Articles from January, 2011

Monday, January 31st, 2011

Real Intercultural Family in the U.S.: Portuguese, Romanian and English

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Real Intercultural Family in the U.S.: Portuguese, Romanian and English
Welcome Ingrid and Leo!   Where are you from? Leo: Brazil   Ingrid: Romania   Where do you currently live? Berkeley, CA. (The each hold a PhD from the University of Berkeley).   How did you meet? Leo: At a birthday party of a friend in common.   Ingrid: It's a much longer story than that. He was visiting from Brazil.   Leo: I was escaping carnival. I was visiting some friends and went to this birthday party.   Ingrid: I got lost going to the party.  Read more »

So what’s the big deal about sleepovers, anyhow?

On my 16th birthday, a blond classmate was shocked to discover that I would not also, automatically, be allowed to date.  Read more »

Being a Working Muslimah Mother

Guilt seems to be an integral part of modern motherhood.  Read more »

Chinese New Year Recipe: Yuanxiao (sweet rice balls)

Yuanxiao, or sweet rice balls, are traditionally eaten on Lantern Festival, which is the last day of the two-week Chinese New Year holiday  Read more »

Closer to God: The First 40 Days After Birth

The first time you hold your precious little one, it is hard to imagine that one day this tiny being will be able to speak and share their thoughts with you. I would stare at Amrita for hours, wondering what she would come to care about and what she would be like. For about the first month of my daughter's life, she seemed to spend most of her time off in another realm.  Read more »

Ayyam-i-Ha Craft: Advent Style Banner

Ayyam-i-Ha is the time of the year for gift giving, celebrating and performing acts of charity. Here's an advent type banner with 4 pockets--1 for each day of Ayyam-i-Ha that one crafty mama created for Ayyam-i-Ha. Each morning her kids wake up to a surprise. This post has been reprinted with permission from Carrie over at Tao Of Craft.   Materials: Felt in coordinating pieces Rainbow strip of fabric (or make your own from different color felt strips) Fabric glue Pinking sheers (if you want a pinked edge) Baha'i star template ~ You can download it HERE   Instructions: 1.  Read more »

Stupider Than a Potato: Life With My Chinese Mother

I spent Christmas in Hong Kong with my brother and my parents. It was the first family holiday (minus my two sisters) we had in a very long time. We were walking around in Mong Kok the day after Boxing Day, strolling down the narrow path flanked on either side by busy stalls selling handbags, t-shirts, knick knacks and souvenirs on Ladies Street. The sky was clear and the sun was in our faces.  Read more »

Autism and Multilingualism: A Parent’s Perspective

It happened again last week. I was enjoying a cup of coffee with a colleague when she asked me point blank what language we spoke at home. I often get that question as my husband and I come from different countries and on top of that, we're expats in Turkey. This makes us, for all practical purposes, a trilingual family. But people don't buy that and they want to know which of our three languages we really speak, when no one is watching.  Read more »

Ayyam-i-Ha Recipe: Fesenjan (walnut-pomegranate chicken)

Because the Baha’i faith was born out of what was formerly Persia, Persian recipes are very appropriate for Ayyam-i-Ha. This recipe for fesenjan, also called fesanjoon depending on the regional dialect, combines chicken with pomegranates and walnuts for an amazing explosion of taste.  

Ingredients:

 

1/4 cup olive oil
2 to 3 pounds of chicken, cut into pieces
2 diced onions
2 cups of walnuts, finely ground (in a food processor)
2-3 cups of water (you can alternatively use chicken stock for extra flavor)

 Read more »

Chinese New Year: February 3

The Chinese New Year is the most celebrated holiday of the year in China. It takes place on the first day of the first new moon after the winter solstice in the lunar calendar (February 3rd, 2011). Socially, it is a time for being with friends and relatives and the greater significance is of flushing out the old and welcoming in the new. This holiday, more than any other Chinese holiday, stresses the importance of family ties.  Read more »

