World Culture Kids aims to provide families with information to aid in bringing the regions of the globe to your computer screen! The world is full of interesting countries, cultures, and people. It is our goal to open up a window to this planet for its young inhabitants. Exposing children to the rich offerings of the world is one way to make them well-rounded as human beings. They will start life knowing there is so much more than what is going on in their own backyard. Welcoming diversity early in a child’s life is a way to help ensure a more accepting and understanding future for up-and-coming adult citizens of the world.
Where to start? Our website and Facebook page are great places to begin a lifelong love of world cultures! We offer a monthly blog or two, and have informative and educational posts on our Facebook page. The topics can cover geographical facts, historical facts, cultural facts, food facts, and loads of fun facts to get your kids hooked on civilization!
The country where this blog and Facebook page originate, The United States of America, is the next door neighbor to the part of the North American continent first discovered by Norse explorers. Modern day Canada and these United States of America both have rich and varied historical and cultural tales to share. The Canadian Provinces and American states were born of the curiosity of explorers.
The first man to take the risk of seeking out our new lands was the Norse explorer, Leif Eriksson. The sagas from Iceland relay the tales of his trips to North America as early as the year 1000. Four-hundred years before Columbus, and 1014 prior to today! The story of Erik the Red recounts the story that Eriksson crossed the Atlantic Ocean purely by accident. He had set-sail to return to Norway after his trip to Greenland, and made a wrong turn. Some tales relay that it was by no mistake at all and that he had heard of this place from a trader in Iceland. The tale further alleges Eriksson purchased the ship belonged to the Icelandic trader, put a crew together and retraced the journey in reverse. It is written that his final destination in Canada was present day Newfoundland.
Newfoundland’s history goes back to 3000 B.C. with archaeological evidence supporting the existence of Archaic Maritime Indians. According to the official page of The Royal Commission on Renewing and Strengthening Our Place in Canada: History of Newfoundland and Labrador Summary Chronology of Events, “Historical and archaeological evidence indicates that the Bethouks were already living in Newfoundland at the time that Viking explorers arrived.
The Beothuks are considered the aboriginal people of the Island of Newfoundland and were Algonkian-speaking hunter-gatherers. They numbered less than a thousand people at the time of European contact in the 15th century.” For further exploration, please visit: http://www.gov.nf.ca/publicat/royalcomm/research/bakerchronology.pdf.
Although there is not extensive evidence Leif Eriksson had contact with Native Americans in our part of North America, present day United States, it has been speculated that the native population of Minnesota were influenced by pre-Colombian European explorers. To further solidify this speculation, a stone carving which is Norse in nature was found in the area of Kensington, Minnesota which is dated to be from approximately 1030 B.C.E. Based on this conjecture and bit of hard evidence, the people of Minnesota erected a statue of Leif Eriksson in 1040. For these reasons and in honor of the cultural contribution the people of Norway have made to the United States, President Lyndon B. Johnson declared October 9th, “Leif Eriksson Day!”