Everyone belongs: Books to read for Harmony Week
School playgrounds across the nation will soon turn orange, as little ones celebrate what it means to be inclusive with Harmony Week.
Harmony Week runs from March 15 and includes ‘Harmony Day’ on March 21, which is the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
As well as getting to wear orange mufti to school for a designated day (my kids call this ‘orange day’ – the colour signifying meaningful conversations), kids engage in all sorts of activities reminding us just how vibrant Australia is thanks to multiculturalism.
At the crux of all this fun (and LOTS of orange!) is a message of inclusiveness, respect and why everyone, from the traditional custodians of the land to those from around the world who now call Australia home, should feel like they belong.
If you are a teacher or just wanting to help get the’ Harmony Week’ conversation started in your own home, here are some fascinating statistics about Australia’s diversity from the Harmony Week website:
- nearly half (49 per cent) of Australians were born overseas or have at least one parent who was
- we identify with over 300 ancestries
- since 1945, more than 7.5 million people have migrated to Australia
- 85 per cent of Australians agree multiculturalism has been good for Australia
- apart from English, the most common languages spoken in Australia are Mandarin, Arabic, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Italian, Greek, Tagalog/Filipino, Hindi, Spanish and Punjabi
- more than 70 Indigenous languages are spoken in Australia.
As for some wonderful books that will help to bring home the ‘everyone belongs’ message, here are some great titles to read to your kids or students.
All are beautiful and all are important.
Happy Harmony week, EVERYONE!
INCLUSIVE BOOKS TO CELEBRATE HARMONY WEEK
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‘We are all Equal’
‘Our Home, Our Heartbeat’
‘I’m Australian Too’
‘Wide Big World’
‘Under the Love Umbrella’
‘Whoever You Are’
‘My Two Blankets’
‘Bat vs Poss’
‘Room on our Rock’
Lana Hallowes is an online writer and mum of two boys. She recently adopted a rescue puppy, so feels like there's also a wayward toddler living in her house. When she isn't mumming or working, she's ignoring the housework and reading a good book.