Family Evolution: The Meaning of Multicultural

I grew up in a multicultural house. My mother was born in the Netherlands. My father, although also of Dutch heritage, was born in Indonesia and spent much of his early years split between those islands and Australia. He brought with him foods, languages, a love of large birds and a unique accent. I was born in New Jersey but my parents raised me Dutch.  Read more »

Raised Under the Armenian Evil Eye

Growing up in a traditional Armenian home in Southern California, we had many superstitions and rituals. My mother was and still is the queen of superstition. Here are just a few of the many superstitions we followed:   • No whistling especially at night or evil spirits will come. • No cutting your nails at night. This will shorten your life.  Read more »

InCultureParent’s Essential Chinese New Year Reading List

Cat and Rat: The Legend of the Chinese Zodiac By Ed Young (author and illustrator) Review by Frances Kai-Hwa Wang Beautifully written retelling of the story about how the 12 animals of the zodiac were chosen and why the cat and the rat are no longer friends. It really portrays the personalities of the cat, rat, ox, and other animals and ties their personality to how they run their race.  Read more »

Little Buddha at Home

My daughter has recently reached four years old, and has blossomed mentally and physically. What surprises me at this age is how her mind has matured and how she picks up on things that I might overlook. Recently, she started to imitate the Buddha seated in meditation as a joke. I don't know exactly where she picked this up, but in the bathtub she'll cross her little legs, put her hands in the proper mudra (gesture) and sit very straight, just like you see in statues of the Buddha.  Read more »

5 Crafts for the Chinese New Year

There were so many adorable and fun crafts for the Chinese New Year, it was impossible to pick only one to showcase this month. So InCultureParent has put together an overview of some of the best crafts we found for the Chinese New Year. They range from very easy (fingerprint cherry blossoms) to medium-difficulty (dragon mask) and many can be made with materials from around the house (e.  Read more »

Careful With the “R”! Japanese Language Mistakes

A Japanese friend wanted to learn English so she started watching CNN while on the treadmill at the gym to train her ears. It was during Obama's presidential campaign so words like "voters" and "election,” were jumping back and forth among the announcers and repeated all the time, so she was able to catch them.   One day she asked me, “I understand the meaning of "vote" but I don't quite understand the meaning of "election," with heavily-accented Japanese.  Read more »

Cultural Faux Pas From Morocco

The second or maybe third time I had gone to visit my in-laws in Morocco, I definitely felt like I had it down. I had learned many of the cultural rules like to be careful that I don't thoughtlessly put my hand on my husband's leg or my arm around him in casual conversation. I also knew enough to run the cold water when you dump boiling water down the drain because of the superstition that the devil or spirits can live in the drain.  Read more »

My Daughter’s Initiation Into African Hair Braiding

Just before the New Year, my brother spotted my car in the parking of our local shopping centre. He called to find out where I was and as I was at the hairdressers, he popped in to say hello. My daughter (aged 3 years and 8 months) was sat perched on a couple of cushions in the seat next to mine. She had already been sitting perfectly still for over an hour.  Read more »

Language Fail from Japan

Submitted by Simone, Bangkok.  Read more »

Language Fender Bender from Mexico

Do you have your own communication fail in words or in pictures? Please share it with us at submissions@incultureparent.com with "Communication Fail" in the title..  Read more »

Cultural Stereotypes

I have been an expat for almost 13 years or roughly one-third of my life. I grew up in Northern Germany and moved to the South in 1990 so really we're talking about 21 years that I have not lived "at home." (As in most countries, the North and South of Germany are very different.) I think I am so used to it by now that I can't easily say where exactly I come from.  Read more »

Education in Multilingual Families: The Burning Question—Part One

Education. One word, carrying so much baggage. Hope for the future; worries about its quality and quantity. And for families raising bilingual or multilingual children, the language question adds another dimension of difficulty, especially if you are lucky enough to live in a place where you have lots of options. Matthew is four and a half. School starts at age three in France (although it isn't mandatory until age six).  Read more »

