I've always wondered how multi-cultural children are raised at home. I thought it's really cool when I meet a person whose father is Jordanian, whose mother is Singaporean, and whose family is living in the U.S.A. That's a lot of culture to take in, for sure. Never have I imagined that I'd be part of one... now staring at two people - our fraternal twins - born to Filipino and American parents, being raised in China. Here are the reasons that my husband and I listed on why it's fun to raise multi-cultural children.
1. A Variety of Food Choices
My husband and I both cook - and we take it very seriously. My husband's grandparents and both of his parents are pure Italians. Their love and ability to come up with the best Italian dishes was passed on to my husband. I have been homeschooled on Filipino dishes and I learned classic recipes from great Grandmas, uncles and aunts. When you're friends with multi-cultural children, insist on getting invited to their house during dinner. You'll love it!
2. Different Travel Destinations during Family Vacations
Because each parent grew up in different cultures, they have different opinions as to travel destinations. Jeff and I usually plot our annual family vacation one year before it happens and we would throw in several suggestions. This year, for example, we've thrown in Turkey, Malaysia, Italy and the U.S.A. in the travel choices. America won...because Jeff's side of the family requested to meet the Filipino-Italian-American fraternal twin wonders.
3. Imagine Family Members/Relative across Continents
To continue number 2, we make it point to visit each side of the family once every year. As of this writing, we're heading down to the Philippines for a two-week visit to my Mom. September will be the U.S.A. as mentioned in number 2.
4. Endless Stories to Tell the Children
Oh, the stories we told and will share to our children! Jeff would tell the twins how it was growing in the U.S. in an Italian household. I would wax poetic on the Philippine heroes who fought for freedom against three countries which invaded my nation. There are so many stories that sometimes, it's hard to determine at which part of history do we need to start.
5. Unconsciously Teach Open-mindedness and Acceptance
What maybe offensive to one culture might be acceptable to the other. In our home, we learned to relax and to constantly ask each other for validation, affirmation and inspiration. Included in this is our firm belief that beauty is a variety of colors and that the world is more wonderful because of the rainbow.
6. A Chance to Produce Multi-Lingual Individuals
That is if the parents speak different languages. I speak two Philippine languages. I learned English when I was three. I studied Mandarin Chinese. I speak some Spanish and French. Jeff speaks English and swears in Italian! At home, we speak English and Cebuano (Philippine language), while our househelpers speak Mandarin Chinese. Let's hope though that Noam Chomsky was right about kids being natural linguists. I don't want to hear my Nicholas swearing in Italian out of confusion.
7. You Always Discover Something New
And every time a discovery is made, it totally makes you feel more excited to tell your children about it. Not to mention that it's pretty exciting!
So...what do you think about multi-cultural children? Do you know anyone? Have you raised them yourself?