Articles from August, 2011

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

Is Raising Bilingual Children Worth the Costs?

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Is Raising Bilingual Children Worth the Costs?
I am the daughter of born-and-raised-in-Japan parents and also a proud American citizen. I grew up bilingual because both of my parents spoke only Japanese at home, but at school, I only heard English. I think this is one of the most ideal ways to become bilingual—to be immersed in one language half the time, and in another the other half. I was very lucky; being bilingual has helped me in my education and given me neat volunteer and work opportunities. Although my English is ten times better than my Japanese, I am grateful for the rusty bit of Japanese that I know.  Read more »

Teaching my Muslim Son about 9/11

My eldest is fascinated by comparisons of the largest tsunamis or most populated cities in the world.  Read more »

Celebrating the Jewish Sabbath in Ethiopia

A Day of Delight: A Jewish Sabbath in Ethiopia by Maxine Rose Schur and illustrated by Brian Pinkney shows the way of life of an Ethiopian Jewish community.  Read more »

Why Doesn’t China Let Baba Go Home?

My six-year-old, Luca, is at the age where he is starting to understand complicated concepts in the world around him.  Read more »

The Unexpected Joys of Parenting Teens

“This would be a good day to rob Ann Arbor,” jokes Shi-yi as she waves to another friend she hasn’t seen all summer, “Half the town is here.” After a summer of family time, it is quite a plunge back into the cold refreshing waters of school life up here at Interlochen where the Huron, Pioneer, and Skyline bands, orchestras, and choirs are about to perform after a week of band/orchestra/choir camp.  Read more »

Ethiopian New Year Recipe: Doro Wat

Doro wat is a popular Ethiopian dish that is eaten year round and traditionally made on Enkutatash, the Ethiopian New Year. Search the spice rack to create this perfect recipe for the whole family, with basic

Ingredients and a low-prep time. Go ahead, make something new tonight!

I

 Read more »

Ethiopian-Inspired Craft: Geometric Stamps

Geometric shapes in Ethiopian art trace back to 14th century Christian art, with geometric patterns found on crosses. The use of geometric patterns continues today appearing in popular forms like basket weaving. This craft takes inspiration from Ethiopian geometric patterns and encourages kids to make their own geometric art. Materials: Fruits or veggies like apples, limes, oranges, potatoes that can be cut into triangles Any other household objects that have a geometric pattern (bottom of egg cartons, pencil tops, beads, cheerios, etc.  Read more »

Which Language First When Raising Trilingual Kids?

At almost 19 months old, Ramzi is just starting to really get talking. Matt was an early talker, and at the same age had quite a large vocabulary and was putting little sentences together. It’s been really interesting to watch the differences and similarities in how the two acquire and use their three languages. If I remember correctly (and oh, how I wish I had kept better track of these things!) Matt had about an equal number of words in English and Arabic at 19 months.  Read more »

Real Intercultural Family in Guatemala: Hebrew, Spanish, Portuguese and English

Welcome Susan and Shlomo! Where are you from? Susan: I was born in Connecticut but I grew up in Guatemala City, Guatemala. Shlomo: Near Tel Aviv, Israel. Where do you currently live? Guatemala City, Guatemala How did you meet? Susan: We met in New York—we were introduced by a mutual friend. It was a blind date. Shlomo: I was in the Israeli air force and working on a project for the air force in an American company, supervising the purchase of equipment for Israel.  Read more »

Ramadan Recipe: Chicken Kebabs

I can remember when I was little my parents would feed us early and send us to bed to get some peace during iftar (the daily breaking of the fast during Ramadan). We then spent all evening sitting on the stairs trying to find ways to come downstairs and eat all the nice things everyone else was having. I am now having to deal with the same from my children  Read more »

Learning Languages for Adopted Children

Next week we are heading to the Ukraine to adopt our seventh child. I have tried to block out time from my day to study Russian, but just haven’t been able to make any progress with it. It isn’t that I don’t want to--I really enjoy learning new languages, but have been very busy. Before we adopted our baby, Matea, from Guatemala, I spent hours studying Spanish.  Read more »

9 Things You Should Never Say to Adoptive Parents

With many multicultural families formed by adoption or expanded by adoption (and obviously not solely multicultural families), we thought it’s important to address some etiquette surrounding adoption. Most people probably have friends who have adopted, but there are still many misconceptions about adoption. Sometimes people don’t know what’s ok to ask and what’s not ok.  Read more »

Sharing Our Dreams with Our Children

I recently had the opportunity to go to a two-week filmmaking workshop. It meant that for the first time in my daughter’s life (she’s four and a quarter) I was going to be away from her from 9 a.m to 5 p.m. There were many reasons that the workshop was important to me, especially because it would fulfil my childhood dream of having my first short film screened.  Read more »

Children’s Experience of Ramadan

Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting, is the time for healthy adult Muslims’ to spend the day abstaining from food and water and the nights in hours of worship and contemplation. Although Muslim children do not usually fast, this does not mean that Ramadan, the holiest of months in the Islamic calendar, is not important for them. In Ramadan, a family and community’s routines are completely changed.  Read more »