On the Hunt for French and Twi Books

We are always on the hunt for books in our family to support my childrens' language acquisition. For French books, this is fairly straightforward. After all, it's the tenth most widely spoken language in the world, with around 130 million speakers, which makes for a lot of books! There is a French Amazon, and the Canadian Amazon carries lots of French titles as well.  Read more »

In the Bleak MidWinter: Teaching Our Children Spiritual Survival Skills

In the bleak midwinter, frost wind made moan, earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone; snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow…   Christmas has passed, but I can’t get these lines from Christina Rossetti’s poem out of my mind. The poem, which celebrates the spiritual renewal symbolized by the birth of Jesus in the middle of winter, was put to music by modern composer Gutav Holst early in the last century and is now a well-known Christmas carol that was featured on many of the radio programs I listened to during the holiday season.  Read more »

Multicultural Art: Learning to Draw Alongside my Daughter

I am not altogether sold on the idea of school. I was before my daughter was born however like so many other aspects of my life, my world view completely shifted with her arrival. My own schooling was entirely conventional: kindergarten, primary, secondary school followed by university and post graduate osteopathy college. In my usual manner, during my pregnancy I had already identified a kindergarten and primary school that I wanted her to attend and then after she arrived something strange happened; I wasn't sure I wanted her to go to school anymore.  Read more »

The Gift of Oranges From a Sister I Will Never Meet

I felt a connection to a woman who had lived across the continent in Ethiopia. We had never met and will never meet in person. She was the birth mother of my three Ethiopian kids. I know it is strange to admit this connection but I can honestly say that I felt a call from her heart to "mother" her children via adoption. Bayoush was around 32 years old and had passed away due to AIDS a few years prior in 2005.  Read more »

Finding Our Way Home

I am not close with members of my family of origin, nor do I live near any of its members. Since my husband is not Jewish, any efforts to raise our four-year-old daughter with a sense of her Jewish maternal heritage rest, naturally, with me. Given some recent difficulties with family members, I have had to take stock and ask myself how much time and effort I am interested in devoting to exposing my daughter to Judaism.  Read more »

Christmas for the Very First Time

This year, I celebrated Christmas in my own place with my wife and three daughters. It was the first time that I did this and I'm 41 years old. Wow. What sounds a little bit weird is actually more due to the way we expats live. When I left my parents' house in 1990 to study 800km further south, I thought it was a temporary move. So like most of my friends I came back "home" for Christmas every year while I was studying.  Read more »

Armenian Christmas Recipe: Anooshabour (Armenian Christmas Pudding)

This is a traditional Armenian Christmas recipe. In the early days, at every Armenian feast, Anooshabour was a traditional must!

Ingredients:
1 c. skinless whole grain wheat (also called shelled wheat berries)*
1 1/2 c. golden bleached raisins
2 c. dried apricots
3 qt. water

 Read more »

Armenian Craft: Weave a Carpet

More than its rich history, artists or cuisine, Armenia is probably best known for its carpets. While carpets are not synonymous with Armenian Christmas, they do represent something typically Armenian, so this month's craft is to weave a carpet. This is a fun project for kids and also good for fine motor skills. Materials Scissors Glue Various types and colors of paper Instructions 1.  Read more »

Armenian Recipe: Tina’s Armenian-Kiss Martini

Pomegranates are the Armenian national fruit and you could easily say that vodka is an Armenian national pastime. Combine the two together and you have an explosively delicious cocktail, rich in Armenian flavor. This is a great one not just for the holidays but any festive occasion.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups pomegranate juice
2 ounces quality vodka
1 ounce cointreau or Triple Sec or Grand Marnier
1 tsp  Read more »

Living in harmony in a great world house on Martin Luther King Day

In Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Nobel Peace Prize lecture, given in 1964, he talks about the idea of a house, "We have inherited a big house, a great world house in which we have to live together--black and white, Easterners and Westerners, Gentiles and Jews, Catholics and Protestants, Moslem and Hindu, a family unduly separated in ideas, culture, and interests who, because we can never again live without each other, must learn, somehow, in this one big world, to live with each other.  Read more »

An Islamic Perspective on Child-Rearing and Discipline

Thanks to a small number of Muslims and large chunks of the mainstream media, Islam has gained a reputation for severity and harshness. When it comes to the way we raise our children this can often be true, but usually due to our cultural backgrounds more than our faith. My parents and grandparents grew up in Pakistan where it was the norm to be smacked by your parents, extended relations and anyone else that happened to be around and in a bad mood.  Read more »
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A Children's Book for Raising Global Citizens

Every life is a story. It’s easier to understand someone when you know their story.

