Balanced Melting Pot

Archive for the ‘Culture’ Category

In this episode of “Kids Say the Darndest Things…”

In Culture, Parenting, Questions, Race Relations on November 23, 2009 at 8:21 pm

On our way to school, my daughter was telling me about a teacher at her school and when she mentioned her name (we’ll call her Mrs. C.), I realized that there was a man at her school with the same last name. This following conversation proceeded:

Me: Are Mrs. C. and Mr. C. were related?

Her: I don’t think so.

Me: Why not? They have the same last name.

Her: Well, Mrs. C. is brown and Mr. C. is pink.

Me: Oh, okay.

Now, I have gone out of my way to keep her from using the societal labels of black or white, so everyone is either pink or some shade of brown. I was glad to see that her impressionable mind still hadn’t been tainted, but I also wanted her to know that people within the same family can be different shades; heck, even different colors.

So, the conversation ended like this:

Me: It doesn’t matter if they are different colors. They can still be family.

Her: WHAT!

Me: Yup. They can be brother and sister, cousins, or husband and wife.

Her: I don’t think they’re married.

Me: thinking *I’m not going to go there right now* Okay, well maybe they’re related in some other way.

Her: Maybe you’re right. I’m going to ask them today.

*sigh* I guess at some point I’m going to have a more in depth conversation with her about race. But until then, brown Mrs. C and pink Mr. C will have to do 😉

At what age do you think it is appropriate to explain American race relations to children?

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May I have your attention please…

In Caracas, Culture, Ex-pat, Update on October 28, 2009 at 3:22 pm

I would like to finally announce that my family and I are moving abroad! Where to, you ask?


*Caracas, Venezuela*

After a few years of debating whether or not this would be the best move for the family, I gave my husband the green light and he obtained a transfer – as well as a promotion. Go hubby :-)!

In the meantime, I have been thinking about what this means for this blog as I discuss raising my children in yet another culture. Well, I am hoping to expand our conversations to also include my transition into daily life in Caracas.

So there you have it. I know this may seem like it’s coming out of left field, but it’s actually something that we’ve given A LOT of thought and we feel very comfortable with our decision. I hope you will continue on this next leg of my journey with me and I look forward to hearing your stories, questions and comments.

Hasta pronto 😛

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Life Abroad

In Culture, Ex-pat, Immigrant Families, Parenting, Questions on August 10, 2009 at 7:07 pm

Early on in college, I began harboring a passion for international development. My dream was to spend my career working in different developing countries and learn about their cultures. Upon completing my degree, I realized that I was glamorizing the ex-pat lifestyle and there was a lot of commitment needed to succeed in that field (I also got married and had a strange urge to settle down 😉 .

For years after that, I thought that my international bug had fizzled and I had become more realistic about my priorities. Well, lately I’ve started getting that itch again – and for some reason this seems like the right time.

Only now, my concern is how my children will grow up. Already, it is difficult trying keep a healthy amount of Haitian culture in their lives (hence, this blog :-)), and now I would have to juggle three or more cultures. I would like them to remain assimilated to the American culture while away, but I wouldn’t want them to stay completely shielded from the culture of the “host” country. You would think I go around looking for trouble!

Well, I am hopeful that I can achieve this balance. If you have any ideas/success stories on how to do it – please share. If not, I will know that I will be the Neil Armstrong of cultural harmony :-).

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