Posts Tagged maintradition

Thursday, September 11th, 2014

Does Religion Matter? Juggling Two Faiths in One Family

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Does Religion Matter? Juggling Two Faiths in One Family
We are religious in the sense that my husband, Marvin, and I believe in a higher entity--God/Allah--that connects all of us. But we struggle as parents to maintain a spiritually connected family and follow rituals that do not contradict the values we care about. Underpinning religion is a set of values that organizes your life. Values can be derived from a formal religion but not necessarily. Rituals, defined as a set of actions performed for symbolic value, reinforce and underpin values. Rituals are often associated with tradition and religion, but they do not have to be religious in nature.  Read more »

How African Societies Protect the Innocence and Magic of Childhood

There is a new boy in my daughter’s class. He told her a thing or three that resulted in us having to have ‘the chat’ at bedtime last night.  Read more »

Is Hanukkah the Jewish Christmas?

In recent years, Hanukkah has become increasingly commercialized.  Read more »

How We Honor Christmas When We’re Not Christian

Please note that the essay below contains the opinions of one individual Baha'i and does not represent an official Baha'i position on the Christmas holiday, only the musings of one person based on her own understanding of the teachings of the Baha'i Faith.  Read more »

The Secrets of Raising an Enlightened Teen—Part IV

In this final installment of the series, I would like to address the Buddhist teaching on the last stage of early human conditioning, from the teenage years into the early twenties. What makes writing this article particularly poignant is that my own beloved son has just turned 20.   According to our Buddhist tradition, this stage represents the final aggregate of foundational conditioning.  Read more »

A Buddhist Approach to Sex and Your Teenager

If we are honest, as parents we would all probably like to see our children join a monastery and be celibate until they are older and more mature! How many of us can forget the turbulent early years of trying to negotiate our own sexual terrain? In this article, I would like to introduce a mindful approach to sexuality and parenting. Evolution created our desire to procreate and then made the experience pleasurable.  Read more »

Engaging the Spirituality of a Teenager

My daughter’s first year of high school was coming to an end, and we both needed a weekend away to restore body, mind and soul. I thought about renting a cottage on the nearby Maine coast or getting away to a spa I had heard about. But my teenage daughter’s response to both options was less than enthusiastic. “It’ll be too cold by the ocean!” and “Why go to a spa? There is nothing to do there.  Read more »

Buddhist Insights into Raising a Balanced Teenager

For a parent, the teenage years are probably the most daunting of all. Many of us find it easy to fall into a loose form of cognitive dissonance with our child, a sort of “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. Or we become alienated by the deep yearning for independence that our beloved so obviously feels at this stage. I am happy to report that this does not have to happen; there is, as we Buddhists are fond of saying, “a Middle Way.  Read more »

Raising a Hijab-Wearing Daughter in a World that Doesn’t Understand

When she turned 15, my daughter announced her intention to start wearing the hijab (Muslim head scarf). At the time, we had been living in Qatar for nine years and upon our arrival in Dubai she donned her first veil. Nothing prepared me for the deluge of feelings that followed. Her soft cheeks, her doe shaped eyes and a perfect nose used to be encircled by a halo of dark brown hair that I tended to lovingly while she was younger.  Read more »

What’s Easter without a Whipping?

This year I saw a different side of the age-old Czech tradition of whipping. Although I've been on the receiving end of the Czech pomlázka tradition (an Eastern European Easter tradition where a whip made from braided pussy willow twigs is used by men to swat girls and women), the gentle swats I've gotten from my husband's family always seem a gesture of hospitality and a matter of custom--never a whipping, in the physical sense.  Read more »

Growing Up Baha’i in Rural Maine: A Not-so-Secret Double Life

My daughter seemed ill at ease in her first grade classroom. We had recently moved to the town in which we have now lived for more than a decade, a university town in the northern part of one of the most culturally homogeneous states in the union—Maine. It was Christmas time, and the children were singing carols, none of which my daughter knew. “Christmas is for Christians” read a sign posted in front of one of the frat houses on campus.  Read more »

Birth, Loss and In Between

Since I was a young girl, I dreamed of being a mother. Throughout my adult life, it was the moment I most anticipated. When I finally fell pregnant, it was a surprise, one my husband and I welcomed. At 20 weeks, we found out that our son had a heart defect. We were devastated. Doctors said it may be a marker for some major genetic disorder. We spoke to a genetic counselor, who spent most of her time trying to convince us to terminate the pregnancy.  Read more »

Postpartum in China—Confinement or Luxury?

