Posts Tagged mainculture

Sunday, May 18th, 2014

Reflections from a Happy Third Culture Kid 20 Years Later

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Reflections from a Happy Third Culture Kid 20 Years Later
Stephan Wudy is a third culture kid who was born in Germany to a Taiwanese mother and an Austrian father. He speaks four languages—Mandarin, German, English and Spanish—and feels happiest when traveling. Two years ago he quit his job to spend over a year traveling around the world. And he still travels every chance he gets even though he is back in Germany working full time while getting his executive MBA. When I asked him where he would ideally like to live, he told me he would gladly live anywhere in the world.  Read more »

How to Talk to Kids About Race: What’s Appropriate for Ages 3-8

The topic of race is too often reduced to encouraging our children to ignore the racial differences around them, with the idea that this will result in creating a “colorblind” child who is more inclusive in her ability to see beyond color.  Read more »

How to Teach Kids about Race and Social Justice: One Teacher’s Approach

When it came time to talk about Martin Luther King Jr.  Read more »

Don’t Spank My Baby! Cross-Cultural Differences in Love and Affection

My mother-in-law tried to eat my baby once.   Actually, she still tries.  Read more »

Why People Tell Me I’m Not Really Jamaican

The question of my origin is always inevitable. It is one of those 'getting to know you' questions, similar to “What do you do for a living?” Or “How old is your child?” However, I can never simply answer the question with a cursory response. I always feel the need to tell my story, in spite of its possible insignificance to the casual onlooker.  Read more »

Why I Don’t Buy Made in China for My Baby as a Beijing Expat

It’s funny that until I had my daughter I had never once looked at the design of strollers as they rolled past me on the sidewalk. Now, ever since our daughter Echo was born in January, I’ve been lusting for a three-wheeler, with shocks, adjustable handle, hand brake, large “pumpable” wheels, reversible seat (to switch from front to back-facing) that reclines for the wee ones but sits up for the toddlers, with a sun shade and a place for bags beneath, and in a flat colour without the gaudy Chinese-style decals of cartoon characters on the awning…not that I have any requirements or anything! If I could get chrome fenders and a hood ornament too, I probably would.  Read more »

Don’t Touch My Child! Lessons from Asia

The American psyche is still reeling 33 years after the disappearance of little Etan Patz on his neighborhood corner. Kids have never been more coddled and cooped up. Activities like biking to school, which were once commonplace, now risk getting parents reported to social services, publicly ostracized, thrown in jail and on occasion nearly punched out by well-meaning grannies.  Read more »

Mango Pops over Mac and Cheese: Jewish American Expats in Hong Kong

“I am English,” I heard my then six-year-old son proclaim to his friend. “English?” I asked him. “Why would you say English?” “It’s really the only language I can speak well,” he simply stated. He is an astute and introspective child, an early reader and keen observer of details, yet when I explained to him that he is American, he stared at me blankly.  Read more »

Breastfeeding in Jordan

When my parents moved to Amman, Jordan to teach at the American School, my daughter was just over a year old and I was pregnant with our second child. Even though my parents encouraged us to visit them once the baby was born, traveling to the Middle East with two infants (one breastfeeding) was not high on my list of fun family vacations. Yet, as my parents' stories of warm, friendly people, beautiful country and layers of history trickled back to us via email, I began to imagine that we might be able to make the journey.  Read more »

Common Disagreements in Multicultural Families

Raising children in a multicultural setting can be challenging, especially when two cultures say the exact opposite about caring for your child. In my case, American and Chinese cultures disagree on everything from sleep to independence and temperature. Here are some examples of the differences I have encountered in our family. Sleep Americans have very different ideas about sleep and the sleeping environment than the Chinese.  Read more »

A Marriage That Breaks all the Rules

“I made the white cabbage Indian style and the red cabbage for the kids the Belgian way,” my husband tells me. Usually around 11 o’clock, my husband calls to relay what he is making for lunch while changing our 18-month-old daughter’s diaper and giving our two-and-a-half-year old a snack between meals.  While I have happily assumed the role of financially providing for the family, my husband seamlessly takes amazing care of our two little ones in addition to finishing his masters in psychology at night.  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. Everything about him fascinated me. From his booming laugh, his handsome dark face and dazzlingly white teeth, his flamboyant manner and leather hats to the funny way he spoke Serbo-Croat. A few years later they married, and when I was twelve, we moved to his hometown of Khartoum, leaving behind bewildered and tearful relatives.  Read more »

