Posts Tagged tradition

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 I Got the Canadian Mother’s Day I Wanted in China

Today is Mother’s Day. At least, it’s Mother’s Day in our house, long after the real Mother’s Day has come and gone.  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.  Read more »

Celebrating Diwali Outside India

Growing up in India, Diwali, or Deepawali, meaning festival of lights, was the most anticipated day of the year. Diwali meant new clothes, lots of delicious treats, lighting lamps/lights, setting off a gazillion fireworks, a sparklingly clean home and vacation from school that lasted around 10 days.   There are multiple religious stories that signify the origin of Diwali.  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 »

Ode to Halloween Costumes, Plus a Warning about Bad Ones

As I child, observing the world as it was presented to me by the mainstream, I often decided to shut doors myself before anyone actually told me to. Growing up in the age of Farrah Fawcett, I knew that one had to be blond in order to be beautiful, by definition. My horseback riding friends and I knew from statistics that at 10 years old we were already too tall to ever become jockeys.  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 »

Big Questions and Inner Truths

Now that my daughter Amrita is two, the focus of my parenting has shifted from questions on navigating our way through the daily routines of life, to more philosophical ones. She has started to ask "what?" and "why?" There are many questions to which I have straightforward answers, but I find myself increasingly thinking about how I will answer the more esoteric ones.  Read more »

Rights of the Child in Islam

I have a small poster on my fridge, now old and slightly yellowed, which my children love. It's called the "Children's Rights and Responsibilities" and lists all of the basic things to which every child is entitled. They love seeing it and having it read to them—it makes them feel that as children they matter in their own right, and knowing that it is the duty of adults to provide these things is empowering to them.  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 »

Celebrating the Buddha’s Birthday

Throughout much of Asia, spring is the time to observe the Buddha's birthday in Mahayana Buddhism. For Japan in particular, the ancient "8th day of the 4th month" has been updated to match the Western calendar, and thus every year on April 8th is the holiday of Hanamatsuri: the Festival of Flowers. The name derives from the story of the Buddha's birth, when the gods of India scattered flowers from the sky in joy.  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 »

Christmas for the Very First Time

This year, I celebrated Christmas in my own place with my wife and three daughters. It was the first time that I did this and I'm 41 years old. Wow. What sounds a little bit weird is actually more due to the way we expats live. When I left my parents' house in 1990 to study 800km further south, I thought it was a temporary move. So like most of my friends I came back "home" for Christmas every year while I was studying.  Read more »

Is Christmas any less Christian if you put up a Bodhi Day tree?

One of my daughter's Jewish friends from preschool once said that she liked coming to our house this time of year because we were the only other people who did not have a Christmas tree, either. Her mother described the conflict her child felt at school having to do Christmas-themed art projects such as decorating trees, which, regardless of what you call them, are still Christmas trees.  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 »

Family History

In the ten years between my wedding day and the day I met my children, I spent a lot of time fantasizing about all of the traditions we would celebrate once I finally became a mother. The celebrations I imagined looked a lot like those from my own childhood. There would be Christmas stockings stuffed full of Clementine oranges, chocolate coins, and Bonnie Bell lip smackers; dyed Easter eggs hidden in an obvious way around the living room; piñatas and paper donkey tails poised in the backyard for a birthday party.  Read more »
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I'm back. Sorry, I stopped caring for this magazine for a while and forgot to discuss the meat of the matter. This article, as well as the linked article from 2011, fails to discuss cultural norms ...
From What Confused Me Most about Brits
Fascinating. I have been to Germany and met this guy who was soo rude! This article explains everything!! Since all Germans are so terribly rude it should come as no surprise that I should have met ...
From Are Germans Really Rude?
@ Josep. How could you possibly comment on how Germans treat people if you have never even been there? A three-day stay in Berlin and a one day stop-over in Frankfurt was enough for me to see the ut...
From Are Germans Really Rude?
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@Oceania To me it looks like you're demonstrating the same kind of rudeness you (claim to) condemn. Please open your mind a little and stop living in the past. New Zealand has its own problems as w...
From Are Germans Really Rude?
@Joseph Dear Joseph, If you were never in Germany, why do you think you can preach me on experiences almost every other expat had in here? I wrote that post 4 years ago, and what my toughts were ...
From Are Germans Really Rude?
I think, in general, Deutschland struggles with emotional intelligence. It's been repressed and underrated for so long that it's atrophied somewhat. Reminds me of an interesting study recently, in w...
From Are Germans Really Rude?
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I have been living in Germany for about 8 or 9 months now, and a lot of these comments are absolutely spot on. I came here from the US, having heard of none of these "negative stereotypes," (I actua...
From Are Germans Really Rude?
I'm in a choir at my church, and one of our new members is very pushy. We don't expect her to be perfect (and she's not!) but she seems to hover, making sure our music is in order, bringing arm load...
From Are Germans Really Rude?
It is very difficult to deal with swabian in laws. They don't like expressing affection and tend to be critical. I gave up on trying to please them when I am feeling lonely, empty and hopeless. D...
From Are Germans Really Rude?
I don't intend to come off as rude myself. I've never been to Germany before, but these generalisations are unacceptable, especially since many others (not in this site, of course) have had positive...
From Are Germans Really Rude?
@Zim Spend some more time. Know a few people before jumping to conclusion...
From Are Germans Really Rude?
@M. White Was he mistreating you? If not, then don't divorce. Ask him what's considered polite and what's not. Please read about cultural differences before lumping all Germans as rude. Sure, some ...
From Are Germans Really Rude?
@Jill Don't give up too easily. Study the culture a little, learn the language, and treat them with respect. Maybe then you might have a better time. Sorry about your experience. I've never been t...
From Are Germans Really Rude?
@Tonya It's usually not a good idea to smile at strangers. Germans usually smile towards family members and close friends. Maybe you just had a bad experience. Sorry to hear about tha...
From Are Germans Really Rude?
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@Jenny Well sorry you got harassed by the German lady on the bar, but don't use a confirmation bias like this, especially since that girl could have been another nationality as well, even American....
From Are Germans Really Rude?
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