Cultural Dilemmas

Cultural Dilemmas and Issues of Asian Moms in the U.S.

How Asian Mothers Are Influencing Their Children Culturally

6 Comments

I was born and raised in Asia in a different culture, but my children are here in the U.S. Will they ever learn about the culture back home? What can I do to accustom my kids with my traditions and family values? Am I doing enough so that they are not ignorant about their cultural values, or am I overdoing it? I do not want to force my beliefs on them as they are living in a different society, but I also want them to know and understand my home culture.

These thoughts keep on resonating in the minds of Asian mothers as they are raising their children here in the U.S. Being an Asian women, I am often struggling with these questions myself.

I did a research to find out if we, as Asian mothers, are influencing our children’s lives culturally. I found out some common cultural behaviors.

Use Traditional Language, Dress And Food.

A child doing "Sawatdeeka", way of greeting people in Thailand by joining hands

A child doing “Sawatdeeka”, way of greeting people in Thailand by joining hands

Our native language, dress and food are important aspects of our life. We have a desire that our kids should learn, or at least understand our language. Some of us are making efforts to teach it to our kids by speaking it at home, teaching cultural ways of greeting, reading poems to them in our language and even watching native version of films and cartoons with them. We all cook our traditional food and wear native clothes for special occasions, like while celebrating native festivals, weddings, and while going to our temple.

Desire To Meet People Of Our Own Community. We have a desire to get in touch with people of our own community in the U.S. and meet them regularly. We celebrate cultural festivals together and meet them on weekends and other important occasions.

 
Visits Back Home And Visits By Parents In The U.S. We all go to our home country regularly or at least try to go after a couple of years and take our children with us. During our visits back home, we meet friends and family; enjoy eating food and shopping for things which are needed for our life here in the U.S. Our parents come and visit us, and support us, especially by taking care of our children.

 
Celebrate Cultural Festivals And Go To Our Temple.

An Indian family dressed in their traditional clothes, standing outside an Indian temple

An Indian family dressed in their traditional clothes, standing outside an Indian temple

Despite of our busy schedules, we take out time to go to our temple, if not regularly, once a month, or at least on special occasions like birthdays or while celebrating our native festivals. Some of us also make our children participate in many religious and cultural activities.

Use Technology To Connect With Friends And Family Back Home. We use technology (Skype, Facetime) and social media to connect and interact with our dear ones in our native country. Sometimes our children also participate in these conversations with their grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles.

We, Asian moms are not the only ones influencing our children culturally with these behaviors. There are moms from many other cultures doing similar things. Our efforts help our children to identify themselves with their Asian roots and develop into confident individuals. A lot of research indicates that acquainting children with their culture contributes positively in their emotional and psychic development.

What do all of these common behaviors indicate? Why are we doing these things, and how are they influencing our children? I will talk more about it in my next post.

What are some of the other common behaviors we have? Share your thoughts with me.

6 thoughts on “How Asian Mothers Are Influencing Their Children Culturally

  1. I really impress with the introduction paragraph which makes me feel like reading the whole page. It is very interesting topic to me as a mom who wants my kid to learn and appreciate my home culture.

  2. I agree that all immigrants irrespective of their culture have a desire and make all possible efforts to keep their future generations in touch with their roots. Wonderful writing Navjot !!!

  3. It is difficult for any parent/ parents to raise children while balancing family values with external societal influences, and even more so for asian families as the cultural differences are sometimes extreme as well as varied. This blog serves as a great platform for asian mothers or in fact any parent to join the discussion on how to create a bridge between our desire to keep our children in touch with their roots and the realities of the society and times in which they are being raised. I look forward to future posts for shared experiences, advice, opinions, etc.

  4. Hi navu…They enjoy writing letters and making cards for there grandparents , I know it does sound bit ancient in this day and age but thats another way of keeping close to your family and also kids enjoy hindi music and cartoons and that is another way of giving them a better understanding of our language

    • Reet I know many children here in the U.S. who do these kind little things with their grandparents that keeps them connected. We all love and enjoy our music, that is another common trait.

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