How to Raise Strong and Confident Asian Pacific American Daughters

A few years ago, I took a seminar called, "Raising Strong and Confident Daughters." My husband laughed at me. "Could our daughters be any stronger or more confident?" The class was an eye-opener for me, not just in how to raise my girls, but also in understanding my own Chinese-American childhood. I had no memory of dealing with a lot of the issues the instructor talked about as being so important to pre-adolescent girls, such as friendship and physical appearance.  Read more »

Arranged Marriage 101

I’ve realized the term “love marriage” is absent in the West. In India and a few other countries in South Asia, it would denote one of the two possible ways leading to a union, the other being arranged marriage. Love is probably the last thing on the checklist when two people are arranged to live together for the rest of their lives. Strange but true.  Read more »

What’s an Asian? Race and Identity for a New Generation

My eight-year-old daughter did something a few weeks ago that surprised me. She asked me what “Asian” meant. In Britain, Asian is usually taken to describe people of South Asian origin—Pakistani, Bengali, Indian and Sri Lankan, unlike America where Asian generally denotes East Asians. People my age and older have been grouped into one of a few broad categories: white, black or Asian, with little ambiguity about this.  Read more »

Netting the Clouds for My Identity

Several years ago, I decided I wanted to write something “true.” I wanted to write a memoir about growing up in my Arab-American family. But somehow, almost before I’d set pen to paper, I felt silenced: the words were missing. I’d been writing fiction for a long time by that point. But as I struggled to describe the past, to run my hands over the texture of childhood, of family dinners, conversations, and travel, it all seemed to evade me; it was like trying to catch clouds with a butterfly net.  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. He listens to National Public Radio (NPR) with me in the car and asks thoughtful questions about the content, sometimes at the moment and sometimes a couple of days later, when I can barely remember the broadcast that is still so clear in his mind.  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 »

A Different World: No Longer Brown in White America

To my absolute horror, my parents moved our family from the outer fringes of Detroit to a small city in Tennessee in the middle of my fifth grade year. Not only was I uprooted from a neighborhood and a school I loved, but I was transplanted from one racially and culturally diverse close-in suburb to a town where some people still believed that the South had won the Civil War  Read more »

Nudity: Getting (Un)dressed in the Czech Republic

As a heat wave hit Prague this spring, clothes came off faster than the record breaking temperatures rose. Strolling through Prague's parks, I encountered locals sunning themselves and even saw a few toddlers in the buff testing out the city's newly activated fountains. While I managed to keep my own and my kids' clothes on (though I lost the battle over shoes), I noticed many Czechs of both genders stripped down to their underwear in the public parks.  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 »

France: Behind the Times and Unconcerned

In France, officials and pundits like to talk about how France is 20 years behind the United States. Sometimes this is portrayed as a positive (obesity rates, crime statistics), and sometimes as a negative (technology, business, customer service). As an American living in France for over ten years, I can see how it's both.   Those Americans who grew up before the 80s may remember certain freedoms we had as children: playing outside on summer evenings on the sidewalk with the other neighborhood kids, riding bikes around aimlessly, walking to swimming pools and friends' houses to play.  Read more »

Breastfeeding in the Land of Genghis Khan

In Mongolia, there's an oft-quoted saying that the best wrestlers are breastfed for at least six years—a serious endorsement in a country where wrestling is the national sport. I moved to Mongolia when my first child was four months old, and lived there until he was three.   Raising my son during those early years in a place where attitudes to breastfeeding are so dramatically different from prevailing norms in North America opened my eyes to an entirely different vision of how it all could be.  Read more »

Stupider Than a Potato: Life With My Chinese Mother

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

Why African Babies Don’t Cry

I was born and grew up in Kenya and Cote d'Ivoire. From the age of 15 I lived in the UK. However, I always knew that I wanted to raise my children (whenever I had them) at home in Kenya. And yes, I assumed I was going to have them. I am a modern African woman, with two university degrees, and a fourth generation working woman, but when it comes to children, I am typically African.  Read more »

