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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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...
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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....
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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...
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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 -...
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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...
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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 […...
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[…] 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