Balanced Melting Pot

Posts Tagged ‘Immigrants’

Get out your measuring sticks!

In Cultural Expectations, Education, Immigrant Families, Immigrant Students, Parenting, Questions, Self Image, Traditions on November 29, 2009 at 11:59 pm

image Maybe I’m getting old, but lately I’ve been thinking a lot about where I am in my life – if that even makes sense.

So, here I am about to move for  the 4th time since becoming an adult and I’m trying to figure out if I consider myself to be successful. I know that this judgment is relative to a person’s culture and experiences and only I can really know the answer, but I can’t help but to think of what my family (and friends) may have expected from me. I wrote a while ago about cultural expectations for career choices and I think that’s where this all starts.

My mom always pushed us to go far in school. Very early on she made it clear that she expected my sister and I to at least finish college. Check, so +1

Then, I made the choice to get married and start a family soon after graduating college. –1

But, then I went back to school and obtained my masters’. +1

However, I am still trying to decide what I want to do for the rest of my life. –1

Even without my very expensive education 😉 , I would know that this complex equation adds up to 0. Let me also add that I know that my friends and family are extremely proud of me – it’s the successful part that make me wonder…

One thing I know for sure is that I am happy and I wouldn’t have things any other way. I just don’t want my type A personality to look back one day and wonder if I really made use of all my talents… 😥

How do you (or your culture) measure success?

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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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Music to my Ears

In Cultural Arts, Culture, Immigrant Families, Konpa, Music, Parenting, Questions on July 6, 2009 at 4:00 pm

In light of recent events, I started thinking about the lack of exposure to music in my children’s lives. Now, I love music and am always playing something around the house or in the car. But, I would like my children to grow up liking, or at least appreciating a broad range of musical genres from older generations.

For instance, my daughter was a bit bewildered about all the hype regarding Michael Jackson’s death. She understood that he was famous and famous people are on television a lot. But, why did everyone love him so much? All she really knew about him was that “he was that guy who turned into a monster with the yellow eyes.” I realized that I failed to share all my oldies but goodies from him going back to the Jackson 5 days.

The good thing about artists is that their work does live on. I still have time to share his talents with her and hopefully she will see more than just the monster with the yellow eyes (or black man whose skin turned white). I’m also going to take the opportunity to share Miles Davis and Nina Simone, as well as some of my parents’ favorite konpa bands.

Do you think these sort of activities are beneficial? If so, how are you keeping diversity and long established music or cultural arts in your child(ren)’s lives?

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