Growing up, I never saw anyone who looked like me as illustrations on pages of the books I read, pictured in magazines I subscribed to as a tween, or in the movies I watched. These days we know that representation matters. Exposing our kids to diversity is important because there are many things to be learned from cultures, traditions, and people around the world. In honor Raya and the Last Dragon now out on 4K Ultra HD™, Blu-ray™ and DVD, keep reading for fun activities families can do this weekend to learn more about Southeast Asia. Keep reading to enter to win 1 of 3 digital codes for Raya and the Last Dragon!
About Raya and the Last Dragon
Walt Disney Animation Studios’ new animated film “Raya and the Last Dragon” is an exciting, epic journey about the fantasy world of Kumandra. Humans and dragons once inhabited Kumandra in harmony long ago but when an evil force threatened the land, the dragons sacrificed themselves to save humanity.
500 years later, the same evil has returned. Now it’s up to a lone warrior, Raya, to track down the legendary last dragon to restore the fractured land and its divided people. Along her journey, Raya learns trust and teamwork are just as important as a dragon to save the world.
Raya and the Last Dragon is Disney’s first Southeast Asian-inspired film. The imaginary lands of Kumandra are inspired by the cultures, traditions, and people of Southeast Asia. The creative team visited multiple countries in the region, including Laos, Indonesia, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Singapore, to conduct research. Although the film is a fantasy, Disney sought to ensure that the portrayals of the cultures that inspire the film are accurate and respectful.
Learn About Southeast Asia During a Weekend of Raya on May 22-23
In celebration of the studio’s first Southeast Asian-inspired film, Disney partnered with AsianBossGirl for a Weekend of Raya. Events this Saturday, May 22, and Sunday, May 23 honor and highlight the cultures of Southeast Asia as well as the AAPI artists and filmmakers that helped to bring the film to life.
From the delicious flavors of Thailand to the shadow puppetry of Indonesia, follow along on Instagram AsianBossGirl hosts Melody Cheng, Helen Wu and Janet Wang throughout the weekend and join in on fun activities. Here are some of the family friendly activities being held during the weekend to help kids learn more about Southeast Asia.
And don’t worry if you have a packed weekend schedule! Many events are ones that can be streamed, watched, or listened to later!
See a Shadow Puppet Performance
According to Wonderopolis, shadow puppetry originated in China and India and is the oldest type of puppetry in the world. Girl Tales, a podcast that features strong female characters in reimagined fairy tales, will retell Raya’s epic adventures as told in the Raya and the Last Dragon” Little Golden Book. Their Southeast Asian shadow puppet performance will be available on the Disney Movies YouTube channel. The Girl Tales podcast can be streamed throughout the weekend.
After watching the shadow puppet retelling of Raya’s adventures, kids can make their own shadow puppets using these free shadow puppet printables from Disney Movie Insiders. If you want more shadow puppet guidance, Scribble’s How to Make a Shadow Puppet is helpful!
Learn About Foods Southeast Asia Foods and Flavors
Food from Cambodia, Laos, Burma, Indonesia, The Philippines, Thailand, and Malaysia are influenced by Asia and India, yet each has distinct characteristics and flavors that come from regional differences. Thai food gets it sweet spicy blend from tamarind and chilies. Vietnamese food is lighter thanks to fresh noodles and herbs whereas Filipino cuisine feels more heavy.
If you love foods from Southeast Asian countries but are intimidated to try making them on your own, Omsom can help! Their Limited-Edition Southeast Asian Omsom Sampler contains sauces, aromatics, and seasons needed to cook Vietnamese Lemongrass Barbecue (bun cha), Thai Larb, and Filipino Sisig at home.
Join Omsom co-founders and sisters, Vanessa and Kim Pham, and Raya and the Last Dragon, star Kelly Marie Tran, on Instagram to learn how to make a dish using an Omsom starter. Watch live on Instagram by @omsom on Saturday, May 22, at 11 am PDT.
Try Making Coconut Pancakes with Pepper Teigen
Coconut is an essential ingredient in Thai cooking. The liquid inside young, tender coconuts is sipped as a refreshing drink. Fully mature coconuts become coconut cream and milk. According to Asian Inspirations, the flesh is scraped from the shell, finely grated, then added with warm water and squeezed to produce the white, velvety cream.
Coconut is used in curries, baking, and a favorite ingredient in the Tiegan family’s Coconut Pancakes. Join Pepper Teigan (yes, mom of Chrissy Tiegan) for a step-by-step cooking demo of coconut pancakes, a recipe from her New York Times bestselling cookbook, The Pepper Thai Cookbook. The video will be available on Instagram (@pepperthai2) the morning of Saturday, May 22.
Learn About Southeast Asian Art and Architecture
The best learning happens when kids are naturally curious. By allowing them to immerse Kumandra further, they can explore the art and architecture of the different regions depicted in the movie anytime they want through the Discover Kumandra website.
They’ll learn how the people, materials, and philosophy influenced the art and architecture in the movie. While the movie is fiction and Kumandra has its own art and architecture, it is also heavily influenced by what you’d find during a visit to Laos, Indonesia, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Singapore.
Practice Fine Motor Skills
If you’re looking for an unplugged way for the youngest ages to practice skills, download the free Raya and the Last Dragon Activity Pack. It features coloring pages and mazes that are perfect for preschoolers to use to practice fine motor skills that are needed as look towards starting school in the fall.
Win 1 of 3 Raya and the Last Dragon Digital Download Codes
MoviesAnywhere is providing 3 codes for 3 lucky families to download and watch Raya and the Last Dragon as they learn about Southeast Asia!
If you’re not already a MoviesAnywhere user, it is free to use. You only pay for the movies you want to add to your collection via purchases made through your connected digital retailers. There aren’t ever any subscription feeds, commitments, or extra charges.
Winners of the Raya and the Last Dragon digital download codes will be emailed a code to add to their MoviesAnywhere account that can be done free of charge.
To enter, use the Rafflecopter form below.
A big thank you to Disney for gifting us the Blu-ray of Raya and the Last Dragon to faciliate this post! Disney also provided codes for this giveaway. Affiliate links are included in this post and all opinions are my own.