Balanced Melting Pot

Archive for December, 2008|Monthly archive page

Happy Holidays!

In Holiday Greetings on December 22, 2008 at 6:05 pm

In observance of the holidays, there will be no new posts for the next two weeks.

See you all on January 5th, 2009 and I wish you and yours a safe and healthy holiday!

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‘Tis the season, isn’t it?

In Culture, Parenting, Questions, Traditions, Uncategorized on December 15, 2008 at 3:37 pm

So, I thought I’d bring up how we celebrate the holidays.

For my family, it’s always been about coming together. There were years the kids got a lot of gifts, and there were years where there were only a few. Since my parents did such a good job in teaching me the real reason behind this time of the year, I never really noticed.

I’m trying to teach my children the same thing. My daughter usually only receives a few toys from Santa (even though she usually asks for 20). This year, I told her that the list she is making for Santa needs to be of things that she would like to give to someone else. Of course, this was completely foreign to her and she said she would ask for two of each; that way she’d give one away and keep one.

Teaching her about the importance of giving is critical to me. A day doesn’t go by that I don’t think about children who are starving in many places in the world. Or, about the families who are forced to live on less than $1 a day. I know that there are many people out there who think the same way that I do, but as an immigrant from an impoverished country, my motivation is coming from eye witness encounters.

So, if I haven’t depressed you too much 😉 , please share some of the traditions that you have for celebrating the holidays. Do they relate more to your family or your culture? How do you think growing up in an immigrant family has shaped the way you celebrate the holidays?

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Things I wish I’d known…

In Culture, Immigrant Students, Questions, Race Relations, Thoughts on December 8, 2008 at 9:22 pm

I am an avid reader of a website called Anti-Racist Parent and a while ago there was an article published providing tips for a student of color while attending a university that is not ethnically diverse. There a many great tips and I’ll let you read the article for yourself, but I wanted to talk about two of them which I wish I was given as far back as high school.

 

You can speak any language you damn well please, any time you please.

 

Wow! This statement is powerful in many ways. Simple and straightforward. Growing up, I was actually ashamed that I spoke another language. For the longest time, I would only answer my family members in English, just in case a friend heard. At that time, it was very uncool to be bilingual. I think many immigrants still hesitate to speak their native tongue when they think someone who cannot understand is in earshot. I have come across many Haitians who simply refuse to speak Haitian Creole; even when they know the Haitian they are speaking to cannot understand English.

 

You are not the spokesperson for your ethnicity.


This one I am ambivalent about. I agree that no one person can fully represent an entire culture and this is simply leads to stereotypes. But, I have heard (more times than I care to count) that I don’t look, talk, or seem like a Haitian. This leads me to believe that there is a misconception that Haitians look, talk or seem a certain way – all of them. So, I don’t know if it’s good that I sometimes felt that I could help eliminate those stereotypes by representing all Haitians, or if those people were going to stay ignorant regardless. In any case, I think it pushed me to set my goals and standards a little higher, which can’t hurt, right?

 

So, please share your thoughts on this article. Do they make you wish there was a handbook for minority students or do you think these issues are non-existent?

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