Articles from April, 2011

Saturday, April 30th, 2011

Perfect Bilingualism: Does it Exist?

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Perfect Bilingualism: Does it Exist?
If you have ever lived in a foreign country where you speak the language as well as its inhabitants, you’ll know how frustrating it is for someone to complement you on your charming accent. You might consider yourself completely bilingual, but there’s that little accent that people keep remarking on. Or you might be bringing up bilingual or multilingual children and notice that they have a slight accent in what you consider to be their mother tongue. They might even have an accent in both their languages.  Read more »

Korean Recipe: Hoddeok

Hoddeok is a “traditional” Korean street vendor food  Read more »

The Big Question—Sex Education and Islam

Sex education is a bit of a minefield for me as a Muslim mother, as I am sure it is for most parents, whether Muslim or not.  Read more »

Is Nanny a Fancy Word for Domestic Servant?

I’ve been looking for work lately. As a nanny this means a variety of things.  Read more »

How Do You Explain God to Kids?

I remember when I first showed my son an illustrated Bhagavad Gita—Our Most Dear Friend by Visakha. He was two years old and was too young for the text, but we gazed at the pictures together while sitting in our sunny living room as the fireplace warmed our feet. There were pictures of the Kurukshetra (the epic battle in the Mahabharata that was the impetus for the Gita), of Lord Krishna and of many beautiful things in nature, such as swans, peacocks, butterflies and lotuses.  Read more »

Invisible Interpreter: The Grandmother – Child Language Divide

Paati (grandma) joined us this past summer from India. It was her first visit to our home in the U.S since the kids. Paati can understand, read and write elementary English, while our six-something-year-old daughter can handle only minimal Tamil (the regional Indian language we speak). With no clairvoyance, my husband and I concluded that the lack of a medium of communication was going to deter and procrastinate the bonding between Paati and our children.  Read more »

Vesak Craft: Make a Paper Lantern

A popular craft for kids on Vesak is making a lantern. This is a craft for a simple one below but you can go more elaborate with different colored paper, ribbons and streamers if you desire! Materials: Popsicle sticks (or an easy alternative requiring no glue is bendy straws that fit together) Glue (a hot glue gun works best) Piece of cardboard String Tissue paper, any color (or another type of thin paper) Instructions: This craft is traditionally done using bamboo.  Read more »

Mother’s Day in Mandarin at the Chinese Speech Tournament

My daughter Hao Hao was once a timid child who cried at every little thing. She even got kicked out of sports camp because she dissolved into a flood of tears every time she got "out" in softball or tag. Once when she was at Leslie Science Center, she cried on a hike through the woods because she was afraid of the spider webs on the trail. Instead of giving in to her tears as the teachers and moms at Chinese School tended to do, the Leslie Science Center instructor simply handed her a butterfly net to empower her to wave away the spider webs as she marched down the trail, head and butterfly net held up high.  Read more »

What Color is Latina?

Although I was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico to Cuban parents and am unconditionally of 100 percent Cuban descent, I have often felt somewhat disconnected from being a true Latina due to the color of my skin. From an early age, I never felt like I fit into the mold of what a Latina should look like. In school, when I played the coveted lead role of Maria in West Side Story, it was strongly suggested that I dye my hair a darker color even though I was from the same place (Puerto Rico) as the real Maria.  Read more »

Adoption and The Gift of Hope

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13: 13) My children tell me the story of when they were in the orphanage in Ethiopia and how they had lost hope that a family would adopt them. We adopted three children who were siblings. Most of the adoptions they had seen were of one child at a time.  Read more »

Korean Craft: Make a Traditional Sam Taeguk Fan

The Sam Taeguk symbol is found on traditional Korean fans. It is a variation of the Taeguk symbol found on the Korean national flag. The Taeguk is comprised of two colors, red and blue. The red represents heaven and the blue represents earth. The symbol represents harmony similar to a yin yang symbol. The Sam Taeguk includes yellow to represent humanity.  Read more »

Hungry for Some Korean Bee-Bim Bop

When we started investigating a Korean-themed book to cover in May, the suggestion that came up over and over from many Korean-Americans and others was Bee-Bim Bop, by author Linda Sue Park and illustrator Ho Baek Lee, so we took heed. Bee-Bim Bop is an adorable, sing-songy book about cooking this favorite (at least one of my favorite) Korean dishes, bee-bim bop, which means mixed-up rice in Korean  Read more »

