hybrid parenting: helping parents raise children in a multicultural world

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Based on the interests of my blog followers, I have decided to create a more targeted blog hybrid parenting. Hybrid Parenting helps parents raise children in our multicultural world. For more information please see What is hybrid parenting? 

If you enjoyed reading the posts here, you will find all new content on this site:

www.hybridparenting.org

Thank you for following & reading!

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Why do Asian Indian (Hindus) Consider the Cow Sacred?

DecoratedCowGoaIndia

In Hinduism, the cow is sacred because it is a symbol of the earth. The cow provides an abundance of nourishment. The cow gives milk without asking for anything in return. The cow represents life and sustaining life.

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Why do Asian Indians wear dots (or bindis) on their forehead?

bindi

Some Asian Indians wear a dot or bindi on their forehead. When dressing up, it is similar to wearing jewelry or accessories. It is a way to decorate the forehead and it comes in many colors and shapes.

In Hinduism, the bindi or dot is placed between the eyebrows to signify the “third eye.” The third eye represents wisdom and concentration. Many individuals who meditate focus their sight on the area between the eyebrows to help them concentrate. In addition, wearing the bindi reminds individuals that having a strong mind can help you make the right decisions in life.

The color of the bindi also has different meanings associated with it. Traditionally, women wore red bindis to represent honor, love and wealth.

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Rakhi, The Knot of Protection

Rakhi or Raksh Bandhan

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What is Rakhi?

Rakhi is the tie or knot of protection. It is a Hindu festival that celebrates the special bond between brothers and sisters with bracelets made of thread. It is celebrated by Hindus, Jains, and Sikhs. It is celebrated in India, Mauritius, and parts of Nepal and Pakistan.

When is Rakhi?

Rakhi is celebrated in August every year. The exact date is not known because this celebration is based on the lunar calendar. Each year, Hindus figure out the exact date of Rakhi by observing the cycles of the moon.

Why is Rakhi celebrated?

Some historic legends point to the Rajput Queens who use to send Rakhi threads to their neighboring rulers who were like brothers to them. The brothers would receive this thread and vow to protect them.

One story is about a Queen (Rani Karnavati) who was widowed and realized that she could not defend her country against the invasion of Bahadur Shah, a Sultan from Gujarat (a state in India). She sent a Rakhi to the Emperor Humayun. When the Emperor saw the Rakhi, he was touched by her heartfelt gesture. He immediately started off with troops to protect her.

How is Rakhi celebrated?

All family members gather in front of a lighted lamp (diya) to watch sisters do a special prayer for their brothers well-being; pray for their brothers’ health, wealth and happiness. Brothers promise to protect their sisters. Sisters tie a thread on their brothers to symbolize the special bond they have with one another.

The tie is also the “knot of protection” because brothers promise to protect their sisters on this day. They end the celebration with sisters giving Indian sweets to their brother and brothers offer gifts to their sisters.

How can I teach my children about Rakhi?

1. Talk to children about India. Show them where India is on a map and address any questions or misconceptions they may have about India or Indians.

2. Ask children if they have  heard of “Rakhi” or seen thread tied to boys or mens hands before? Provide them with the background information above.

3. Make personal connections through experiences they may have already had: Did your child ever make a friendship bracelet? What was this for? What does it mean for someone to get a friendship bracelet? Talk about bracelet being a symbol of friendship, trusting one another, being there for one another in good times and bad.

4. Extend your child’s understanding by  creating a homemade Rakhi for your brother, cousin, or someone you think is like a brother to you.  Provide them with opportunities to have cross-cultural experiences by preparing simple Indian sweets.

5. Have a Rakhi celebration in your home by exchanging any type of bracelets (thread, rainbow loom, etc.) between siblings and don’t forget to say Happy Rakhi!

 

 

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6 Ways Parents Can Foster Multicultural Competence and Tolerance in their Children

Multicultural competence is the ability to understanding, effectively interact, and communicate with people from diverse cultures and backgrounds. Children need to acknowledge that how they perceive the world may be different from how others’ perceive the world. This is based on their “lens” or how they are positioned in society (e.g.,race, ethnicity, culture, gender, or sexuality.)

