December 22, 2019

Dōngzhì Festival, China

Today, December 22, marks the Dōngzhì Festival in China. It is celebrated in many different ways.

In northern China where it can get bitterly cold, people eat hot food and drink hot liquids to stay warm. Historically on Dōngzhì day, people went to the clan tombs to offer food and drink to their ancestor's spirits, clean the tombs, and work to maintain them. Then they gathered in the evening afterward for hot dumplings and drinks. People believed that when the days were short, there was insufficient yang energy, and they tried to eat high yang foods according to Chinese medicinal cuisine principals. Because of this, they ate fatty dumplings that contained meat and high yang warming herbs such as ginger and garlic.

Some people in southern China and some Chinese in communities in Southeast Asia gather together to make and eat a meal of tang yuan. Tang yuan symbolizes family unity and prosperity. These are specially cooked balls of rice that might have a filling of bean paste or meat with sweet high yang herbs. These are usually pink or white colored. Tang yuan is often served in a bowl with a sweet soup or broth.

For many Taiwanese and people of Taiwanese descent in other countries, the festival is still important. Families will go to the ancestral tombs and have meals of tang yuan, and they might offer tangyuan to the spirits at the tombs. They also have a custom of offering nine-layer cakes to their ancestors. The cakes are made of rice flour and are shaped like animals such as chickens, ducks, tortoises, pigs, cows, and sheep. According to traditional Chinese medical concepts, winter is the time of year it is important to rest, relax and nourish the body with high Yang fatty foods.

Tang yuan

December 9, 2019

Constitution Day, Spain

Constitution Day (Día de la Constitución) marks the anniversary of a referendum held in Spain on December 6, 1978. In this referendum, a new constitution was approved. This was an important step in Spain's transition to becoming a constitutional monarchy and democracy. Each year, a selection of high school students are invited to read the Constitution in the Lower House of the parliamentary buildings in Madrid a few days before December 6. The parliamentary buildings are open to the general public for one or two days.

Spain's Flag

November 23, 2019

Why Should My Child Learn French?

Is French Really Practical? 

Perhaps you have heard the myth that learning Spanish will be more advantageous to your child's future, or that learning Spanish is far easier than learning French. While learning Spanish definitely comes with its own benefits, and there may be more jobs on the rise for Spanish speakers, there are benefits to learning French instead.

French is not dying out! The majority of French speakers today are not living in France, and some key areas in which French is spoken, chiefly African countries, are poised to gain importance on the world stage. In fact, after English, French is the most-learned language worldwide. This means that there are huge communities available to the French learner.

It also means that by your child learning French you’re opening the door to communicate not just with native French speakers, but other people who have studied French. This can especially come in handy when traveling.

Children are natural learners, and language is no exception. The earlier a child learns a second language, the easier it will be and the more vocabulary he or she will retain into adulthood. Don't miss out on this crucial skill that will benefit your child in the future! Here at Cultured Kids Club, we are dedicated to growing multilingual children; we offer Spanish, Chinese, and French language lessons for kids. We've already discussed the advantages of learning Chinese and Spanish, so why not give French a try? Here are some reasons you should learn French as a second language.

Learning one language is not enough

In today’s world, speaking only one language is not enough. Students who speak several languages will increase their chances of finding a job, whether at home or abroad. Learning another language enriches the mind and opens up new horizons, both personal and professional.

The ability to speak both French and English is an advantage for finding a job. Many multinational companies use French as their working language, in a wide range of sectors from retail, automotive, luxury goods, and aeronautics. France, as the world’s fifth biggest economy, attracts entrepreneurs, researchers from all backgrounds.

For an English speaker, French has a great difficulty-to-benefit ratio. Although Spanish has become more frequently taught in the United States for quite some time now, there is one thing to keep in mind:

Taking the less popular option will make your skills more valuable when someone really needs them.

While jobs who are looking for Spanish speakers might be a consistent stream—Spanish is the second-most spoken language in the United States after all—the ones looking for French speakers may find fewer qualified candidates. Fewer qualified candidates mean a higher chance of being hired if your child is fluent in French.

It is Fun to Learn

Contrary to popular belief, French is not a difficult language to learn. Pronunciation may seem daunting, but the earlier a child is exposed to a different language, the easier it will be for him or her to pick it up. It will not take long to reach a level where your child can communicate in French. French also appeals to students because it is a soft, melodious, romantic language.

If you want your child to learn both French and Spanish, you might want to consider starting French first. While French will likely be more intimidating to speak initially, its shared vocabulary with English will help lessen the difficulty of memorization. Then, the similarities in grammar between French and Spanish make it easier to move from one to the other.

