Articles from July, 2013

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

The Cultural Dilemma of American Summers for Immigrant Parents

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The Cultural Dilemma of American Summers for Immigrant Parents
I don’t know how to run a lemonade stand, make ice pops or build a sandcastle—all time-honored traditions of an American summer that I am struggling to acquire alongside my three-year-old Indian-American daughter. Among the many cultural dilemmas that we immigrant parents in the U.S. navigate when raising our children in a completely different culture is how to engage in the everyday rituals of our adopted homeland so that our children can fully embrace their hyphenated heritage. So for me the greatest challenge at this time of the year is how to celebrate summer and all its bountiful offerings when I have been raised to shun the sun?   Growing up in India, my summer holidays as a child were all about staying indoors.  Read more »

Should I Improve My Own Language Skills to Teach My Daughter?

Dear Dr Gupta   I have a four-month-old baby who I would dearly love to grow up bilingual, as I never had the opportunity myself.  Read more »

Travel to Mumbai, India with 5 Children’s Books

Intrigued when you hear India? Excited about a trip ahead? Find out about the colors, chaos and everything else that’s India through these books that are as whimsical and exotic as the country itself.  Read more »

Is all the Hard Work of Bilingualism Really Paying Off?

You know those moments when you have to pause, take a breath and remind yourself to take it all in? I had one of those language moments last weekend where the figurative waters parted in totally unexpected ways to reveal that all my hard work around my kids' language development is actually paying off.  Read more »

My First Ramadan in the Sudan

My introduction to Ramadan started early. I was 12 and my mother and Sudanese stepfather had moved us to Khartoum, Sudan. Apart from feeling a sense of displacement and missing the relatives I had left behind in ex-Yugoslavia, I also had to adjust and familiarize myself with my stepfather’s Muslim family and the country’s prevalent Muslim populace.  Read more »

Disney’s Poor Track Record with Foreign Accents

Children’s films and cartoons are often based on moral stories where a social message is repeated several times: the good almost always triumphs over the bad. And the women are often mothers, princesses or housekeepers but that’s another topic all together! Disney’s questionably poor track record in including characters of other races has been widely discussed.  Read more »

Real Intercultural Family in Guatemala: Russian, Spanish and English

Welcome Marina and Federico!   Where are you from?   Marina: I was born in the former USSR and immigrated to the U.S. with my parents when I was six. I am a U.S. citizen and have been living in Central America for over 10 years.   Federico: Guatemala.   Where do you currently live and what countries have you lived in together?   Marina: We live in Guatemala and lived in Costa Rica for six years before here.  Read more »

Giveaway: Go on a Scavenger Hunt and Win TONS of Cool Prizes!

Want to win some really cool multicultural prizes like a three-month subscription to Little Passports, Little Pim DVDs or some great books? Then come have an adventure with us and a bunch of our multicultural blog friends. We have joined forces to create a Pinterest Scavenger Hunt, which will run from July 15 to July 28, 2013. You will have until July 31 to submit your entry, and the drawing will take place on August 1.  Read more »

6 Favorite Children’s Books about Ramadan

We have read many books about Ramadan in our home, but these are our top six favorites.     1. A Party in Ramadan by Asma Mobin-Uddin is the perfect Ramadan book for Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Centered around a Muslim child invited to a non-Muslim child’s pony party during Ramadan, the book adeptly bridges both worlds through a mix of Muslim and non-Muslim characters, while explaining some of the excitement and rituals around Ramadan.  Read more »

How I Moved to Thailand with my Family on Less than $1000

With my baby strapped to my back, I lugged a pair of oversize travel bags up to the Eva Air check-in counter. They contained all the belongings I deemed important enough to make the trip to Thailand, and we wouldn't be coming back. Both overshot the weight limit by a mile, so with my husband's help I steered the bags off to the side and started to unload, shaving down the “absolutely necessary” list a little bit more.  Read more »

Exploring Quito with Kids: Things to Do

As I relive the city of Quito of my childhood with my kids, so much has changed. There are so many more possibilities for families to experience the city. Quito is almost 9,000 feet high and located in a long set of valleys in the skirts of the Pichincha volcano. It is composed of a beautiful colonial downtown, which is the center, the southern part of the city, which is an industrial area, the busy northern part, which is the modern town and where the financial area resides, and a couple of nearby residential valleys, including the very prosperous Cumbaya valley where the San Francisco University of Quito resides.  Read more »

Overheard on the Beijing Subway When People Don’t Think I Speak Mandarin

Now that I’m the exclusive English-language source for my daughter in our home, I do a lot more talking than I used to. Every new language brings out a different side of our personalities and I’ve discovered that I’m a bit less chatty in Chinese, not to mention a lot less funny! (It took my husband travelling back to Canada with me to realize that I have a pretty good knack for making people laugh.  Read more »

Creative Ramadan Calendar with Arabic Numbers

I’m always trying to find ways to make Muslim holidays exciting for my kids. It’s tough to do when Christmas, more omnipresent in the U.S., is much more glitzy and enticing.   The upside is that Ramadan is free from the commercialization that sends many people into overdrive at Christmas time and makes holiday grouches out of the best of us.  Read more »

7 Benefits of Raising Bilingual Kids

Being bilingual affords children (and adults) many advantages over the course of their lifetime. Here are seven benefits of raising bilingual kids that have been documented in research and studies.   1.     Bilingual children have a better ability to focus and ignore distractions in the environment. That’s because the part of the brain called the executive function, used for planning, judgment, working memory, problem solving and staying focused on what’s relevant is stronger in bilinguals.  Read more »

