This activity is to develop understanding of various cultures, religions and traditions. People begin to allay fears or prejudices that they may have had through direct experience which develops a better understanding of other cultures.
When looking at different cultures and religions it is more beneficial to a young person’s understanding to experience something ‘first-hand’. Invite guests from different cultures / religions to come in and speak to the group, being clear to each guest why you are inviting them and what you would like them to do. Preferably ask women as they are seen as possible role models for the group.
You could ask the guests to come in the traditional dress of their culture and ask them to share with the group some element of their culture. This could be in the form of a dance, a talk, some art, food or some insight into any symbolism. For example, some women might show you a traditional dance, if you have the facilities other women might like to show you how to cook some traditional food from their country or some women might like to talk about and do some traditional body art or treatment.
Talk to the guests beforehand about what they think would be appropriate and discuss possibilities. Ensure that there will be a variety of activities included in the workshop. Also make sure that you specify how long the guests will have so you can utilise the session to its full. You may be able to fit in 4 guests in a 1 1/2 hour session, but it may be less for a more focused learning experience.
A good idea would be to base the whole day around exploring different cultures. You could then get lots of different guests to take a session each. For follow up you might like to arrange a visit to some different places of workshop. If you have a mosque, temple, synagogue or a cathedral nearby then ask if its possible to visit and be shown around.
Challenging beliefs or behaviour, if of a different culture, race or religion, can be very difficult for young people. Whoever runs the workshop should have experience of facilitating conflict and have the ability to manage it. Ensure that all participants are clear about what this workshop includes.
Visitors from a variety of different cultures with experience of sharing their culture/faith with young people. Any materials/resources they may require.