French is also a great confidence builder as a gateway to more challenging languages; especially the Romance Languages (Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and Romanian) and even English, since over half of modern-day English vocabulary is derived from French.

French and English are culturally and conceptually complementary. The American is pragmatic; he’s got two feet on the ground; the French is conceptual, he’s got the head in the stars. Feet on the ground, head in the stars; an unbeatable combination!

Increase Your Child's Educational Opportunities

Speaking French opens up opportunities for higher education at some of France’s best-known universities (the Sorbonne, Pierre Marie Curie University, etc.). Students with good French fluency may be eligible to apply for a French government grant to enroll on a postgraduate course of their choice in France, leading to an internationally recognized postgraduate degree.

Some 310,000 pupils are enrolled at 481 French schools in 133 countries. Half of them are foreign nationals, which makes the network of international French schools truly unique.

It is easy for students to make contact with French speakers of their own age, as pen pals or via the Internet. There are many different exchange programs in France that offer rewarding experiences. Thousands of French schools are twinned with counterparts around the world, creating links with the world’s largest educational network.

Increase Your Child's Travel Opportunities

France is the world’s top tourist destination and attracts more than 79.5 million visitors a year. According to the World Tourism Organization, France attracted 83 million foreign tourists in 2012, making it the most popular tourist destination in the world. A honeymoon is Paris seems to be the number one dream for young married couples. The ability to speak even a little French makes it so much more enjoyable to visit Paris and all the regions of France. French also comes in handy when travelling to Africa, Switzerland, Canada, Monaco, the Seychelles and other places.

Spoken on 5 Continents

More than 220 million people speak French on all continents. French is a major language of international communication. It is the second most widely learned language after English and the sixth most widely spoken language in the world. French is also the second most widely taught language after English, and is taught on every continent. The OIF, an international organisation of French-speaking countries, is made up of 77 member states and governments. France also operates the biggest international network of cultural institutes, which run French-language course for close on a million learners. If you already speak English and add French to your repertoire, you might be surprised how many people you can talk to, even in countries where neither English nor French is an official language.

Whatever your goals, if you want your child to get started learning French, nothing should stop you now. Be sure to check out Cultured Kids Club's French class offerings; we make learning fun for children!

November 1, 2019

Today is La Toussant in France

La Toussaint is what they call All Saints Day in France. It is celebrated on November 1. All Saints Day is a Catholic holiday that celebrates the dead and all the saints in heaven. The French celebrate by visiting cemeteries to see the graves of their deceased loved ones.

One tradition they have is placing chrysanthemum flowers on the graves every La Toussaint.

This day is designated as a time to be with family and other loved ones as you remember your deceased loved ones. It is a day for prayer and silent remembering.

Chrysanthemum flowers.

October 12, 2019

Hispanic Day

Hispanic Day (Día de la Hispanidad) also known as National Day (Fiesta Nacional de España), celebrated on October 12, marks the day Christopher Columbus landed on an island that is now part of the Bahamas in the Caribbean in 1492. The king of Spain supervises the raising of the Spanish national flag in the center of Madrid on Hispanic Day. He and the prime minister lead a military parade after that. October 12 is known as Discovery Day in the Bahamas, Day of the Cultures in Costa Rica, Day of the Race in Argentina, Chile, and Mexico. It is even celebrated on the second Monday of October in the United States, though it is known as Columbus Day.

September 13, 2019

Mid-Autumn Festival in China

Today is the mid-autumn festival. This festival takes place on September 13 this year. It is a time of family reunions and peace. Many people play with lanterns or eat reunion dinners with their families. Popular foods include moon cakes, duck, and pumpkin. Some regions like Hong Kong will hold dragon and lion dances. The festival has a history of over 3,000 years! It was derived from the custom of moon worship during the Shang Dynasty.

Making colorful lanterns is a happy activity between families and children. The lanterns have different shapes and can also resemble animals, plants, or flowers. Children love making colorful lanterns. They are hung in trees or houses or floated on rivers. Parks will also hang up colorful lanterns, which provide a beautiful view at night.

Moon cakes are pastries that contain a filling made from red bean paste, lotus seed paste or jujube (Chinese date) paste, which surrounds the salted yolks of duck eggs. The yellow yolk is meant to represent the moon.

