One of my favorite family traditions is choosing a country to "adopt" or study each year. My college courses have kept me so busy that the most I've done this year is to briefly consider a few different countries. We began this tradition 15 years ago when Senryu, my oldest, was 4. (I've written about it before on this blog -- the search term "doll" or "country" would probably help you find other posts about it.) It doesn't surprise me at all, all these years later, that Senryu is the one to ask if we can study a particular country. She asked about Tibet and had already checked a book out of the library.
I am enthused about the possibilities of learning more about Tibet, teaching my little sons about a place in the world they have barely heard of, and about sharing some new experiences with my entire family. Imagine the possibilities... prayer flags fluttering on our northern hill, Tibetan dishes simmering in our kitchen, and mandalas made by two curious little boys.
The photo below shows one aspect of our tradition of studying a new country each year. We dress a doll in a costume which reflects the culture of our adopted nation. From left to right, these dolls represent Sweden, Ireland, Mexico, Australia, Peru, Japan (the tiny one in front), Greece, India, Kenya, Russia and Poland. Since this photo was taken, we have also studied Taiwan (the year that Senryu was an exchange student there) and Turkey (the year that our exchange student, Sonnet, spent with us.)
photos by Aisling