Articles from January, 2012

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

Imbolc Craft: St. Brigid’s Cross

By

Imbolc Craft: St. Brigid’s Cross
Originally a pagan holiday, Imbolc evolved from a celebration of the goddess Brigid (later Christianized as St. Brigid) in the Middle ages. Brigid is the Gaelic goddess of poetry, healing and smithcraft. Today it is celebrated across Ireland and Scotland and in some pagan communities globally. One common craft for St. Brigid’s Day/Imbolc is to make St. Brigid’s crosses. But these are not your everyday crosses! These ornaments are often created with straw, corn husk or other organic materials.  Read more »

Almost African: My Childhood as a Serbo-Croatian in Sudan

My mother met my Sudanese stepfather in our small town in ex-Yugoslavia when I was five.  Read more »

Birth, Loss and In Between

Since I was a young girl, I dreamed of being a mother.  Read more »

François Grosjean Responds: Cherishing the Multilingual Heart

At the end of last year, the title of a post by Jan Petersen on InCultureParent caught my attention: "How Francois Grosjean Broke My Multilingual Heart.  Read more »

Children’s Books: 7 Global Favorites

One of the first things I found myself unconsciously doing when reading aloud to my kids was changing the word “Daddy” in stories to “Baba.” My kids, before preschool, had no clue what a “Daddy” was. Beyond the usual Goodnight Moon and other American classics, I gravitated toward more multicultural books to show my kids my own love of the world (and perhaps subconsciously to see if I could find any "Babas" in books!).  Read more »

Imbolc Recipe: Boxty (mashed potato pancakes)

Imbolc, a Gaelic festival with Medieval origins, is a celebration of hearth and home. It is normally held on February 1 or 2 and marks the oncoming of spring. The holiday is often celebrated by enjoying dairy goods, as milk represents spring birth. Below is a recipe for boxty, Irish potato pancakes (and excellent conduits for fresh butter!). Unlike their Eastern European relatives, these pancakes are made with precooked mashed potatoes  Read more »

Imbolc: February 1-2

Imbolc is a pagan holiday, usually celebrated on the eve of February 1 and into February 2 in Ireland and Scotland. In the Middle Ages, its association may have been with the goddess Brigid (later Christianized as St. Brigid). Brigid is the Gaelic goddess of poetry, healing and smithcraft. In the Christian calendar, the holiday is now called Candlemas.  Read more »

Explaining History and Racism to Grandpa

Two years ago, my father’s choir at the University of Hawaii was invited to sing at a big international diversity concert at Lincoln Center in New York for Martin Luther King (MLK) Day. Choirs from around the world had been invited to sing together, and a Hawaiian choir adds instant diversity with its multicultural population of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Filipino, Portuguese, Caucasians and native Hawaiians.  Read more »

When Relocation Adds a New Language to the Mix

I am now faced with another move 18 months into our Asian adventure, having not yet finished arguing with myself over how much to encourage (hyper-parent) my kids to learn Mandarin on top of our three family languages. We are relocating to Bangkok. This opens up a whole world of new possibilities. First and foremost, it means I will be able to afford daily massages, as we will no longer be living hand to mouth.  Read more »

The Holidays in Multicultural Families

Nearly one year ago, for the first time in my life, I was responsible for Christmas. Well, I didn't suddenly turn into Father Christmas, of course, but it felt like I was anyway. Expat Holidays Like a lot of expats, we spend most of our travel budget on visiting family. The two yearly trips to my mum around Christmas and my in-laws in summer are usually all we do.  Read more »

The Globalization of Childcare: The Consequences of Trading Love for Work

Here in Los Angeles, there’s a listserv that features ads from people looking for nannies and from nannies looking for work. There’s the occasional reminder posted about the rules: a place where posts are restricted to ads. Another clarifies that conversation should be shifted to an alternative forum. The rule was broken recently when a virtual riot broke out in response to a potential employer’s offer.  Read more »

Vietnamese New Year Recipe: Banh Chung

This Vietnamese dish is traditionally eaten on Tết, the country’s New Year’s celebration. However, Banh Chung is so delicious, the dish doubles as a daily staple. Even more fun than unwrapping the bundle of sticky rice and pork, is the tale of its inception. Ruler Hung Vuong challenged his princes to present to him the most delicious symbolic dish they could find to honor Tết  Read more »

Lunar New Year: January 23, 2012

The Lunar New Year (or Asian New Year) is the most celebrated holiday of the year across many Asian countries. On the first day of the first new moon after the winter solstice in the lunar calendar (January 23, 2012), countries like Korea, Taiwan, China, Vietnam and Asian communities in many Western countries will celebrate the New Year. The New Year flushes out the old and welcomes in the new, making space for happiness, wealth, luck and longevity.  Read more »

We Don’t Need Another Multicultural Hero. Or Do We?