Why I Travel 13 Hours Alone with My Kids Every Chance I Get

Travelling with children, while definitely more of a mission, contradicts the old saying that “life is about the journey, not the destination.”

A Diverse Book for Preschoolers in Celebration of Multicultural Children's Book Day

A book that honestly and simply celebrates the every day diversity that children experience.

Why My African Feminist Mother Gave Me the Identity of My Father's Tribe

She gave me an identity so different from her own.

2 Children’s Books about Jamaica

Explore Jamaica with your child.

Costa Rica with Kids: Two Weeks of Family Travel

Two weeks of Pura Vida in a country with so much to offer families.

Should I Worry about My Child's Accent in Her Foreign Language?

See why Dr. Gupta takes offense to this question and where children learn accents from

How to raise trilingual kids when exposure to Dad's language is limited

My kids only get 1-2 hours of the minority language per day-help!

What Cultural Norms Around Bare Feet Taught This Mother in Guatemala

Her baby's bare feet ended up being a lesson on poverty and privilege.

Why We Need to Read Multicultural Children's Books

Children need to see the world around them reflected in books.

How My Two Year Old is Teaching Me Thai

I am just another "farang" or stranger until my son starts speaking fluent Thai

10 Things You Should Know Before Adopting a Child

What you may want to consider before sending in that adoption application.

10 Best Children's Books for Gifts

Our Editors favorite multicultural books for this holiday season.

Will Three Languages Confuse a Young Child?

My wife thinks three languages will confuse our child. Is she right?

11 African-American Children’s Books for Christmas and Kwanzaa

Try a few of these from this fantastic selection of African-American holiday books

What I Can Do as a White Mom After Darren Wilson’s Acquittal

How do I explain to my kids the racism that does not come in the form of explicit laws and overt, blatant prejudice?

10 Multicultural Children’s Books that Make Adults Cry

We dare you to read these without a tear

Why This Mom Banned the Word ‘Weird’ From Her Kids' Vocabulary

One approach to explaining diversity to kids.

French versus Italian Parenting in One Multicultural Family

How one mom in an intercultural marriage sees the differences between Italian and French parenting

The Cultural Battleground of Sleepovers

Should they be allowed because it's "normal?" Think again.

Are Parents Too Overprotective in the West and Too Lax in the East?

Would you pick up a stranger's child or is that invasive?

Does Religion Matter? Juggling Two Faiths in One Family

What's the best way to transmit the values we care about to our kids?

Amazing Portraits of Biracial Kids

Smarter, larger, better, healthier and more beautiful? A project that debunks stereotypes.

Dear White Officer, Please Don't Shoot

At what age does my darling black son begin to look like a threat to the world?

A Book that Celebrates Cross-Cultural Friendship

A great pick for back to school season

My Daughter’s 10 Favorite Multicultural Books

Does your shelf have these kid favorites?

I was Diagnosed with Cancer at Age 37 while Abroad with Kids

Illness in a foreign country can be scary but it taught this mom a different meaning of family.

Huge Giveaway for Eid: Tea Collection, Little Passports, Little Pim, Dolls, Books, Music & More

Win almost $300 in prizes from awesome globally-inspired children's products.

5 Smoothies Your Kids Will Love

Healthy smoothies for summer your kids will like.

3 Beautiful Children’s Books That Take Place in the Himalayas

Beautiful children's stories from Nepal to Tibet

Why African Toddlers Don't Have Tantrums

The secret of why African babies don't meltdown like Western ones.

