora e Sim Senhor. It’s a sign of respect, like “Yes ma’am and “Yes sir” is in English. We actually practice that with the kids towards people of all ages. I think it’s a respectful thing to do.

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