With Martin Luther King Day just around the corner in the U.S., I’ve been thinking a lot about heroes, raising global kids and cultural literacy. As an anthropologist, the topic of cultural icons—who they are and how and why they are honored—has always fascinated me. But it was only when I married a Turkish man and had kids that I really started paying attention.  Read more »

Multicultural Memory and Matching Game Giveaway

This contest is now closed. It’s our first giveaway of the New Year and I am excited about our newest giveaway. I originally discovered this product via a friend, who knows perfectly the types of things I like. She gave it as a present to my girls. Because I liked it so much, I wanted one of our readers to have it too! I Never Forget a Face by eeboo is a very cool memory and matching game featuring the smiling faces of 24 children from countries all over the world.  Read more »

Why African Time is Best for Children

“Haraka, Haraka Haina Baraka.” (Rushing, rushing gives no blessings) –Kenyan Proverb There are many jokes about African timekeeping. On one level it is true—the continent is full of buses that run behind and meetings that start late. Certainly African time is much softer than European or North American time. Part of this is historical; there is a unique African concept of ‘no time.  Read more »

Progress Report: Mission Arabic-Speaking Babysitter

This past week, we have had our new Arabic-speaking babysitter everyday for a total of 12 hours all week. From day one, she told me the girls understand her 100%, which we know already, it is just their speaking Arabic that has been problematic. In case you missed it, I talked all about that in "All I Want For Christmas is Perfectly Bilingual Children.  Read more »

Multiple Fathers and Healthier Children in the Amazon

In many Amazonian cultures, including the Bari and Yanamami of Venezuela, the Canela, Mehinaku and Awawete of Brazil, the Ache of Paraguay and the Matis of Peru, people believe that a child can be fathered by more than one man. Although the husband is considered the principal or social father of the wife’s children, just after conception the wife will specifically seek sex with other men, usually with her husband’s consent.  Read more »

Three Kings Day Recipe: Rosca de Reyes

Rosca de Reyes is the traditional pastry bread eaten on Three Kings Day across Latin America and beyond. The best part for kids is a hidden surprise in the bread–a plastic baby (representing the Three Kings’ search for baby Jesus). Whoever finds it in their slice has good luck or some other obligation. For example, in Mexico traditionally, the person who found the baby had to host a party on February 2, known as Día de la Candelaria–this ritual is no longer as common though everywhere in Mexico today  Read more »

We speak Mandarin to our daughter but should I switch to Italian?

Dear Dr. Gupta, My husband and I live with our one-year-old daughter in Ann Arbor, Michigan. We both speak Mandarin Chinese to her (he is from China), and are leaving this week to take her on her first stay one-month in China. We also have many Chinese friends and hope to move to China for a few years when she is older so that she will become literate.  Read more »

Our Top 10 Articles in 2011

If you haven’t checked out all these great articles from our most read articles in 2011, then you definitely should get caught up on them now. Here are our InCultureParent readers’ favorites over this past year. 1. Why African Babies Don’t Cry 2. Breastfeeding in the land of Ghengis Khan 3. Reunited Outside the Orphanage Walls 4. Falling off the Opol Wagon 5.  Read more »
Get weekly updates right in your inbox so you don't miss out!



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!

