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Parents can help fight Otherism with this new box of cultural teaching tools

Parents can help fight Otherism with this new box of cultural teaching tools

It’s a scary time to be raising a child in the U.S. The news is flooded with children of asylum seekers being separated from their parents, the killing of Jews in a synagogue, and the shooting of black people as they go about their lives. One some level, all this reflects hatred for people who are deemed the “Other.” Yet most parents want their children to grow up embracing and empathizing with those from different backgrounds.

Worldwide Buddies is here to help. It’s a newly launched startup founded by Evi Triantafyllides, who grew up in Cyprus—a melting pot of different cultures at the intersection of Greece, Egypt, Turkey, Syria, and Lebanon. The $39 quarterly box, which can be purchased online and at select stores, delves into the reality of kids from other parts of the world. Each one contains a book, toys, and games about one specific culture, all of which she and her cofounder have designed from scratch.

In the first box covers Mexico’s Day of the Dead, which is happening right now. The book features a Mexican boy, Adri, who is scared of the holiday and its imagery, but eventually comes to understand that the day actually teaches people to overcome their fear of death. Triantafyllides wanted to give children aged 5 and up from around the world the chance to empathize with Mexican kids.

And at a time when migrants from Mexico (and other Latin American cultures) are being terrorized by troops at the U.S. border, this book could not be timelier. “I wrote the book long before the child separation policy and the migrant caravan,” says Triantafyllides. “But the fact that these things are in the news makes my point. I don’t want kids to see Mexican children as ‘Other.'”

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