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Author: Mia Mei

Professional Blogger, social media marketer, professor of marketing, Christian and dad.
Engineers can solve problems that afflict every culture

Engineers can solve problems that afflict every culture

Bill Belew has raised 2 bi-cultural kids, now 34 and 30. And he and his wife are now parenting a 3rd, Mia, who is 8.

Raising Bi-Cultural and Bi-Lingual children
Raising Bi-Cultural and Bi-Lingual children

Mia Mei’s Daddy said I could say a little bit about what I think is good about growing up in two different cultures.  I’m not really an expert in growing up nor in cultures, but I do know quite a bit about good ways to solve engineering problems.  That might seem a little far afield from living in two cultures.  But think about it;  everyone has problems, and everyone needs to solve them.

Now, most people’s problems don’t involve calculating things, nor applying advanced science, but that’s not really the important part of solving problems anyway, not even for engineering problems.  The important part is creativity.

Painters are creative with paint, musicians are creative with notes and sound, financiers are creative with money, and engineers are creative with physical principles and math.  For being creative, one really good way to get the juices flowing is cross-pollination (what bees do).  If you plant different kinds of peppers in one garden, or different kinds of melons, you find out that your garden suddenly starts getting real creative.  You can wind up with purple jalapenos or very spicy bell peppers.

In engineering, one way to get creative, you might say “to be an innovator”, is to look at how engineers in completely different fields of engineering approach problems similar to what you are facing.  In software design, you might look at how mechanical engineers design things, and wind up inventing object oriented programming.  In civil engineering you might use techniques developed by radio/electrical engineers to design earthquake safe buildings.  I once used methods for designing table-top test equipment to design something the size of a bus that could be repaired in 1/50th the time anyone expected (which was something the customer really liked).

What does this have to do with growing up in two cultures?  Every day problems, like how to make friends or how to succeed in a group, benefit just as much from creativity as innovative engineering or creative financing.  Knowing two cultures from the inside will give Mia Mei a great tool kit for creatively solving the daily problems of life, whether she is 5, 15, or 50.  She’ll have a leg up on her poor friends who only have one culture to draw from.

As a parent myself, I will make one prediction that I feel very confident in.  She will learn to very creatively navigate to whichever parent is most likely to say “yes”, for any given request.  With two very different cultures to draw from, she is a very lucky child indeed.

Paul Coker writes a blog titled “The Complete Engineer.” 

Talk to Bill and others about their experiences raising bi-cultural Japanese-American kids.

Ariel’s Digital Autograph | How does she do that?

Ariel’s Digital Autograph | How does she do that?

Bill Belew has raised 2 bi-cultural kids, now 34 and 30. And he and his wife are now parenting a 3rd, Mia, who is 8.

My daddy once asked Ariel, “How many Ariels are there?”

I didn’t understand the question.

Ariel said, “Well, there’s only one of us.”

That’s what I thought.

What I don’t get is how Ariel can be in so many places at the same time. She can be in her grotto, or in the princess hall of fame, at the show in Fantasy land and in the parade – all at the same time.

If nothing, she definitely is pretty fast! How does she do that?

I get my picture taken with her each time I go to Disneyland and the last time I went to the Magic Kingdom in Disney World. Another thing that puzzles me is that I keep getting older but Ariel never changes!

How does that happen?

But I am sure there is only one Ariel. Daddy and I got her to sing, um, sign his baby phone.

He has a nifty little thingamabob (it’s what Ariel called it!!) that allows him to sign his screen and then he can keep it.

We got one signature at Disneyland in California and the other at Magic Kingdom in Disney World in Florida.

You can compare them. And then you’ll know that there really is one very fast Ariel.

This one was given to us in California:

Ariel's Digital Signature
Ariel’s Digital Signature

And this one was given to us in Florida:

Ariel's Digital Signature
Ariel’s Digital Signature

You can see Rapunzel’s and Tinker Bell’s digital signature’s too!

Talk to Bill and others about their experiences raising bi-cultural Japanese-American kids.

My DVD can speak two languages

My DVD can speak two languages

Bill Belew has raised 2 bi-cultural kids, now 34 and 30. And he and his wife are now parenting a 3rd, Mia, who is 8.

My deebeedee (Ed: DVD) can speak two languages.

But I am not sure it is by cow chew lily. (Ed: bicultural). I have never seen it eat Chinese food or American food.

Portable DVD

I can watch Cinderella, Mulan, Jasmine and the bunch and one day they are speaking English and the next they are speaking Chinese.

Now, I am pretty sure the girls aren’t the ones speaking both languages. I may be wrong. But I think it’s some kind of match trick. (Ed: magic).

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Korean Food | Why You Never Eat Kimchi on a Bus

Korean Food | Why You Never Eat Kimchi on a Bus

Bill Belew has raised 2 bi-cultural kids, now 34 and 30. And he and his wife are now parenting a 3rd, Mia, who is 8.

Korean Bibimbap
Korean Bibimbap

This story is a bit nasty. True. But nasty.

Daddy went on a trip to Thailand not long ago, via Korea on a Korean airplane.

The way you can tell where an airplane is from is by what language the plane speaks. Or sometimes by its name.

“Hi. I’m Park. I am from Korea. Can I give you a lift?”

They served kimchi on the airplane.

Daddy said it reminded him of a story a missionary friend who lived in Korea once told him.

She said, “I was on a bus. When suddenly I looked down and there was food on the floor. I feared I had bumped the little girl and she had dropped her kimchi. I reached down, scooped it up as quickly as I could and tried to give it back to the mother. The mother was very very angry. It turns out the little girl had lost her lunch. (That’s what I thought). But in this case, lost her lunch meant she had thrown up the kimchi after eating it one time already. I couldn’t tell the difference.”

Yikes!!! Can’t tell the difference between kimchi that has been eaten once and hasn’t been eaten yet?

That’s a true story.

And that’s why daddy never eats kimchi unless he knows for absolute sure it hasn’t been eaten already one time.

Airplanes are also sometimes called air buses. Daddy skipped his kimchi this time, just in case.

Talk to Bill and others about their experiences raising bi-cultural Japanese-American kids.