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

This Japanese mom embraced Judaism to give her son a piece of his father
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
I love reading your work. I can olny imagine what it would be like to have such beautiful customs and true community. I understand why it is so very very important to keep these traditions alive. Be...
From No Kids Allowed: How Kenyan Weddings are Changing
Your mother in-law seems somewhat reasonable. Many Chinese Mother In-laws are not. In their scenario, they would be number 1 to the child and you would be number two. Many want to have a bond closer...
From How My Chinese Mother-in-Law Replaced my Husband
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...
From 6 Favorite Children’s Books about Ramadan
This article was shared in a community I run to connect globetrotting parents and everyone LOVED it. You should join us! We all relate to your experience. Many of us, including me, are in the same b...
From Why I Travel 13 Hours Alone with My Kids Every Chance I Get
Please help: I Love my wife and my son. I am also EXTREMELY involved as a dad. I had to move to china ( in a tiny tiny town) where I am the only foreigner so that my wife can take over the family bu...
From How My Chinese Mother-in-Law Replaced my Husband
Thanks for writing this!! My baby is 7 months, and I love having her sleep in my room. I don't mention it too often to people who have had kids because they seem a little judgy on it. So tonight I...
From The West’s Strange Relationship to Babies and Sleep
Honestly, it looks like the author married into a very backward and old fashioned family. Not stimulating children's curiosity, differences between boys and girls, and women slaving in the house, wh...
From French versus Italian Parenting in One Multicultural Family
[…] B. Breasts are for Babies? Perceptions of Breastfeeding in Italy. In Culture Parent June […...
From Breasts are for Babies? Perceptions of Breastfeeding in Italy
[…] that “beatings” are not actually spankings. There may be some truth to this because African tribal culture does not support “spanking”. This is confirmed by my own observation in S...
From African Parenting: The Sane Way to Raise Children
[…] Pomlazka, a special handmade whipping stick, is an Easter tradition in the Czech Republic. Made out of pussywillow tigs, pomlazka is braided and then used by the village boys/men to “...
From What’s Easter without a Whipping?
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
How to teach our children, daughters in particular, how to live not as a victim in a world where they are victims? Sigh.... we so much want them to live in the santa clause and tooth faery and ideal...
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
This is exactly what I wanted to teach my students. They are learning about traditional games from around the world and I found this wonderful website to get full of useful information! It helped me...
From Five Fun Games from Around the World
Hi there! Once you baby gets past the 3 month mark, it sounds like you still should wear or carry them?! Do you just not bundle them up as much or how do you wear them? Do you have any pictures :) m...
From Why African Babies Don’t Cry
Hi! I am wondering when you breastfeed your baby that long.. 4 years or so.. Do you ever introduce solids to them? Or so they just drink breast milk until age ...
From Breastfeeding in the Land of Genghis Khan
[…] http://www.incultureparent.com/2011/12/how-to-raise-confident-asian-pacific-american-daughters/ […...
From How to Raise Strong and Confident Asian Pacific American Daughters
This is a great collection of ideas for Chinese culture projects from some of my favorite bloggers! Thank...
From 18 Ways to Celebrate the Lunar New Year with Crafts, Food and Children’s Books
I wonder also that if your wife's native language (or at least one of the native languages) is Urdu, as she talks Urdu with her own mother, why doesn't she speak Urdu to your children? If you live i...
From How to raise trilingual kids when exposure to Dad’s language is limited
I do call it latvian flashmob: just "break the door" and Come with my family to celebrate somebodys nameday. You Will never know how many guests Will be there....
From The Coolest Latvian Celebration You Probably Haven’t Heard of
I think spanking is the tool of the lazy parent. If you have to spank a child up to adulthood, then it is obviously not an effective form of disipline. Also, call me paranoid, but it seems like all...
From Are French Kids Better Behaved Because They are Spanked?
[…] 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
[…] What Makes Berkeley School so Great  from Stephanie from InCultureParent […...
From A California Public School Snapshot: What Makes Berkeley so Great?
Both of my parents are white (with roots in Ireland and England). My mother's side is very kissy-huggy, and I remember greeting both my maternal grandmother and grandfather with kisses on the cheek ...
From Cross-Cultural Parenting in Japan: Differences in Affection
[…] are so many incredible reasons to read diverse biographies; they can be summed up best in In Culture Parent magazine found digitally. The authors provided multiple valuable reasons but t...
From Ten Reasons Parents Should Read Multicultural Books to Kids
So glad to see all this and looking forward to doing it with our first come Sept, God willing. I am curious though, I see all these cosleeping articles and comments but have yet to find anyone expla...
From The African Guide to Co-sleeping
Hi all! American married to Egyptian and we are expecting our first in Sept, God willing. After speaking with many girls in the Arabic community as well as ladies married to Arabic men, most seem to...
From The West’s Strange Relationship to Babies and Sleep
This article and some of the ensuing comments was familiar yet frustrating. I have a mother-in-law who takes up a lot of space and has made efforts to run things, but this is not her culture - this ...
From How I Reclaimed My House from My Mother-in-Law
I'm Chris, a reading teacher and father of 4 amazing kids. Forget about everything you've read and heard about how and when your child should learn to read - most of the information out there is irr...
From How Should We Teach Reading to a Bilingual Child?
Hi Mira, Love your list. I would add the following titles: - Grandfather Gandhi, by Arun Gandhi and Bethany Hegedus - The Last Kappa of Old Japan, by Sunny Seiki - Fly Free, by Roseanne Thong -...
From Best Asian-American Children’s Books
I stumbled across this blog today while looking for resources for my, hopefully, multilingual baby. It was exactly what I needed to hear. Thank you so much for capturing what I am currently feelin...
From 10 Things Not to Say to Parents of Multilingual Children
Thanks for this lovely post! I agree completely -- all our kids need to see themselves reflected in literature so that they know that their stories matter too. I'd love it if you checked out my bo...
From Why We Need to Read Multicultural Children’s Books
[…] unity and eating them brings good luck. I don’t have my recipe, but I found a few good ones here, here and […...
From Chinese New Year Recipe: Yuanxiao (sweet rice balls)
[…] Breastfeeding in the Land of Genghis Khan | InCulture Parent […...
From Breastfeeding in the Land of Genghis Khan
Thank you for your post! I am also working through raising my child with a sense of religious community and ritual without strictly adhering to certain interpretations of religious faith. (And also ...
From Does Religion Matter? Juggling Two Faiths in One Family
I don't understand. I always thought that discipline was a major part of far East culture. (no racism intended of course). So I'm a little confused. Were the examples mentioned in the article consid...
From Cross-Cultural Differences in Discipline in Japan