Friday, November 14, 2008

Cultural knowledge

When DD asked yet again this year what they eat in England for Thanksgiving, I realized we have been failing miserably to teach her about both her cultures. It was brought home to me even more when I realized after reading Daffodilly's post about Bonfire Night, that my children have absolutely no idea what it is! Sadly, our children are really not bi-cultural at all, though they don't go quite as far as chanting that "England is evil." (Well, they haven't yet, but it's a while since we've been back there - DS really doesn't remember the UK at all at this point!)

Perhaps one day I will have to make good on my threat to send them to live with their cousins in England for a year or so . . .

13 comments:

ExpatKat said...

It really is hard to keep them in touch with cultural celebrations that they haven't experienced first hand. My son has never lived in England and hasn't a clue what Bonfire night is either.

sablonneuse said...

Our recent visitors (adults) had to think twice about there being no fireworks on November 5th!

Expat mum said...

Mine make the best of both worlds and do a lot of their Foreign Project school stuff on England. My eldest just did a report on Bonfire Night asnd Guy Fawkes, which was very inteersting to her classmates. Especially the burning effigy!

Stinking Billy said...

I can see how explaining the differeces between heritages could get tricky at times.
Stuff "England is evil" and teach her a new mantra, the old song,
"Engerland swings like a pendulum do, Bobbies on bicycles, two by two, Westminster Abbey and the tower of Big Ben, the rosy red cheeks of the little children." x

NFAH said...

The irony is that the big celebrations are probably not the most important things in terms of cross-cultural communications. As expats we celebrate our important days, but as people trying to be global we try to suppress them a bit. We are stuck with the local culture, so I see fireworks on bonfire night and not the 4th of July.

Mom/Mum said...

My children are a little young to understand our position as expats, but I intend to raise them aware of their cross-cultures. I think Expat Mum's idea for the kids to do their foreign project stuff on england is a good one.
My boys just think England is where their grandparents live, but don't really understand why...

Daffodilly said...

Next year you are soooo coming for a Bonfire Party!

crunchiemummy said...

LOL! Mine have never asked that! They don't understand why nobody else has turkey for Christmas dinner though.

Brit' Gal Sarah said...

I have been asked that myself a few times this week! Sounds like you need to make good on that trip!

AliBlahBlah said...

As long as you don't have them asking what we do in England on July 4th.

I draw the line at that.

Canoez said...

When Almost American and I were first married, we flew to the UK for my BIL's (AA's Brother...) wedding. It was to be at Kew Gardens on the 5th of July. Strangely enough, they managed to seat the token American of the group (Me!) right next to the bust of George the Third.

Coincidence? I think not!

Mmm said...

Is that your other site? Yes, my kids don't get it all too. Too difficult to teach them everything. They've picked it up as they 've got older, however..but, sadly, tehy are not at all Anglophiles!

Almost American said...

Mmm, the link to the England is Evil post is to one of Maddy's blogs. She's a fellow Brit, but out on the West coast.

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