CBeebies taught me multiculturalism… my latest column at The Malaysian Insider


Atheena watching CBeebies

I love CBeebies! I really really do!

Learning multiculturalism from television
By Zan Azlee

AUG 26 — Ever since the arrival of little Athena, the television at home has been dominated by baby and children’s programmes. And one of our favourites is BBC’s CBeebies. It’s a blessing when you just need some quiet time and you can plonk the little pooper in front of the television for 20 minutes.

My wife and I find it way better than the Disney Channel since it doesn’t mind numb kids into wanting to be princesses or buy expensive toys. But that discussion will be for another week. So we were watching CBeebies one afternoon together with Athena and I noticed how the BBC tried very much to be inclusive of all the communities in Britain.

They had TV presenters who were of all colours, from white to black, and even brown. It was very inclusive indeed. The kids who came on were of different cultures too. From very pale looking, blonde Scottish girls to brown and tanned, hair-in-a-bun Punjabi boys!

And the best thing is that none of the programmes that featured this multiracial cast ever made any reference to race and ethnicity. Everything just went on as usual as if all these races really existed and interacted with each other on a natural level in the country (which, of course, they do!).

Now that’s exactly what I want Athena to learn – to recognise that there are many different cultures and ethnicities around us, and not make a big deal out of it. [Click here to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]

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