How I Made My Forgotten Native Language My Child’s Strongest

I started off by speaking dodgy Cantonese. No word for remote control? No problem! ‘Pressy thingy.’

Help Us Giveaway a Soccer Ball to Kids in Ethiopia!

Let's donate a ball to kids who need it in Ethiopia. Here's how you can help!

Tanabata Festival: July 7

A beautiful Japanese summer festival

Homemade Art Books for Ramadan

A simple homemade gift for kids

A Children's Book for Global Citizens: Everyone Prays

A celebration of faith around the world through simple text and rich illustrations.

Do I Hold My Son Back to Get into the Immersion Program?

What would you do? Your child won a place in the lottery, only problem is it's the wrong year!
Hi...I am an Asian who was adopted and raised by Caucasian American missionaries in South America. I have two kids-my daughter is 16 and my son is 11. When I had my first baby I too was indoctrinate...
From The West’s Strange Relationship to Babies and Sleep
This Karina, the Karina from the article. I'm now 13. It took this article was written 3 years ago and barely coming across it right now. I was originally trying to look for my folkloric pictures fo...
From How This Single Working Mom Raised a Trilingual Kid
Nice recipe, thank for shari...
From Vaisakhi Recipe: Sarson Ka Sag
I've been in Germany Ten years now, Lived in Frankfurt and Stuttgart, specifically Leonberg. In Frankfurt I was shocked by how unfriendly the People were, how aggressive their Drivers, but in Leonbe...
From Are Germans Really Rude?
At DreamAfrica, we are a streaming app for animations and films from around the world. We celebrate cultural representation in digital media and invite you to download and share our DreamAfrica appp...
From What We Are Not About
Imagine those people who work at your typical IT Department, yeah those weirdos with low EQ, no manners, no social skills; indeed those who kiss the bosses' ass when it's convenient, but get offend...
From Are Germans Really Rude?
I contacted the editor of this magazine (Stephanie) and she told me she'd inform Jan about this article. I have since changed my mind about going to Germany because of Merkel's policies, and this i...
From Are Germans Really Rude?
@Daniela You speak BS, you have never seen Franconia, or you're a Franconian girl. In the second case, I know that no intellectual conversation could be made with Franconian people, because you'r...
From Are Germans Really Rude?
Unfortunately, the school and community are no longer there. The farm is being sold and there are tentative plans for a new iteration to be set up in Costa Ric...
From How I Moved to Thailand with my Family on Less than $1000
HI! I love your website! Just read your review of books that teach about culture and food! I can't wait to try some of the recipes you've share...
From Armenian Recipe: Apricot Tart
Please, refrain from using "western /western society" for anglosaxon countries. Western can be Mexico and Spain as well, anything on the west side of the world is western ...
From The West’s Strange Relationship to Babies and Sleep
We've tried to make use of, but It doesn't works by any mean...
From African Parenting: The Sane Way to Raise Children
I'm back. Sorry, I stopped caring for this magazine for a while and forgot to discuss the meat of the matter. This article, as well as the linked article from 2011, fails to discuss cultural norms ...
From What Confused Me Most about Brits
Fascinating. I have been to Germany and met this guy who was soo rude! This article explains everything!! Since all Germans are so terribly rude it should come as no surprise that I should have met ...
From Are Germans Really Rude?
@ Josep. How could you possibly comment on how Germans treat people if you have never even been there? A three-day stay in Berlin and a one day stop-over in Frankfurt was enough for me to see the ut...
From Are Germans Really Rude?
I am trying to find a Sikh triangular Nishan Sahib flag and haven't found one. Do you know where I can find on...
From Vaisakhi Craft: Make a Flag
I have tried to buy a Sikh triagular Nishan Sahib flag and had no luck. Do you know where I can find on...
From Vaisakhi Craft: Make a Flag
@Oceania To me it looks like you're demonstrating the same kind of rudeness you (claim to) condemn. Please open your mind a little and stop living in the past. New Zealand has its own problems as w...
From Are Germans Really Rude?