Travel to Paris with 5 Children’s Books

If you’ve already exhausted the Babars, Fancy Nancys and Madelines, here are a few more to take your kids to Paris whether you have your tickets booked or not. Even without any travel plans, books are one of the best ways to travel to new cities without spending a cent.     Everybody Bonjours! by Leslie Kimmelman         What’s not to love about a girl going around the city seeing everyone greet each other? And isn’t the title charming enough to get young children excited about Paris? The illustrations cover all important landmarks and simple text points to different places and people who Bonjour.  Read more »

Croque Monsieur Recipe: A Parisian Classic

One of my favorite aspects of Parisian life is the relaxed schedule. Rather than punctuating long workdays with hasty meals, the French seem to punctuate long days of eating with a few hours of work. Granted I am biased, as my time there has been as a student or vacationer, but it’s a bias I hope to savor. I have fond memories of long lunches at sidewalk cafes, almost always eating my favorite late afternoon snack of choice: a croque monsieur  Read more »

Trekking with Kids in the Himalayas while Homeschooling

After an hour-long drive up a bumpy, windy road outside of Pokhara, we settled into a charming Japanese style B&B for a few days to prepare for our trek. The locals are from the Gurung cast and still live much like they did hundreds of years ago, farming the hillsides with rice and wheat, grazing their cattle and goats, as well as more recently profiting from the seasonal influx of foreign trekkers.  Read more »

From Workaholic City Girl to Housewife in the Mexican Desert. Come again?

Have you ever experienced a change that you just knew was right for some reason? Have you ever followed your heart with no guarantees?   I feel that I have done both of these things in the last six months and I now experience a transition phase that is forever shaping and reshaping me, as if I were a flexible and moldable clay statue. Living in New York for 12 years of my life definitely shaped me in a very specific way.  Read more »

Celebrating Holidays as Global Citizens

One of the challenges of living abroad is combining the traditions of your home culture with the traditions of your new country. Have you ever tried to hold a traditional American Thanksgiving in Kerala or a 10-year-old's birthday party in Osaka? Although there are ways to combine traditions, sometimes you just want your own type of celebration, like a Canadian Mother's Day instead of a Chinese one.  Read more »

Ramadan Star and Moon Craft

Welcome to the July 2013 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Learning About Diversity This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have shared how they teach their children to embrace and respect the variety of people and cultures that surround us. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.  Read more »

Preparing our Children for Racism Part II—From Understanding to Action

If you missed Part I of the series, Laying the Groundwork, you can catch up on it here.   After my six-year-old’s first brush with racism, I had to act. How do we prepare our children for racism? Start early, remember and examine our own experiences, practice coping methods ahead of time, build self-esteem and a strong sense of identity, teach them to tell an adult, and show them how to take action.  Read more »

Ramadan: June 28-July 28

Ramadan falls in the ninth month of the Muslim lunar year and is one of the largest holidays for Muslims. It begins when the new moon is spotted; each year it begins approximately 10 to 11 days earlier. It was during Ramadan that Allah (God) first revealed the Quran to Prophet Muhammed. Ramadan is a month of spiritual reflection and self-control through fasting.  Read more »

Tanabata Festival: July 7

Tanabata is the Japanese star festival. The cultural festival dates back approximately 2000 years and has its roots in a Chinese legend. Princess, Orihime, a weaver, fell in love with a cow herder named Hikoboshi. They were so madly in love that they forgot about their work. As punishment, Orihime's father, the emperor of the heavens, moved the lovers to opposite sides of the Milky Way and allowed them to meet only once a year on the seventh day of the seventh month.  Read more »

Somen Noodles with Cold Miso Broth

Here’s a great Japanese recipe that’s perfect for hot days.   Makes 2 servings so definitely double or triple this for your family as needed!  

Ingredients
Miso dipping broth:
2 1/3 cups Read more »

Japanese Celebrations: A Children’s Book

Japanese Celebrations: Cherry Blossoms, Lanterns, and Stars! by Betty Reynolds   Japanese Celebrations: Cherry Blossoms, Lanterns and Stars! is a fun and educational book for children about the customs of Japan. It is full of colorful pictures with a playful quality depicting the practices of various Japanese holidays throughout the seasons.  Read more »

One of the Best Ways to Teach Kids Tolerance is to Live It

Isabela, Sebastian and I arrived in Quito a couple of days ago. Oh, how I love looking at the majestic mountains surrounding the city and the feeling of thin air again. I ask the kids which mountain name they remember from last year.  I love having the kids see their relatives and friends of all ages coming over or going to their houses to visit.   Yesterday, we went to visit a house in the countryside up in the mountain of Pasochoa of an old friend of mine.  Read more »

Tanabata Craft: Wish Tree (Tanzaku)

Tanabata is the Japanese star festival. It's a time when people make wishes for the year ahead. All wishes are written out and hung in bright colors on a bamboo branch. This festival is so colorful and vibrant, just have a look at some of these pictures from one person's home in Okinawa for Tanabata.   Materials: Bamboo branch or any tree branch if bamboo is not available Construction paper or other colored paper Scissors Hole punch String or thin ribbon Pens   Instructions: 1.  Read more »

Awesome Summer Activity: Explorer Journal

I loved this journal from one of my favorite shops: Children Inspire Design. You can buy one through them or craft your own with a fun cover together with your kids. Let it be their summer journal to record whatever their heart desires, both big adventures and small..  Read more »
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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