Chinese moon cakes

August 15, 2019

Spirit Festival in China

The Hungry Ghost Festival is one of several traditional festivals in China to worship ancestors. In 2018 it takes place on August 25. Chinese people perform special ceremonies to avoid the wrath of the ghosts such as putting the family’s ancestral tablets on a table, burning incense, and preparing food three times that day. The main ceremony is usually held at dusk. People put the family’s ancestral tablets and old paintings and photographs on a table and then burn incense near them. Plates of food are put out for the ghosts on the table, and the people may kowtow in front of the memorial tablets and report their behavior to their ancestors to receive a blessing or punishment. People also feast on this night, and they might leave a place open at the table for a lost ancestor.

They want to feed the hungry ghosts who have been wandering the land since the beginning of Hungry Ghost Month. It is thought that after two weeks of activity, they must be very hungry.

July 20, 2019

Why Should My Child Learn Spanish?

Why should your child learn to speak Spanish? Approximately 13% of the United States' population can speak Spanish; that's 44 million people. That's the second most-spoken language in the United States! Mexico and South America are our closest neighbors, and almost all of those are Spanish-speaking countries. With more than 400 millions speakers worldwide, Spanish is a fast-growing language. Becoming bilingual is not just a perk; it is a necessity.

Unfortunately, most Americans do not start learning a second language until middle school or even high school. It is possible to become bilingual as an adult; however it is far more likely that many Americans will remain monolingual. 53% of Europeans learn to speak a second language, compared with only 18% of Americans. In order for the United States to maintain its world standing, every American should be learning a second language from an early age.

Luckily, Cultured Kids Club does offer Spanish classes for children as young as 18 months! Keep reading to discover some of the perks of learning Spanish from a young age.

Develop early language skills.

Take advantage of the critical time in early development when acquiring language skills comes naturally and easily. A child’s capacity to pronounce unfamiliar, foreign sounds and to absorb new grammar rules is highly enhanced prior to age six.

Children who start learning at a younger age have a better chance of developing a natural-sounding accent, something older kids have a hard time with if they learn later. Learning another language can also help with listening skills. A study at Northwestern University showed that people who knew a second language could better identify another speaker's voice among distracting noises. Most importantly, kids will develop a broader perspective of the world.

Broaden cultural horizons.

You can travel to a Spanish-speaking country and really get to know the culture. Spanish is the official language of 21 countries worldwide, and those countries are home to many exquisite and fun travel destinations. If you speak Spanish, you can stray from the tourist path and explore local culture with ease. Travel stress is also minimized when you understand directions and menus, and countless doors open to travelers who speak the native language of the country they’re visiting. Prepare your child for aventuras!

Give your child access to Spanish films, music, and literature. World-renowned singers like Juanes and Gloria Estefan, filmmakers such as Pedro Almodovar, and writers like Gabriel Garcia Marquez are all native Spanish speakers. Knowing Spanish will help your child understand and appreciate other cultures and Hispanic cultural contributions. Your child's ability to understand Spanish will enable him or her to gain important insights which monolinguals cannot.

It’s easier than you think.

Hundreds of words are the same in both English and Spanish. Animal, hospital, actor, color and doctor mean the same things in English and Spanish; they’re just pronounced a little differently. For English-speaking children, there’s no easier second language to learn than Spanish.

You might think that it would be difficult to learn a second language due to different sounds and the rate at which native speakers talk. This is why we at Cultured Kids Club teach immersion classes! This kind of learning enables your child to pick up on the rhythms and accents of Spanish while their ear adapts to the sounds of an entirely different language.

It’s fun!

Your child can learn Spanish with us here at Cultured Kids Club. With our engaging and age-appropriate curriculum, kids will have so much fun, they won’t even realize they’re learning! Click here to learn more about our awesome program.

July 7, 2019

Fiestas of San Fermin

The fiestas of San Fermin are celebrated in Irunea/Pamplona, in the region of Navarra, every year from the 6th to the 14th of July. They have become internationally known because of the running of the bulls, where the bulls are lead through the streets of the old quarter as far as the bull ring by runners.

June 7, 2019

Dragon Boat Festival, China

Dragon Boat Festival, also called Duanwu or Tuen Ng Festival, is a traditional holiday observed annually for over 2,000 years in China to commemorate Qu Yuan, an ancient Chinese patriotic poet. Dragon boat racing and eating zongzi are the central customs of the festival. In some regions in China, people also wear a perfume pouch, tie five-color silk thread and hang mugwort leaves or calamus on their doors.  It takes place on June 7 this year.

May 8, 2019

Fête de la Victoire in France

Fête de la Victoire is celebrated in France on May 8. It marks the end of World War II in Europe. Many people attend parades or church services to celebrate the Allied Force's victory. It is a national holiday in France, much like Labor Day is in the United States. One important symbol of this holiday is the French flag. Its colors are displayed in banners around the country. Flags of all European nations and the European flag are also displayed at some ceremonies as a symbol of the ongoing peace and unity of Europe.