Vesak Recipe: Fried Meehoon

Editor’s note: On Vesak, it is prohibited to kill any being, so everyone eats vegetarian. Here’s a recipe from Malaysia that is popular on Vesak. This author’s food blog, Pure Glutton, is guaranteed to make your tummy rumble with its pics! Fried Meehoon (vegetarian version)

Ingredients:

300g/1.5 cups meehoon (dried rice vermicelli)
150g/1 cup beansprouts
150g/1 cup shredded carrots
150g/1 cup mustard leaves (sawi)

 Read more »

Death of a Parent and Ella’s Troubled Hair

The first time I laid eyes on Ella was via a picture from her Ethiopian orphanage. I immediately thought that she was perhaps the most beautiful little girl I had ever seen. She was six years old and had perfectly braided hair gathered into a bun on her head. The orphanage had very little resources but a local hair salon came on Saturdays to wash and braid the hair of dozens of little girls.  Read more »

Vesak (Wesak): May 13 (date varies)

Vesak (also known as Wesak) commemorates the Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and death with a colorful, fun festival. Casually the holiday is often referred to as the “Buddha’s birthday.” The exact date of Vesak changes according to the varying lunar calendars used in different traditions. It is primarily celebrated within Theravada Buddhism (practiced in Sri Lanka, Burma, Thailand, Cambodia, Singapore, Malaysia, Laos, etc.  Read more »

Real Intercultural Family in Ghana: Twi, Ga and English

Welcome Kaela and Fred! Where are you from? Kaela: Philadelphia, U.S. Fred: Larteh, Ghana Where do you currently live? Accra, Ghana How did you meet? Kaela: We met in a Philosophy of Culture course at the University of Ghana. I was there through an exchange program and he was in his last year. I did a semester at the University here during my last year of university.  Read more »

Extended Multicultural Families—For Better and Worse

We're packing. Making lists, buying gifts, digging through boxes to find the summer clothes, putting together what will eventually look like a miniature pharmacy (what can I say, my kids are sick all the time). We're checking passports, reserving the taxi; in short, it's time to go visit my in-laws. For Americans, visits are usually short. Maybe we can thank Ben Franklin and his quip about fish and visitors smelling after three days.  Read more »

Dreaming of Peace and Roses

Come April, I dream of roses. Not about planting them or about cultivating them. The roses I dream of grow only in my imagination and begin to bloom there about the third week of April, during the Baha’i festival of Ridvan, when I call to mind the intoxicating scent of the sweet flower of my childhood that once grew in my grandmother’s garden—the Peace rose.  Read more »

Language Forgetting

I am still thinking about language forgetting. The issue at hand is that my daughters do not hear enough German to be able to develop a strong foundation, right? I am the only constantly available source of German they have. Doesn't that mean that I am the issue, really? Well, part of it is the fact that one person alone cannot provide enough immersion.  Read more »

Announcing the Winner of A Lion’s Mane

Thanks to everyone who entered our A Lion's Mane giveaway, the multicultural and eco-friendly book for kids about the Sikh turban. The giveaway was made possible by Saffron Press-thanks to them as well. We are announcing the winner today in the spirit of the Sikh holiday Vaisakhi, when the turban became a symbol of the Sikh identity.   We loved reading all the responses of why you wanted to win the book from exposing your kids to other cultures, to walking to a different beat in your own family to wanting to expand multicultural resources in your own communities.  Read more »

Supernatural Conception: HIV Adoption

We are about to embark on another adoption journey. This time we call it an accidental adoption but it really is more like supernatural conception and childbirth. We thought we were done. We have three children from Ethiopia, two born to us in America and another from Guatemala. We never ever thought we would be adopting again. Similar to going into the doctor and being surprised by a positive pregnancy test, I can imagine this feels the same.  Read more »

Benefits of Raising Bilingual Children: Correcting My Grammar

I've long been resigned (though secretly thrilled) that my six-year-old daughter corrects my French, but I didn't expect my three-year-old son to start just yet. But a couple of days ago, when I was offering him some raisins verts (green grapes), he indignantly stated, "Raisins blancs!" (white grapes), which I suppose must be the correct translation he has heard at school.  Read more »