Giveaway Goodness: Win the children’s book A Party in Ramadan

Win the multicultural children's book, A Party in Ramadan, courtesy of Boyds Mills Press. Thanks Boyds Mills! A Party in Ramadan is a fantastic book about Ramadan for both Muslim and non-Muslim children alike. If you would like to read more about it, check out our review here: http://www.incultureparent.com/2011/08/a-party-in-ramadan/ (Please note we received the copy to giveaway after our review, at our request.  Read more »

Teaching My Kids About Israel

One of the most contentious issues any non-Israeli Jew must face is how to think and speak about Israel. For almost 2000 years, Jews lived in forced exile, dreaming about but unable to reclaim the Promised Land. Israel became a focal point of Jewish theology and the idea of return from exile was interwoven into our liturgy. The formation of a Jewish state in 1948, therefore, was a watershed moment for the Jewish people.  Read more »

Rhythms of the Season

After a long trip away from home, one of the first things I always do upon our return is take all the kids to buy groceries at our favorite Chinese grocery store. I love watching them zip around, squealing as they load up our basket, “Ooooh! It’s been so long since we’ve had cong you bing!” “Xiao long bao! I want xiao long bao!” and “I haven’t seen this kind of zhu rou gan in soooooo long!” At Tsai Grocery, the kids and I all know what and where everything is.  Read more »

8 Rules of Adoption Etiquette

With many multicultural families formed by adoption or expanded by adoption (and obviously not solely multicultural families), we felt it was important to address some etiquette surrounding adoption. Most people have friends who have adopted, but there are still many misconceptions about adoption. Sometimes people don’t know what’s alright to ask and what’s not.  Read more »

The All-or-Nothing Family: A Lament

The hardest thing for me about our unique little family is our unique extended family situation. One side of the family is in the U.S., the other side of the family in Lebanon, and we, like shipwrecked sailors, somewhere in the middle, impossibly far from both. Ok, yes, there’s email. Skype. Facebook. Planes and international travel. Thank goodness! Without all that our lives would be truly sad and lonely ones.  Read more »

Which method is best for raising bilingual kids when the main bilingual parent is not around much?

Dear Dr. Gupta, I am a native English speaker who married a native Spanish speaker. We currently have one 10-month-old daughter and have another child on the way. For numerous obvious reasons, we want our kids to be bilingual, but we are very torn on which method to use. I speak a fair amount of Spanish, and my vocabulary is growing all the time (my husband and mother-in-law speak to me in Spanish almost exclusively).  Read more »

The West’s Strange Relationship to Babies and Sleep

We have a weird relationship to babies and sleep in the West. I was reminded of this when I spoke to my German sister-in-law recently. She had just arrived back in Germany from Spain, where she was visiting her little sister who had just had a baby. My sister-in-law commented that the baby was great, except “she doesn’t sleep in her bed, only in the arms, so that’s a little hard.  Read more »

International Baby Naming Laws–Are They a Good Thing?

In my last column I looked into a friend’s wacky baby-naming. As it turns out, the degree of freedom we enjoy here in the States with regards to baby names is not shared internationally. Naming laws abound worldwide: France, Poland and New Zealand are just a few countries that have laws on the books. In Germany, the first name must indicate the baby’s sex--I’m not sure what they’d do with a name like mine, and who decides on which side a name like “Jamie” falls.  Read more »

Mothers-To-Be: Pregnancy Around the World

Five babies are born every second around the world. These little global citizens hold our promises, deepest desires and intentions for the future. InCultureParent takes a look at the beautiful women across the globe giving birth to our future generation. In each of the countries represented, we also present its ranking in Save the Children's Mother's Index.  Read more »

Children’s Book Review: A Party in Ramadan

A Party in Ramadan by Asma Mobin-Uddin and illustrated by Laura Jacobsen, is the perfect Ramadan book for Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Centered around a child’s pony party during Ramadan, the book adeptly bridges both worlds through a mix of Muslim and non-Muslim characters.   Young Leena is not yet expected to fast during Ramadan, but she has chosen to in order to partake in the celebration with her family, especially her Auntie Sana who is coming over for iftar dinner on the first night.  Read more »

Mama, What Colour is Me? How My Child Defines Race

Disclaimer: Please note that this piece is not intended to make light of the serious issue of race/ethnicity. Its aim, however, is to explore what happens if we allow ourselves to look at skin colour afresh in the way that children do. I am black. My skin colour may be brown but as far as talking about race or ethnicity or whatever the current politically correct term is—I am black.  Read more »

Chinese School Dropout: Why I No Longer Torture My Son With Bilingualism

After three years of flashcards, tracing sheets, computer games and CDs, I’m giving in. I’m a Chinese School Dropout. Or rather my second-grader is. It’s a decision we have not come to rashly. We have had a love-hate relationship with learning Chinese. Sure, there was some whining. But not kicking and screaming and crying—especially since first grade, when my son started in a homework-free program aimed at non-native Mandarin speakers.  Read more »

Giving Birth Naturally in Hong Kong, the Land of the Lucky

In a country where women routinely consult the Chinese zodiac to determine the most auspicious date for the caesarean delivery of their babies, I was preparing for a natural childbirth in a private English hospital on the top of Hong Kong’s highest mountain in the days just after the British handover of the colony to China. The handover had taken place in July, but in September, the lights from the handover celebration that drew millions and was watched on television all over the world, still bathed the city in brilliance.  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?