How I was raised in a bi-cultural environment

How I was raised in a bi-cultural environment

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.

USA is a very fascinating country.

Here you will see many cultures living side by side.

This is the country where you can see people from different countries working under one company.

For example in my company, my colleagues are from India, China, Japan and Singapore.

Crossing cultures is very common in the USA.

You can even see many cultures in every second home. Indian married to American girl or boy; American married to Japanese, Chinese girl or boy and so on.

While so many cultures prevail in one house sometimes it is difficult to raise a child.

Even I take my example, in India there are so many cultural differences seen. Because in India we have multiple cultures among different states and different religious, different festivals.

I myself was raised bi-culturally. My father is Gujarati and my mother is Rajasthan. However both my parents are from the same religions. But still they are from different states and different cultures are observed.

My father’s mother tongue is Gujarati and my mother’s mother tongue is Hindi. They both are having different views about the same things. Even to celebrate a festival, both are having different views and methods to celebrate.

Sometimes I found it difficult but sometimes I found it blessed to have two cultures at home so that I can learn about two states. The impact of this bi-cultural experience is that I am aware of  both cultures and know everything about it. Now I find myself comfortable to adjust everywhere in the country.

bi-cultural relationships
bi-cultural relationships

Let me share my experience about how my parents raised me in both cultures. Since I was born and brought up in Gujarat, learning Guajarati was easy for me. My mother taught me Hindi from childhood. She found that it will be difficult for me to adjust in her state and in her family people.

I learned Hindi since childhood and because of my mother I was very good in Hindi literature and that helped me to gain good scores in that subject during school time.

Another benefit is that I had good fluency in language. I can say that I know two languages where all my friends knew only one language.  That helped me to gain confidence.

My mother used to take us at to her home place during summer vacation time so that we could be aware of their culture and atmosphere. I got to know many things about different cultures because when you visit a different state or country you get to know so many things about them.  Because of that I learned how to adjust well.

In my family we used to celebrate every festival even if didn’t belong to us. For example navratri is Gujarat’s festival and we don’t celebrate that festival in our religion. But I was living in Gujarat and my father is Gujarat. He told us to celebrate every festival even if they are not belonging to us. So I usually celebrate navaratri. And it is my favorite festival. We were celebrating all the festivals in two different styles.

Now I am married and moved to USA. I see the same cultures here also. I think that in the future my baby will also be raised in a bi-cultural environment.  I will follow my mother’s footsteps to make my baby aware of my culture.

To learn about my culture and more click here.

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

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