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.
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.
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.