My partner, Guo Jian, has been priming me for the “moon month” or zuo yuezi 坐月子. When my in-laws were here a couple of weeks ago (the precursor to their more permanent visit before the baby’s arrival) and we were downstairs helping to unload the car, a perfect stranger noticed my advanced pregnant shape, the presence of parental figures and Guo Jian and I helping them with their things.  Read more »

Why Kids Need the Scary Stuff Too

Three years ago, my husband and I adopted two children--an African-American daughter and a Korean son--over a period of just seventeen months. During one of our adoption homestudy visits, I remember scrambling to move a large framed print of a green devil from view in our TV room. Yet, the framed Korean mask dance figures which appeared far scarier to me at the time, remained on display.  Read more »

Why I Don’t Want My Children to Be Happy

I came to Amy Chua’s book, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, and its controversy late. Even though I never had parents who hit me or called me garbage, I could relate to a lot of what Amy Chua had to say. Like Amy Chua, my parent’s held an unfailing belief that I would succeed. The more I read, the more it seemed that her detractors were mainly critical of her certainty, more than anything else.  Read more »

A Few Drops Outside the Tribe

Although I have a diverse cultural background, I have always identified myself as a proud Native American woman. My family is from the Pueblo of Isleta, just south of Albuquerque, New Mexico. My grandfather was born and raised in Isleta, speaking our native language of Tiwa before learning English. I am blessed with the dark, striking features of my mother, features which identify me as Native.  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. One night at the dinner table, he asks, “Mama, what is the tallest building in New York City?” I look at him and hesitate, “Well, umm, it used to be these two buildings called the Twin Towers…” I can see his eyes transfixed on me as he sees the caveat coming.  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 »

African Parenting: The Sane Way to Raise Children

There is an oft-quoted African saying, “It takes a village to raise a child.” Less cited is the second half of the saying, “...and a community to keep the parents sane.” I started my pregnancy in the U.K. but one of the reasons I returned to Kenya—the country of my birth—to raise my daughter was for community. Community in Kenya takes many forms.  Read more »

How Do You Explain God to Kids?

I remember when I first showed my son an illustrated Bhagavad Gita—Our Most Dear Friend by Visakha. He was two years old and was too young for the text, but we gazed at the pictures together while sitting in our sunny living room as the fireplace warmed our feet. There were pictures of the Kurukshetra (the epic battle in the Mahabharata that was the impetus for the Gita), of Lord Krishna and of many beautiful things in nature, such as swans, peacocks, butterflies and lotuses.  Read more »

Identity Confusion: An Israeli Mom in NYC

In Israel almost everyone is Jewish, except of course for the Arabs with whom Jews rarely interact. As a Jew, if you decide to marry outside your religion or even do something as minor as celebrate a non-Jewish holiday in your own home, you experience a sense of betrayal. Betrayal of your land, your family and your supposed identity. But is religion really who we are? Or is it only a part of who we become after we taste and experience the world with openness and love.  Read more »

Burqas, Miniskirts and Sex: My Childhood in Saudi and Egypt

I remember my early childhood, growing up in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), as disturbing. Forced to cover my body in black from head to toe in the morning to go to school and then changing into a miniskirt to go out in the evenings was the source of much confusion for an eight-year-old girl. It was not at all easy for an Egyptian, moderate Muslim family to cope with the restrictions imposed in Saudi Arabia.  Read more »

Raised Under the Armenian Evil Eye

Growing up in a traditional Armenian home in Southern California, we had many superstitions and rituals. My mother was and still is the queen of superstition. Here are just a few of the many superstitions we followed:   • No whistling especially at night or evil spirits will come. • No cutting your nails at night. This will shorten your life.  Read more »

Baby-Making the Hindu Way

I had my parents quite nervous about whether or not I would ever get married and have a family. No one was quite sure when I would run off to the Himalayas and I know there was some heavy betting going on with high odds that I was going to do just that. Well, I am glad I didn't run off, as there was never any need to and I am glad I decided to get married and make babies.  Read more »

Circumcision Wars

Multicultural marriages are sometimes hard, sometimes war, sometimes sweet and sometimes exciting, but one thing is for sure—multicultural marriages are more tiring than marriages between people from one culture because you have to spend more energy understanding and sometimes adopting, or in my case fighting, a new set of customs and beliefs. What is more, when children come into the picture, multicultural marriages can become even more complicated in deciding whose set of beliefs the child will adopt.  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 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....
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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?
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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...
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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
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From The West’s Strange Relationship to Babies and Sleep
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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 -...
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...
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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 […...
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