April 21, 2019

¡Felices Pascuas! Easter in Spain

Easter is a big deal in Spain. The country is historically very strongly Catholic, and many holidays reflect this religious past. The entire week leading up to Easter (Pascuas) in Spain is called Semana Santa, or Holy Week.

Catholic cofradía and fraternities perform penance processions on the streets of almost every Spanish city and town during the last week of Lent, the week immediately before Easter. Some of these associations date back to the Middle Ages!

Food and family are also important during Easter celebrations. Torrijas are a traditional Semana Santa sweet snack of bread soaked in milk and egg before being fried and served with sugar or honey.
Pestiños are little pastries popular throughout Spain, but especially in Andalusia. Sesame-flavored dough is fried then glazed with honey or sugar.

April 5, 2019

Today is Qingming Festival in China

Today, April 5, celebrates Qingming Festival in China. It is also known as the Remembrance of Ancestors Day or Grave-Sweeping Day. Ancestor veneration is extremely important in Chinese culture, and the spirit of this day is much like Memorial Day in the United States, or Dia de Muertos in Mexico.

Quingming rituals not only include weeding of the area around the grave, cleaning of the headstone, and replacing the wilted flowers with fresh ones, but also the lighting of incense and burning of imitation paper money. The burning of the imitation money is for the deceased to use in the afterlife. In addition, food is laid out in front of the headstone as an offering to the spirits of the deceased.

The Qingming Festival has been observed by the Chinese for over 2500 years.

April 1, 2019

Le Poisson d'Avril in France

April 1 is a day of pranks and practical jokes across the world, and every year in France, many unsuspecting victims spend the day with a "poisson d'avril" (a paper fish) taped to their backs.

The origins of the April Fish aren't exactly clear; some versions say it was due to the fact that fishing was forbidden at that time, and some link it to the celebration of Easter, when fish was commonly eaten instead of meat, and the giving of fake fish was considered a good prank.

Whatever the case may be, watch out for a poisson d'avril if you're in France on April 1!

March 23, 2019

Why Should My Child Learn Chinese?

China is a fast-growing country, with a population nearing 1.4 billion people. Because of their huge population, one in six people in the world speak Chinese. That is a huge percentage of the world's population. Even if we added up all the people who speak both English and Spanish, it would not match the number of Mandarin Chinese speakers.

The skill of speaking foreign languages not merely a trend anymore. With a globalized market and development of business ties between the east and west, it is a necessity.

The advantages that come with the mastery of a foreign language are undeniable; from academic achievement, better job opportunities, to earning 5 and 20 percent per hour more than the position's base rate. If you have heard that Chinese is a difficult language to learn, think again! Here at Cultured Kids Club, we make learning fun so that your child learns easily from our native-speaking teachers. Here are unbeatable reasons why you should consider Chinese lessons.

It's Easier than You Think

Many people are discouraged from learning Chinese because they believe that it is too complicated. For children, learning languages comes naturally! Because of the way their brains develop, they are better able to pick up a language from early ages. The classes we offer are total immersion; meaning that we immerse your child in the language from day one. Your child learns to pronounce words like a native, tones and all. Plus, simple sentences in Chinese are ordered similarly to those in English. Nouns in Chinese have no plural form, and verbs do not change their tenses. It can’t get easier than that.


Chinese speakers are widely spread all over the world. Excluding those who reside in China, 3.7% of the world’s population are Chinese speakers. From Singapore to Malaysia to Thailand, Chinese is an official language. 5.6% of the population of the United States is Chinese. There is a high chance you have encountered a Chinese speaker in either school or work. It goes without saying that if you are fluent in Chinese, then you will seamlessly blend with your Chinese acquaintances.  Learn the Chinese language and have more friends!

Secure Jobs Easily

As previously stated, Chinese is commonly spoken all over the world. The top five Chinese speaking countries include China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore and the United States. All of these nations are forces to be reckoned with. They also offer many employment opportunities. When your child learns Chinese, you will set him or her apart from the rest. Therefore, when seeking international employment opportunities, your child stands a better chance of being highly valuable!

Chinese is one of the official languages of the United Nations, and an official language in at least seven countries. Statistics show an up-and-coming trend. Given time, it will become even more popular in other countries. Chinese is not only being used for communication: it is also for business, education, and international integration. The demand for Chinese speakers is also fast increasing.

The Chinese economy is literally taking the entire world by storm. It is arguably the biggest economy worldwide. As if that is not enough, Singapore's economy is growing quickly as well. This is owing to its fast rate of industrialization. Your child's fluency in Chinese will work for them, as he or she will have the ability to talk business with some the best Chinese business communities.