Tired of Tears? Hair Care for Multi-Ethnic Children

Knots, and tangles, and tears, oh my! While Dorothy and her friends from The Wizard of Oz were scared with the thought of coming face to face with lions, and tigers, and bears, many parents of multi-ethnic children are just as apprehensive when faced with the task of washing, conditioning, and combing their child's hair. Dealing with frizzy, knotted, and tangled hair, are common concerns of parents with multi-ethnic children.  Read more »

A World Apart from my Mother-in-Law

It wasn't until we adopted our daughter Willow that the full scale of the communication gulf between my husband's parents and me became plain. Born in southern China, educated as engineers in Hong Kong, and having raised their two sons in suburbs of Boston and Houston, my parents-in-law had a range of life experiences I would never fully comprehend.  Read more »
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For quite sometime, whenever there were articles that surfaced the internet concerning whether it was appropriate to breastfeed in public, I was so baffled. As a Mongolian, I was so shocked that som...
From Breastfeeding in the Land of Genghis Khan
For quite some whenever there was articles circulated on the internet concerning whether it is appropriate to breastfeed in public. As a Mongolian, I was so shocked that some countries considered i...
From Breastfeeding in the Land of Genghis Khan
I live with my Czech in laws with my four children and my Czech is crap I try to learn but the baby doesn't sleep well I'm a constant zombie and the brain just doesn't work. Plus being tired makes m...
From How I Reclaimed My House from My Mother-in-Law
I am so glad I found this site. I am happy to see that I am not alone in experiencing 'family issues' after getting married. I am not from the West but I am married to a Canadian. I never truly unde...
From How I Reclaimed My House from My Mother-in-Law
[…] my most favourite article about breastfeeding called Breastfeeding in the Land of Genghis Khan by Ruth Kamnitzer. I have no doubt that Mongolians would find our social stigmas around [R...
From Breastfeeding in the Land of Genghis Khan
[…] sources and reasons for the rules of these countries too, such as China, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Germany, Iceland, and Hungary (see above re “Titanic”).  Has anyone got s...
From International Baby Naming Laws–Are They a Good Thing?
[…] Source Inculture Parents […...
From Lotus Lanterns for Wesak (Buddha Day)
If your nerves shat down your hormones , can you get pregnant by injecting a sperm in you to develop a baby . Please let me know...
From Baby-Making the Hindu Way
[…] Diwali Lantern from InCultureParent […...
From Diwali Craft: Make a Lantern
Another great African American children's book is "Christmas in the Big House, Christmas in the Quarters" Book by Fredrick McKissack, Jr. and Patricia McKissack A great DVD is Santa and pe...
From 11 African-American Children’s Books for Christmas and Kwanzaa
[…] the father waits to speak Swahili to the child, the more risk he runs of her not ever learning it, which is true. The more he waits, the more risk he runs of her associating English with h...
From Why Your Bilingual Child Objects When You Switch Languages
This is really great! I wanted to do a book list for some of my friends and family about Kwanzaa. Thank you for this articl...
From 11 African-American Children’s Books for Christmas and Kwanzaa
This was interesting. My twin girls are 15 months, and although they are very verbal, we do not understand what they're saying. I'm American and their dad is French, and we live in France. I speak o...
From Si­, Yes: Raising Bilingual Twins
[…] the breastfeeding culture in Mongolia compared to America. Did you have any idea that something as simple as breastfeeding attitudes can […...
From Breastfeeding in the Land of Genghis Khan
My mother born in the 1930's is originally from the northern part of Germany. I am in my mid fifties and have a terrible relationship with my mother. She is domineering and hurts those where it hurt...
From Are Germans Really Rude?
[…] JC Niala, InCultureParent […...
From Why African Babies Don’t Cry
[…] http://www.incultureparent.com/2012/03/breastfeeding-around-the-world/#slide1 […...
From Breastfeeding Around the World
Although humanity is one Man (in a generic sense, including woman)has identified himself endless groups, religious, nationalistic, ethnic, cultural, linguistic, etc. Once you separate ME from YOU on...
