Are you multi-cultural? Do you have international friends? Have you dated someone from international countries? Have you lived over seas? Have you experienced cultural shock?
I have a beautiful son who is 9 years old. He is half of me, Japanese, and his daddy is African American. So he is mixed and multi Cultural child. I am Japanese, born and raised in Japan, so I still have accent when I speak English, I still make lots of mistakes when I write English.( You should see my mistake all over my blog!lol) But I am proud mother of a son. I am bilingual, multi-cultural, global and beautiful. 😉 I have lived in this Country for over 15 years. I am very Americanized, but very Japanese at heart. I love and tend to eat Japanese food, sushi and all kinds of asian food(Asian food culture is strong!!lol) all the time.
My son’s daddy is understanding when it comes to cultural difference. He always respects me as Japanese and he understands that I am Japanese. He agree that we should take advantage of the fact our son is multi-cultural and make sure to raise him bilingual and have a global knowledge. I raised him in the U.S. so he naturally gets all American culture and English as he grow up, so I have to work extra strong to let him know his other half of blood and he is half Japanese and he has another home and family in Japan. I always speak to him in Japanese so he is bilingual. I want to make sure he can communicate with my family also.(None of my family live here and they do not speak nor understand English)
But… his american grandparents are traditional African American family and they are NOT familiar with eastern culture(off course Japanese culture included) at all. I am the only real Asian person in their family and they are not ready to accept our cultural difference. They are great people. I know. I know their heart is really nice but they just are not familiar with international cultures and co-existence of different cultures.
Every once a while his granddaddy comes to me and tell me this uncomfortable words. The other day, he said it again. He said…
“You have to forget about all Japanese stuff, it is America here. You cannot tell your son about all Japanese stuff. He needs to do American way. You need to follow American way. This is what we do…(Continue long story…)”
Yes, I felt VERY disrespected and very uncomfortable.
I let him say a few words but I told him “I am Japanese and I cannot forget about my own culture, myself. My son is half Japanese and I will teach him about his own identity. He is thinking of moving to Japan for his high school and he will need to learn his culture for his future.”.
He did not like to hear it. He did not want to accept that his grandson is half Japanese. He knows his grandson is half Japanese, but he wanted him to be just American. Not Japanese.
I understand, all of us, we want our identity to be protected. We believe our culture is the best(or at least most comfortable). So as being grandparents, who are not exposed to different cultures close to them, they just don’t know about other side of the world. They simply cannot understand there are so many different cultures out there and how different they are. I was not angry but I felt upset to hear those words that sounds very disrespect to my identity.
In instant moment, I felt they deny my identity. I felt they were disrespecting me and my whole culture.
But spiritual self knows that was not true. They did not mean to disrespect me, they just wanted to have their grandson as close as they can have because they love him so much.
So I was not angry, but at the same time, I cannot let them talk like that either. I wanted to educate them about the different cultures and in this world, we all live together in one country and we all co-exist together in the world. It is simply nice not to deny other cultures. Instead, we all should respect each other and live in harmony. That is what I have been doing and what I will always do.
I have not talked to them about this matter yet, but I will send them email about it.
If you are an American, or you are from all other international countries who lives over seas, you know, in the world, there are so many different cultures and people. You cannot deny or disrespect different culture because you are not familiar with them. Just simply respect different people, different cultures.
Cultures are your identity. It is strongly part of you, so if someone deny the culture, you feel you are denied.
I would ask his grandparents this question, “If your grandson goes to Japan and start his new life there now, and Japanese grandparents tell him to forget about American stuff, it is Japan and you gotta forget about all American things, How would you feel?”
I know they will not like it if my parents teach my son how he should forget about American culture.
I nor my family will NEVER do that. Because we know how precious it is to co-exist together this way.
If someone deny your culture, you feel very sad.
If someone say something disrespectful about your culture, you feel frustrated.
Same as other way around, if someone push their culture and language to you, you feel disrespected.
Cultural difference is beautiful. Skin color difference is beautiful. Different custom, food, language is so beautiful.
We are all beautiful equally.
We all live together.
We all are connected as basic humanity.
We exist together and educate each other.
We are all one! So let’s stop having strong wall between us.
We will live in harmony with full of goodness.