Where to Learn

Cultured Kids Club currently offers Mandarin Chinese lessons to children aged 18 months to 14 years. We are always enrolling new students. Open a global future for your child today!

March 5, 2019

Happy Mardi-Gras!

Mardi-Gras (Fat Tuesday) and Carnival are a festive season in France which take place the week before Lent. Traditionally, this means indulging in rich, fatty foods before the Lenten times of fasting. Crepes, beignets (donuts) and waffles are eaten. Though the Lenten observance of fasting for 40 days is followed by a small group of people, Mardi-Gras is still an opportunity for many to enjoy masquerade processions, pageants, masked balls, and outdoor feats.  Many sumptuous parades and celebrations take place in French towns and schools.

February 5, 2019

Happy Chinese New Year!

February 5 is the Chinese New Year! Known in China as the Spring Festival, this national holiday is a time for reuniting with family and setting off fireworks. Preparations tend to begin a month from the date of the Chinese New Year (similar to a Western Christmas), when people start buying presents, decoration materials, food, and clothing. A huge clean-up gets underway days before the New Year, when Chinese houses are cleaned from top to bottom, to sweep away any traces of bad luck, and doors and windowpanes are given a new coat of paint, usually red. Traditional pork dumplings are usually consumed on this holiday.

Each year is given a different animal of the 12 Chinese Zodiac Signs; 2019 is the Year of the Pig! While not the smartest of the Zodiac animals, the pig is said to bring luck and wealth.

January 23, 2019

Bilingualism is the Future

If you are on the internet, you know that our world is shrinking. New technologies have made it possible to reach further than ever before. With the advent of things like email and Skype, we can meet new people across the country and even the world. We can make friends in China or Germany, do business in England or Japan, and even see YouTubers from many different countries. Though English tops the charts as the most spoken and most learned second language, many other languages are catching up. Currently, and in the future, bilingual employees are highly prized for an edge on the competition in the global marketplace.

What Languages are Key?

Chinese tops the charts as the number one language to learn. Not only does Mandarin have the most native speakers (982 million people are native speakers, while 1.1 billion people know the Chinese Mandarin dialect), but China's economy continues to grow. Future business is made easier if one is bilingual. People are generally more trusting of those who can speak their mother tongue; which is great for businesses, since business will always be done with people.

Spanish comes in at number two on the list. Even in the United States, Spanish is the second most widely spoken language (after English), with 40 million people speaking it in their homes. Spanish is the primary language in more than 20 countries! A hidden benefit to speaking a second language is the amount of cultural information you can receive. Once you speak Spanish, you can become more sympathetic to how Spanish-speakers think. You are also more likely to consume media in your second language, which allows you to gain cultural knowledge through music and television.

Further down on the list (but still in the top 10) is French, which, for centuries, used to be the primary language of diplomatic discussion. Today, 79 million people primarily speak French, but the overall number of speakers climbs up to 370 million, due to the number of African countries where French is the official language. The best benefit to learning a second language is that you will be more valuable to your employers. Bilingual workers are generally compensated more than those who don't speak a second language.

Who Can Benefit from Learning a New Language?

Everyone, from toddlers to adults, can benefit! It does take time to learn a new language. However, it bodes well for your children's futures in the workplace if you are able to get your them started learning a new language. In the United States, we are falling behind in learning second languages; most schools don't start foreign language programs until middle school or even high school. This makes it harder to learn any second language. If we don't want to fall behind economically as well, it is imperative that we teach our youngsters a second language. Plus, businesses tend to look favorably on those who are multilingual and usually give a bump in salary to those with such talents.

The best time to start learning a second language is right now! Cultured Kids Club is dedicated to growing multilingual children, and we offer many classes for kids to learn to speak a foreign language. Check us out to see how we can open the doors to your child's global future.

January 2, 2019

Happy Jour des Aieux in Haiti

Today is Jour des Aieux or Ancestry Day in Haiti. This is a public holiday celebrated on January 2. This day is dedicated to remembering the founders of Haiti and those who gave their lives to the struggle of gaining their independence in the early 19th century.

Ancestry Day is celebrated with large parades in the capital city, as well as a military procession. The president takes this time to deliver speeches to the nation. Family and friends gather together and have a delicious feast. The feast and the foods are very important to this holiday. Some traditional foods eaten on this day include diri djon djon, a wild rice dish with black mushrooms, salad betrouj, a beet salad, and diri kole ak pwa, a rice and beans dish.

Here is a recipe for diri kole ak pwa!