Balanced Melting Pot

Boy, have times changed!

In Cultural Expectations, Culture, Immigrant Families, Parenting, Questions, Thoughts on June 22, 2009 at 11:35 am

My mother recently asked that I send my six year-old daughter to spend the summer with her in Haiti. Now, this is a huge request under any circumstances, as I have not yet become comfortable with extended separation from my children (I’m told it gets easier with time). But, knowing how much she misses her grandmother, I gave the request a lot of consideration.

I know that spending the summers in Haiti growing up helped keep my connection to a place that I could have easily forgotten. If not for those summers, I would have missed out on time spent with my family members; some of whom are no longer with us. Those summers also taught me a great deal about the culture and social norms.

So, of course, I began thinking that a summer there would provide the same benefits to my daughter. Then it hit me – things are not like they were when I was a child (this is a phrase I told my mother I would never say because it always sounded close-minded coming from her :-o).

For instance, children no longer play the skillful games of osle or marbles. They no longer get dressed up on Sunday afternoons – just because. They also don’t jump rope at night when it was just the right temperature. Instead, afternoon games have been replaced with telenovelas and music videos. And Sundays, well they’re just Sundays.

So, indeed, times they are a changin! Can you relate to this, or am I getting old :-)? Am I wrong to lack enthusiasm over exposing my daughter to the evolved culture just because it’s different from my experience?

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