Sunday, August 2, 2009
I stared at the two pictures for a couple of days and I then added a third picture I took of my sweetness last Fourth of July. Something very profound came to me when I looked at all three pictures collectively, "This is the triangle of our lives." The surface … one side of the triangle is a picture of my beautiful all-American girl, the other side a picture of my little nena … half of me (third generation Mexican-American) and the other side my little chador baby … half of my husband (first generation Iranian-American). Looking deeper … I see a triangle of language, culture and faith. This is how we balance the triad of responsibility bestowed on us as the proud parents of a multicultural child … how we live our days as a melting pot family:
My Spanish is not so great, but I do all right … my husband's Farsi, perfect. My culture deep rooted … my husband's the same. My faith, devout Christian … my husband is a Shi'ite Muslim, and not as devout, although much of his culture (to me) is faith based.
When our child wakes up in the morning the first thing she wants to do is dance and sing. I have a mix of her favorite music that ranges from mariachi, ranchera, cumbia, music in Farsi and country all the way to Laurie Berkner and Dan Zanes. Our child just loves to dance and sing (in any language).
For breakfast some days it is homemade flour tortillas (quesadillas if she wants cheese) … she loves them! I can't wait until she tries her first bowl of menudo! Some say menudo is an acquired taste. I hope she acquires the taste because it is the best food in the world. The next day for breakfast it's oatmeal or cereal or naan va panir (Persian bread and cheese), but some days she just wants a croissant or a bagel (so American). For dinner it is arroz (rice) con pollo (chicken) y frijoles (beans) or jujeh (chicken) kabob, berenge (rice), maasto khiar (cucumber yogurt). It's chicken and rice all time in our house people! I've tried to force my carnivorous ways on our child, but she's not having it (that's another story)! Funny, our child loves chicken, but hates eggs. Go figure (LOL). Our child also LOVES to make chai (tea) with Daddy Jan (dear) at night (she dips the tea bag) and eat chocolate rollete (a yummy Persian pastry), but she also likes pan dulce (Mexican sweet bread) and leche con chocolate mexicana (milk with Mexican chocolate … Abuelita chocolate is the best).
We speak English, Spanish and Farsi in our home. I have to say, Daddy is doing a much better job of passing along Farsi than I am Spanish. I am so proud of him. It is a chore for me because Spanish is my second language, but I do it gladly because of what it means to my child and her future. I'm actually getting much better now that I have been speaking more in Spanish. Some days she's, "Lida Khanoom", "Missy Muffin" or "Mija". Other day's she's "Traviesa", "Shatoonak Khanoom" or "Little Devil", but most days she's just, "Lida Khoshgeleh" (beautiful Lida) or "Mi Princessa" (my princess). We say our ABC's in English and in Spanish, but when Shatoonak Khanoom (Ms. Little Devil) does not listen it is: (1) one, two, three; (2) uno, dos, tres; or (3) yek, doe, ce, and then a timeout! She responds to all three.
We celebrate Christmas, Easter, Norooz, Las Posadas and Mexican Independence Day … all with faith and pride.
I have known my husband for 24 years (we met when we were both 17 … yeiks do the math). We had always talked about what it would be like to raise a family with both of our languages, cultures and faiths. How would we do it? We're doing it now and it is nothing like I imagined, but more than I could have ever dreamed. This is the triangle of our lives … making the cultures, languages and faiths all melt together and keeping it all balanced. We are giving our child strong roots (raíces) so she can grow strong and pass this along to her children. This is important to us. Do what you can to teach your child what you know and more. Language, culture and faith are their history and will give them a connection.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Melting Pot Moms will be hosting the Family Day portion on Saturday, June 13th from 10:30 - 12:45. Come join us for a fun craft, and then...drumroll...a book-reading/signing by Kim Wayans!! She will be reading from her Amy Hodgepodge series (which we LOVE!).
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Here are the details:
MIXED KIDS BOOK - PHOTO SHOOT THIS SATURDAY 3/7 IN MANHATTAN BEACH
*** children 12 and under needed for new book ***
Internationally renown artist Kip Fulbeck (author of "Part Asian, 100% Hapa") will be photographing in Manhattan Beach for his new book on Mixed Kids this Saturday 3/7 from 11:00 - 2:30.
"Mixed Kids" will be published by Chronicle Books in 2010 and features an introduction by Dr. Maya Soetoro-Ng, a nationally recognized educator, mixed race identity specialist, and sister of Barack Obama.
Kip Fulbeck has been featured on CNN, MTV, and PBS and has exhibited his photography and films in over 20 countries. You may have seen the PBS Newshour feature on his Hapa Project which aired nationally last month.
The photo shoot will take place SATURDAY, MARCH 7th from 11:00 - 2:30 in Manhattan Beach. This will be the last L.A. area shoot so don't miss it!
We are seeking ANY multiracial kids 12 years old and under for this groundbreaking book. We particularly need kids who are:- Part Central/South American- Part Middle Eastern- Part Pakistani/South Asian- Part Hawaiian, Samoan, Tahitian, Tongan, Chamorro or other Islander- Part Laotian/Cambodian/Hmong/Vietnamese/Thai/Southeast Asian
If you are interested in giving your child the chance to be featured in a major book, please email Angela at meltingpotmoms[at]yahoo[dot]com for details and location.
FOR MORE DETAILS, INSTRUCTIONS AND FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS PLEASE VISIT:http://www.janm.org/events/2008/10/#12(click "Continue to janm.org" on the bottom right, then scroll down to October 12th if you don't get directed straight to the FAQs)
See you Saturday! :-)
Thursday, February 26, 2009
By John Cloud Saturday, Feb. 21, 2009
"Americans like answers in black and white, a cultural trait we confirmed last year when the biracial man running for President was routinely called "black".
The flattening of Barack Obama's complex racial background shouldn't have been surprising. Many multiracial historical figures in the U.S. have been reduced (or have reduced themselves) to a single aspect of their racial identities: Booker T. Washington, Tina Turner, and Greg Louganis are three examples. This phenomenon isn't entirely pernicious; it is at least partly rooted in our concern that growing up with a fractured identity is hard on kids. The psychologist J.D. Teicher summarized this view in a 1968 paper: "Although the burden of the Negro child is recognized as a heavy one, that of the Negro-White child is seen to be even heavier."
But new research says this old, problematized view of multiracial identity is outdated. In fact, a new paper in the Journal of Social Issues shows that multiracial adolescents who identify proudly as multiracial fare as well as — and, in many cases, better than — kids who identify with a single group, even if that group is considered high-status (like, say, Asians or whites). This finding was surprising because psychologists have argued for years that mixed-race kids will be better adjusted if they pick a single race as their own."
To read the entire artcle, click here: http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1880467,00.html
Thanks to Kristen (Organizer of Melting Pot Moms - Twin Cities) for sharing this article!
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
The book is already generating buzz: Kirkus Reviews called Faith “impeccably designed . . . a superb way to show children that there are many means of expressing religious faith.” "