Activities for the Whole Family to Learn about Different Cultures

School has started and families are busy with autumn activities and projects. Here are a few suggestions for things the entire family can do together. Since we strive to live in a world without borders or prejudices, go outside your comfort zone by learning about different cultures.

Dine at an Ethnic Restaurant

Perhaps the first thing that comes to your mind is dining at an ethnic restaurant. That’s perfectly fine. We all love food. Instead of the usual fare of Chinese or Mexican, see if other ethnic restaurants are nearby that you’ve never been to.

Have you ever tried Bulgarian food? With pumpkin and apples in season, I’m sharing a tasty and healthy recipe from my childhood. It’s my favorite autumn pumpkin dessert called tikvenik. Check it out, and let me know what you think. You can find the recipe on my website (click here).

To explore more recipes and learn about different Bulgarian and Mediterranean dishes visit my website (click here).

Health tips: Spices are truly nature’s medicine chest. Did you know that cinnamon helps to balance blood sugar? Cardamom is fantastic for all kinds of digestive complaints.

Color and Learn

Coloring can reduce stress and be fun for the whole family. When you’re coloring, you’re not checking your smart phone, flipping TV channels, or tweeting. With my two Mermaids Around the World coloring books, you can also discover mermaid legends as well, since each illustration provides you with a fact about the mermaid you’re coloring.


“Na Megdana”
by Nelly Tonchev-Nelinda (

Experience Ethnic Music and Dance

There are plenty of ways to learn more about music in other countries. Here are some suggestions:

  • Sign up for a dance class to learn flamenco (Spain), polka (Scandinavia), or the jig (Scotland or Ireland).
  • Attend a concert or music festival that showcases music from different parts of the world.
  • Check out CDs of ethnic music at the library.

Bulgarian folk music and dance are quite different from what Americans are used to. Dances are performed by men and women in lines or circles (called a horo).e

Bulgarian music is mournful, and probably quite different from most music you’ve listened to. I’m sure you’ve heard the song “Message for the Queen” in the movie “300.” If you haven’t, you can listen to it (click here).

“Go down, go down, bright sunshine

Go down, hide your light.

Mourn for your leaves, you forest.”

That’s Bulgarian music. You can also discover more about Bulgarian music and dance on my website (click here).

Learn About your Heritage

Performing genealogical research with your family allows you to spend time together and reach out to distant family members. Creating a family record is a pursuit you can work on for a long time, and you never know what you might discover.

Even if your heritage is not Bulgarian, maybe you have a friend who is and you want to learn more.


Create Crafts

In addition to birthdays, Bulgarians celebrate name days (where each person celebrates on a day associated with their name). They also observe and practice many more rituals and traditions. My favorite one is making a martenitsa, the white and red amulet of friendship. In the short story The Miracle Stork, I steps on how to make your own.

Have you done other things to learn about your own or other cultures? Write to me at and let me know.

If you want to learn more about Bulgaria and Bulgarian beliefs and folklore, visit my website. All my books and where you can find them are listed (click here).


reb 3Ronesa Aveela grew up in Bulgaria and moved to the US where she completed her Master’s degree in Boston. She is the author of stories inspired by thse magic of Bulgarian, Thracian, and Slavic mythology. She would love to hear from her readers.  You can contact at:



Facebook –

Twitter –  @Ronesa_Aveela.


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Check out our Free November 2018 magazine



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