What do you know about the spices in your kitchen cupboard, how inspiration is found for carnival costumes or what the twelve animals of the Chinese New Year are?
Find out in some fantastic free events for Black History Month, China in London 2007, Holi and the Muslim New Year, part of Diverse City Season until March 2007.
Experience multicultural Britain with demonstrations, storytelling, nature talks, workshops and family activities. These activities highlight the important role many cultures contribute to our understanding of the natural world.
'It is about everyone enjoying culture and the natural world together,' said Tracy-Ann Smith, New Audiences Programme Developer at the Museum.
Diverse City Season celebrates ethnic diversity and explores the rich connections between culture and the natural world. It is hoped these events will encourage more visitors to the Museum from groups such as ethnic minorities.
'We don't expect that these events in themselves will build new audiences,' Tracy-Ann adds. 'A lot of work goes on behind the scenes working with communities on what they need and want.'
Tracy-Ann comments on the popularity of the events, 'there's so much demand for our cultural programme we had to move our storytelling three times last week because the space was too small to hold all the people.'
Diverse City Season events continue until March 2007 and here is a taster:
What do we really know about the chilli powder and peppercorns in our kitchen? Spices have a colourful history dating back to ancient times. They've played an important role in promoting trade, and wars have been fought in their name. Spices of the World, on Thursday 9 and Friday 24 November, discovers the fascinating medicinal properties of spices and hears how people from different communities use them today.
Carnival is an Afro-Caribbean tradition for self-expression and exploration. Drop in to the Museum's Central Hall on Saturday 18 November and help our Trinidadian carnival costume maker create a pre-historic flying creature using our collections as inspiration. Follow the creature as it is taken around the Museum.
Get up close to plants and minerals and look carefully at their natural patterns. Our Muslim artist will help you use these patterns to create your own motifs for Al-Hijra, the Islamic new year.
Rangoli is a colourful Indian design made on the floor often during a festive period. In you can join Museum artists and create your own rangoli for Holi, the festival of colour.