Culture with Shoonya

By: Karina Ochoa Manzo


How do you teach love and compassion in a time of so much animosity?

Perhaps the statement above is true, but perhaps that’s not what our children need to hear. Our job, as educators, as parents and as citizens of this nation is to teach our children is how to spread love and compassion.

How do you teach children to spread love and compassion?

  1. Teach the acceptance of others. Have you ever had an embarrassing moment where your child (maybe quite loudly) asked you about some characteristic of another person? For example, “Mommy, why is that man wearing that on his head?” Even though it might be embarrassing at first that is a teachable moment, if you haven't already download, the shoonya farm animals app. The app shows a variety of accessories that individuals from different cultural backgrounds may wear. (sombrero, headdress, turban)

  2. Teach phrases in other languages. Teaching your children words in the native language(s) of your family is a personal way to introduce them to different cultures, as well as family history. Shoonya makes this task easier by having the app available in nine different languages: English, Spanish, German, Arabic, Hindi, Marathi, Punjabi, Telugu and Gujarati.

  3. Exposure to other cultures. Encourage cross-racial/ ethnic/ religious/ability friendships.  Attend different events/festivals that celebrate a particular ethnic group, holiday or personal accomplishment, like the Special Olympics, the Chinese New Year or Holi, the Hindu festival of colors.

In times like this where almost everything we hear in the media is surrounded by animosity and hate, we need to find creative ways to be united and love one another. Let’s continue learning about each other and spread peace into this world!  


Rashi Bahri