In order to develop tolerance and respect this difference, children need to have knowledge about the diversity that exists. Hybrid parenting is the idea that parents are consciously raising children in a multicultural world. Through hybrid parenting, parents are naturally fostering multicultural competence and tolerance in their children.

  1. Hybrid Parents value diversity. They consciously educate themselves about diverse cultures. They are aware that parents can’t teach what they don’t know. They want to answer their children’s questions about diversity with honesty and accuracy.
  2. Hybrid Parents model an attitude of respect for diverse cultures. They know that their children are always listening to them. They treat individuals and groups of people that are different from them with respect.  They also do not stereotype or make negative comments about difference to others.
  3. Hybrid Parents are aware of the diversity that is around them. Parents provide children with the knowledge or resources that help children understand, appreciate, and embrace the diversity that is around them.
  4. Hybrid Parents are also aware of the diversity that is not around them.  They constantly seek to expose children to the diversity around the world (e.g., race, ethnicity, culture, class, gender, or sexuality) that is beyond their immediate world.
  5. Hybrid Parents seek out knowledge or resources to help them educate their children about diverse cultures. They pick out books, music, art and videos that allow for their children to make meaningful connections.
  6. Hybrid Parents embrace difference by celebrating differences. Parents create unique experiences for their children by participating in diverse cultural celebrations. They do this by joining community events or by having a special day at home (e.g., reading books, making an ethnic meal, arts and craft projects) to acknowledge the occasion. These experiences leave a lasting impression in the minds of their children and become part of a new family tradition.

Through hybrid parenting, parents raise children to acknowledge, appreciate, and embrace diverse cultures. Children are not just living in a diverse world, but in a multicultural world that allows for them to gain tolerance and respect for others. Hybrid parents raise children can effectively communicate  and interact with people from diverse cultures and backgrounds.

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Diwali, The Festival of Lights

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What is Diwali?

Diwali is known as the Hindu Festival of lights. It is an official holiday in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Mauritius, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Suriname, Malaysia, Singapore, and Fiji.

When is Diwali?

Diwali is celebrated during the fall season for five consecutive days. It is usually celebrated between mid-October and mid-November. Originally, it was the harvest before the winter season. The exact date is not known because this celebration is based on the lunar calendar. Each year, Hindus figure out the exact date of Diwali my observing the cycles of the moon.

Why is Diwali celebrated?

Diwali is an important festival for Hindus. Hindus celebrate the day when Lord Rama came home after he won a battle against the demon king Ravana. Diwali is also the birthday of the Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth.

It is celebrated as a special time to remember that: light overcomes darkness, good overcomes evil, and knowledge overcomes ignorance.

Diwali also has religious significance in Jainism, Sikhism, and Buddhism.

How is Diwali celebrated?

Diwali celebrations, rituals, and ceremonies vary based on the region of India a family comes from. In general, Indian families may clean and decorate their house with Rangoli designs. They dress up in new clothes and light lamps inside and outside their house. They exchange presents with one another. They do a special prayer for Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth. They end the celebration with fireworks and sweets.

How Can I Teach My Children About Diwali?

1. Talk to children about India. Show them where India is on a map and address any questions or misconceptions they may have about India or (Asian) Indians.

2. Activate background knowledge. Ask children if they have heard of Diwali before? Provide them with the background information above.

3. Make Connections. The book Lighting a Lamp provides all children with an understanding of how Indian families celebrate Diwali in their homes.

4. Extend your child’s understanding by providing them with opportunities to have cross-cultural experiences by creating Rangoli designs, making or decorating clay lamps, or trying Indian sweets.

5. Participate in a Diwali Celebration in your community or celebrate by taking the family out to an Indian dinner.

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What’s the difference between a diverse world and a multicultural world?

Diversity is defined as the differences between people. Diversity can be real or perceived differences between people. These differences include but are not limited to race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, and socioeconomic status. In a diverse world, people acknowledge the differences that exist among individuals.HandsUp-300x292

Multiculturalism is more complex than simply noticing the diversity or differences that exist in the society. Multiculturalism focuses on being inclusiveness, understanding, respecting, and acknowledging unequal power in society. Furthermore, people are aware of the advantages or disadvantages of being a particular, race, gender, sexual orientation, religion or socioeconomic status is society. In a multicultural world, people accept and embrace the differences of others into their lives.

 

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