From What’s an Asian? Race and Identity for a New Generation
[…] http://www.incultureparent.com/2011/02/breastfeeding-land-genghis-khan/ […...
From Breastfeeding in the Land of Genghis Khan
Some great tips here but not many working mothers could feed baby every hour especially if you work in a major multi-nationa...
From Why African Babies Don’t Cry
So true!!! Thanks for being so honest and self reflective. It's a proof of true characte...
From Are Germans Really Rude?
As a first-time mom I've spent the last two months of my four-month-old's life stressed out about her sleep and I recognize how crazy this is. It's clearly not working for me! I'm wondering how non-...
From The West’s Strange Relationship to Babies and Sleep
[…]                 http://www.incultureparent.com/2014/07/why-african-toddlers-dont-have-tantrums/ […...
From Why African Toddlers Don’t Have Tantrums
[…] Any content provided on this blog is opinion based with selected information from various sources where indicated. Image: http://www.incultureparent.com/2012/01/imbolc-craft-st-brigids-cro...
From Imbolc Craft: St. Brigid’s Cross
Or you could have had a beautiful white baby with a man from your own culture. Not enough drama in tha...
From How I Reclaimed My House from My Mother-in-Law
Crystal, thanks for sharing your experiences. It makes for a fascinating read! The link to the Siddha school you provided seems to be no longer working. Is the school still ther...
From How I Moved to Thailand with my Family on Less than $1000
[…] but which colour to choose? Biome has 25% off storewide till midnight tonight with the code BIOME25 why African babies don’t cry – an absolutely brilliant […...
From Why African Babies Don’t Cry
[…] http://www.incultureparent.com/2014/06/6-childrens-books-to-celebrate-juneteenth/ […...
From 6 Children’s Books to Celebrate Juneteenth
I love this website and its insight on raising global citizens. I agree with what you say about no one English accent being correct - the thing that I was surprised by in this article was the fact ...
From Should I Worry about My Child’s Accent in Her Foreign Language?
Why are Germans thinking about being rude? Do You All want to be Just A Coarse-Face? If all of you deviate from Universalism, there is much more to fear from the world than you expec...
From Are Germans Really Rude?
[…] 3 Children’s Books from the Himalayas at InCultureParent […...
From 3 Beautiful Children’s Books That Take Place in the Himalayas
[…] How I Talk to My Kindergarten Classroom About Race […...
From How I Talk to My Kindergarten Classroom About Race
[…] don’t Need a Room. The baby room is certainly a modern invention. For much of history, and in other parts of the world today, babies […...
From The West’s Strange Relationship to Babies and Sleep
Addressing the "grown up time" someone mentioned earlier...am sure that many people address this differently with what works for their family. However, suffice it to say that when the baby's in your...
From The African Guide to Co-sleeping
[…] were taught to whistle – but other people use other sounds. Most people seem to shush or to hiss. It doesn’t really matter. You could probably sing “La Cucaracha” and it would stil...
From Thanks to Chinese Potty-Training We’re Done With Diapers at 19 Months
Thanks for the article! I tried to put my newborn twins into a bassinet at birth, but there was just no way! No way to breastfeed and no way to survive the nights with two of them waking me up all...
From The West’s Strange Relationship to Babies and Sleep
Olga, witam!:) what a fresh approach this has given me on such a day like today! I'm Half polish being polish from my mothers side and as this is the language that I ident myself with, I decided to ...
From 10 Things Not to Say to Parents of Multilingual Children
[…] the talk at school. You can see an example of bilingual twins’ language use in this article from InCultureParent and this Q&A on Twins List. Also, as you say, convincing them to spea...
From Si­, Yes: Raising Bilingual Twins
Thank you SOO much for sharing!!!! I have breastfed my twins for 3 years now and still going. It has been a struggle, especially with family members like my mother in law who wished I weaned at 2 m...
From Breastfeeding in the Land of Genghis Khan
[…] The West’s Strange Relationship to Babies and Sleep […...
From The West’s Strange Relationship to Babies and Sleep