Ever feel like you’re walking on cultural egg shells?
Sometimes it can get confusing, trying to navigate waters made murky where cultures collide. Whatever choice you make will seem wrong to someone. Whatever you say will offend someone. No matter how lightly you step, you risk making someone feel walked over.
And that is the situation I find myself in again, as the air turns cooler (finally!) and Japanese schoolchildren begin to practice en masse for their sports festivals.
My brother is getting married, half a world away, at the exact same time my daughter is supposed to perform in her final sports festival at kindergarten.
If you are in North America, or Europe, or very likely anywhere except Japan, your response is probably, “So what?” But if you are a mother of a Japanese child, I’ll give you a moment to remove the hand you’ve placed over your mouth in horror. Breathe in. Breathe out. Let’s continue.
It doesn’t matter much which I choose for us to attend. Half of my children’s relatives will be angry about our choice. How can you miss your sibling’s wedding? How can you deny your aging in-laws their last chance to see a preschool sports festival, where the last-year students are the stars of the show?
“How could you do that to your child? She will miss out.”
Says everyone from every side.
Sometimes being part of a bi-racial, bi-cultural, bilingual family means making the hard calls. What is important in one culture is not in another. What is optional in one culture is imperative in another.
I find myself, again and again and again, struggling to find a balance between traditions and beliefs. I fall off the high-wire more than I care to admit.
But on those occasions when you can do that perfect, tip-toed, pirouette, it is beautiful. It is breathtaking. It is worth it.
This time, though?
I better bring a helmet because I’m bound to fall flat on my face, whatever I choose.
Have you faced difficult decisions because of cultural or religious differences within your family? How do you find a balance between them?
This is an original post by World Moms Blog contributor, Melanie Oda in Japan, of Hamakko Mommy.
Photo credit to FeeBeeDee. This photo has a creative commons attribution license.
Two months back, I went home to attend the wedding of a cousin. This was my first visit home since I came to the Garden City seven months ago. Also, the first time my one-year old Little One (hereafter referred to as LO) was going to get a taste of his Mom’s place – the heat, the relatives, the food – in no particular order.
Hubby and I had qualms on how LO was going to take the trip. For one thing, we were going to undertake the 530 km journey by car. To minimise any untoward incidents, we had already decided to make it an overnight trip, so that LO would be asleep for most of the journey.
The last time we made such a trip, he had fallen prey to a vicious cold and it took him almost a month to get over it. And he was just 7 months old at the time. Now that he was a sturdy 14-month old, we thought we would have things easier this time. (more…)
I am sitting at a gate in Terminal C at Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) waiting for my flight back to Seattle. You may be wondering…”How does she have time to sit and write with two girls while she is at the airport?”
If my girls were with me, I definitely would NOT be writing.
I would be mulling this post over in my head while I watched them burn off steam running over and under seats before getting on the six hour flight back home. The beauty of this story is that I got the weekend off from mommy duty to travel east 3,000 miles to go to a wedding in New York City! I know, I mean, I really do know – LUCKY ME!! (more…)
This week’s Friday Question comes from World Moms Blog writer Maggie Ellison of South Carolina, USA. She asked:
“What are your religious views and how are they (or how are they not) a part of your life?”
Here’s how the World Moms answered in order as the responses came in…
Eva Fannon of Washington, USA writes:
“I am Roman Catholic and my husband is an atheist…which makes life interesting. Ever since I’ve had kids, I don’t go to church as regularly as I would like, but I have baptized both of my girls. (And yes, my husband attended both ceremonies and didn’t get struck down by lightning when he entered the church — LOL!)” (more…)
This week’s Friday Question comes from World Moms Blog writer Maggie Ellison. She asked our writers,
“What is one of your favorite childhood memories?”
Read on to see what some of our World Moms had to say…
Dr. Lanham of Arizona, USA writes:
“My favorite childhood memory is sitting with my grandfather on my grandparent’s front porch in Indiana while it rained. We would have a soda, sit in the swing and watch the rain fill up the lake across the street. I’ll never forget it!”