Our Next Giveaway: A Lion’s Mane

Because we love our readers, we have more fun stuff to offer you!   Win A Lion's Mane by Navjot Kaur, courtesy of Saffron Press, which is a wonderful book about the Sikh turban.   To win, follow these steps: 1. Like us on Facebook. 2. Tell us why you would like to win in the comments section below. 3. You can be entered to win twice if you tweet about this giveaway or let your Facebook friends know about it (let us know you did this in the comments).  Read more »

Cultural Faux Pas in Morocco (or possibly most of the Arab world): Breastfeeding (read on)

My husband, despite having been born and raised in Morocco for 19 years, is not the most knowledgeable about cultural norms in his country. This is largely because he just doesn't care about them, which is fine if you are from that country. However when it comes to me, his foreign spouse, I want to do the right thing as I think it is important to respect traditions and norms when in other countries.  Read more »

Top Ten Travel Toys (and none of them electronic)

1. A pack of cards: Any type will do for ages 0 to 3 and be prepared for them to get lost, squashed, dribbled on and chewed. For ages 3 and up, Uno Junior can provide hours of entertainment and doesn't require much space at all.   2. A miniature artist's sketchpad and colour pencils or crayons: Get children to draw what they see. It's worth investing in good quality paper as not only do children appreciate it but it is much less likely to tear or rip  Read more »

Announcing Our Kids Singing Contest Winner!

Thanks to everyone who submitted awesome videos of their kids singing in languages like Luxembourgish, Korean, Amharic, French, Spanish, Italian and German. We loved watching every one of them and also found it inspiring how many of you are teaching your kids songs in other languages.   But after this contest, we made a giant note to selves: this may be the last time we do a contest where we have to pick just one winner of adorable kids doing adorable activities like singing.  Read more »
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Why We Need to Read Multicultural Children's Books

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Will Three Languages Confuse a Young Child?

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

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French versus Italian Parenting in One Multicultural Family

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The Cultural Battleground of Sleepovers

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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

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My Daughter’s 10 Favorite Multicultural Books

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

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

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5 Smoothies Your Kids Will Love

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

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Help Us Giveaway a Soccer Ball to Kids in Ethiopia!

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Tanabata Festival: July 7

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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!

After Her Husband’s Tragic Death, She Embraced a Religion and Culture Not Her Own

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Hi Kim! I am so glad that this article was useful for you and made you feel validated as a parent. It's not often in this judgmental world of parenting we get that, right?! That's the main reason...
From The West’s Strange Relationship to Babies and Sleep
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I think Konstantina is actually responding to what is probably more familiar/praised/or preferred socially as well. I was an English teacher in Poland with a distinct accent. I struggled to get Engl...
From Should I Worry about My Child’s Accent in Her Foreign Language?
Noor Kids' title "First Time Fasting" is another great rea...
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From How My Chinese Mother-in-Law Replaced my Husband
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From The West’s Strange Relationship to Babies and Sleep
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From Breasts are for Babies? Perceptions of Breastfeeding in Italy
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Hi Hajar! I have 3 (almost 4, 10 weeks to go), we sleep on a king mattress with a single beside it, generally I sleep with the 3 on the King and my husband is on the single! (Babies are 6,4 and 1). ...
From The West’s Strange Relationship to Babies and Sleep
Dear Arabic Dad, I disagree with Dr. Gupta's advice to drop Arabic if your children reject it. If you show your children that you are willing to speak English with them, they will not make the effor...
From How to raise trilingual kids when exposure to Dad’s language is limited
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From What I Can Do as a White Mom After Darren Wilson’s Acquittal
What a wonderful review! If you're interested, we'd love for you to link up this post (or any other that features diverse kid lit) with the Diverse Children's Books Link-up! You can find it at ...
From 2 Children’s Books about Jamaica
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From Five Fun Games from Around the World
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[…] http://www.incultureparent.com/2011/12/how-to-raise-confident-asian-pacific-american-daughters/ […...
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From Breastfeeding in the Land of Genghis Khan
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From Does Religion Matter? Juggling Two Faiths in One Family
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