@Joseph Dear Joseph, If you were never in Germany, why do you think you can preach me on experiences almost every other expat had in here? I wrote that post 4 years ago, and what my toughts were ...
From Are Germans Really Rude?
I think, in general, Deutschland struggles with emotional intelligence. It's been repressed and underrated for so long that it's atrophied somewhat. Reminds me of an interesting study recently, in w...
From Are Germans Really Rude?
[…] Peru, 97 percent of newborns are breastfed, according to LLLI. In Culture Parent reported that 69 percent of Peruvian children are breastfed exclusively from birth to five months, and ou...
From Breastfeeding Around the World
Hi I was googling Islamic beliefs when I came across your post. We are American and our neighbors are from Pakistan I think. Our kids love playing together but their dad doesn't allow the kids to co...
From An Islamic Perspective on Child-Rearing and Discipline
Mother’s Day is the most perfect and accurate Occasion to express your Love and Gratitude towards Mothe...
From Holi Craft: Straw Painting
[…] Muslims fast for 30 days every year for Ramadan, which is one of the five pillars of Islam. Ramadan this year is happening during most of the month […...
From Ramadan: June 28-July 28
[…] Raising a Little Buddha – Part 1, InCulture Parent — Post by a Buddhist Minister about raising an enlightened child.  It starts with intimacy, communication, and community. [R...
From How to Raise an Enlightened Child — Part I
[…] Breastfeeding in Jordan, InCulture Parent — Not as restrictive as one might think. […...
From Breastfeeding in Jordan
[…] Best and Worst Countries to be a Mother, InCulture Parent – “The 2010 Mothers’ Index rates 160 countries (43 developed nations and 117 in the developing world) in terms of th...
From Best and Worst Countries to be a Mother
[…] Why Americans Value Independent and Competitive Kids, InCultureParent — Interesting look at how our values impact our interactions with our children (babies in particular). […...
From Why Americans Value Independent and Competitive Kids
[…] Multiple Fathers and Healthier Children in the Amazon, InCulture Parent — a fascinating look at cultures in the Amazon where pregnant women have sex with more than one man as a means...
From Multiple Fathers and Healthier Children in the Amazon
[…] What’s Easter without a Whipping?, InCulture Parent — a post about the Czech tradition of men and boys whipping women on Easter.  I found this very troubling. [̷...
From What’s Easter without a Whipping?
[…] Don’t Touch My Child! Lessons from Asia, InCulture Parent — on our irrational fear of abduction and sexual predators […...
From Don’t Touch My Child! Lessons from Asia
I have been living in Germany for about 8 or 9 months now, and a lot of these comments are absolutely spot on. I came here from the US, having heard of none of these "negative stereotypes," (I actua...
From Are Germans Really Rude?
I'm in a choir at my church, and one of our new members is very pushy. We don't expect her to be perfect (and she's not!) but she seems to hover, making sure our music is in order, bringing arm load...
From Are Germans Really Rude?
It is very difficult to deal with swabian in laws. They don't like expressing affection and tend to be critical. I gave up on trying to please them when I am feeling lonely, empty and hopeless. D...
From Are Germans Really Rude?
I don't intend to come off as rude myself. I've never been to Germany before, but these generalisations are unacceptable, especially since many others (not in this site, of course) have had positive...
From Are Germans Really Rude?
@Zim Spend some more time. Know a few people before jumping to conclusion...
From Are Germans Really Rude?
@M. White Was he mistreating you? If not, then don't divorce. Ask him what's considered polite and what's not. Please read about cultural differences before lumping all Germans as rude. Sure, some ...
From Are Germans Really Rude?
@Jill Don't give up too easily. Study the culture a little, learn the language, and treat them with respect. Maybe then you might have a better time. Sorry about your experience. I've never been t...
From Are Germans Really Rude?
@Tonya It's usually not a good idea to smile at strangers. Germans usually smile towards family members and close friends. Maybe you just had a bad experience. Sorry to hear about tha...
From Are Germans Really Rude?