Cultural Stories from Otherness
Stories are about how we make sense of our world. By becoming aware of how our
stories are shaped by and shape the cultural stories, we can gain a better
understanding of each. And by listening to the stories of people who come from a
cultural background that is different from yours, you can learn a great deal about
yourself and other people. If you pay attention to the commonalities in the cultural
stories, you will most likely discover that you have much more in common than you
thought-even in the case of people you might think are completely different than you
Family As a Culture Specific Group
The importance of families and of culture specific groups lies in their vital roles for
their children. Family is the first and primary social institution in which our socio-
cultural identities are formatted by means of very dynamic relationship patterns.
As social institutions families:
• provide wellbeing for their members;
• nuture and protect children;
• provide care for members who need it because of disabilities or age;
• provide material and emotional support;
• and pass on culture, knowledge, values, attitudes, property rights and
obligations from one generation to the next.
• Families need to be flexible to fulfill these roles successfully. Flexibility is
associated with a number of attributes, one of them is a sense of cultural
heritage which is our subject here.
• Family celebrations would be good examples for this function of families.
• Holidays and celebrations are special times to gather with family and take
stock of the blessings in our lives. The different activities that we perform
before, during and after a family celebration all enhance the memory of the
people involved and our relationships with them
• There are different kinds of family celebrations in different cultures. The forms
of celebrations depend on the religion, ethnic background, and socio
economic status of families.
• Wedding ceremony is one of the example of these celebrations.
Example 1. Family Celebrations
• culture, family, celebrations, traditions,
• learn through home discussion and research, stories of their own cultural
• know following the comparison that they share many common points although
they are different from one another.
• make a similarity and difference comparison between themselves and the
individuals from among individuals constituting the society that they perceive
as different from themselves.
• explore the meaning of culture as part of different life stories
• appreciate the importance of cultural diversity
• demonstrate respect for people of all cultural backgrounds
• develop a new feeling of appreciation toward one another and redefine one
• establish a dialogue between themselves and the individuals they think are in
the position of “other”
• participate in experiences associated with celebrations.
• Ask students how they celebrate:
▪special events like weddings,
▪special days like christmas, bayram etc
• When exploring a celebration, discuss the different ways it may be celebrated
by different groups of people. Explore rituals that are connected with
celebrations. Use a story such as Henna Night to show that people can
choose certain things about a traditional lifestyle Find examples in the text or
the pictures showing traditional and contemporary lifestyle.
• Using examples of celebrations that would be practised by your students, ask
they how they learn these traditions. Emphasize that this is one of the ways
cultural knowledge is passed down within the family.