Teaching children about foreign cultures is an important aspect of family travel. Whether traveling domestically or abroad, families are sure to encounter various customs that are different from the ones taught at home.
These experiences can help shape a child’s understanding of how other people live, including what they eat, where they shop and how they dress. Introducing a child to a culture before traveling to a foreign destination will help them acclimate themselves better upon arrival.
One great way to introduce children to a foreign culture is through movies. The recently released animated film Rio is the perfect example of how parents can bring a foreign culture closer to home.
Rio follows the journey of an exotic bird, Blu, who was captured from the rain forests of Brazil when he was just a chick. Blu now lives with Linda, his best friend and owner in Minnesota. They believe Blu is the last Macaw in existence, but shortly find out that there is one female Macaw left in Rio de Janeiro. Soon, Blu and Linda head to Brazil for the first time.
The movie takes place during Rio’s Carnival season, an exciting celebration before Lent. Carnival festivities take place in many cities around the world, but Rio de Janeiro touts one of the most famous.
Blu is introduced to Jewel, his female counterpart, and then the real journey begins. Blu and Jewel are captured by animal smugglers and are locked in a small cage in a room with other captured birds. They decide to escape and when they do, Blu’s world is turned upside down as he realizes how much culture and excitement are thriving outside of Minnesota. Blu and Jewel fly throughout Rio de Janeiro, seeing the sights and sounds of a true Carnival festival.
In the end, both Blu and the viewer are taken on a magnificent journey about the true beauty of experiencing another country for the first time. This movie is fun for the whole family and whether you have seen Brazil before or not, everyone is sure to experience a yearning to see more of this culture in person.
The movie does an excellent job of showing the sights and sounds that fill the Rio de Janeiro streets and it’s a great film to show the kids before a big trip to Brazil.
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