Planning a multicultural festival is a great way highlight the cultural diversity of your community through music, dance, art, storytelling and more. Want to plan one at your school? Read below to find out how! …
Since I began my blogging journey, I’ve had people ask me what tips I would suggest for marrying someone outside of their race and/or culture. To that question, I would usually respond by telling them that they should have the same concerns with someone outside of their culture/race as the ones they would have with someone who looked similar to them. But the more I think about it, there are some things that should be considered. Here’s a comprehensive list for you:
Marriage is a beautiful thing, yet complicated endeavor. It brings two people together, from different walks of life, who want to spend a lifetime together. Combining cultures in marriage can be difficult, especially if you’ve had minimal exposure to the culture you have married into.
Both of my parents were born and raised in Jamaica, but came to the states as adults. I never really thought about how my Jamaican family was different from others until I was told me no about something that most other parents said yes to. My father was in the Air Force, so many of my friends had parents from different countries, which brought about their cultural norms.
As an adult no longer surrounded by other military families, I have settled with my family in the south. Many people I encounter live close to family, and have for generations. This highlights the stark differences between my Jamaican upbringing and theirs.
Here are a few things I have noticed:
I Love Jamaican Food
There are no international markets near me, so when I want to eat Jamaican food or season my food with Jamaican spices, I have to ask my mother to purchase for me, get it from Atlanta, or my grandmother mails it to me from up north. Sometimes I just have a craving for authentic Jamaican food!
Once when my uncle came to visit from New Jersey, I cried because he ate the last bit of ackee and saltfish (national dish). I didn’t know when we would have a chance to eat it again, and I thought it was unfair because he ate it all the time in New Jersey.
My Daughters Love Jamaican Food
Their favorite Jamaican food is porridge. Americans make fun of me all the time if they happen to hear me mention it.
Believe me, if you had it, you would understand why baby bear was crying when Goldilocks ate all of his!
My southern friends make fun of me for not liking grits; but I blame it on porridge! You don’t have to take my word for it, listen to a few Bob Marley songs and you’ll hear all about his love for cornmeal porridge.
I Love Music
Jamaicans love to sing…all..the..time!
My mother sent me to Jamaica a few times as a toddler, but the first time I remember was in July 2010. All the resort staff was singing, as well as people in the community. I felt such a connection to my roots! Now it made sense to me why I have always done that.
And guess what, my kids make up songs and sing all the time too!
I Have a Need to Keep my Culture Alive
Growing up, I always remembered my parents being friends with other Jamaicans, or people from other islands. Eating Jamaican food & listening to reggae makes me feel at home wherever I am. I want to make sure that my girls take pride in our Jamaican family.
When my husband & I married, it was important to me that he had a love of my culture. I remember him playing Bob Marley on the way to a date & thinking, “This relationship is off to a good start!”
Family is Important
I have a close relationship with my parents. In fact, I talked with my mom about this post last week as I was in the planning phase. I still look to my parents for guidance.
Jamaicans utilize their family resources and look to their elders for guidance.
This is essential for survival-a similar family trait to Asian and Hispanic cultures.
Jamaica’s motto is Out of many one people. No matter the skin color, if you were born in Jamaica, you are a Jamaican. I have met many Jamaicans of different ethnicity, but the culture, the food and the music tie them all together. I hope to instill this in my children.
I hope that as my children grow, I can share my love of Jamaican culture with them. On my first visit as an adult, I felt a strange connection with the land that I can’t explain. Everything that I heard my parents and grandparents talk about as a child, came to life for me the moment I stepped off the plane.
How many of you were raised in a culture besides the American culture? Do you seek to share those cultural pieces with your children? I can’t wait to hear from you!
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Blending cultures in a marriage can be a complicated feat whether both families are open or accepting or not. The key is to respect each other, and compromise with your spouse on the important issues.
My mom always told me that she always knew she wanted to marry another Jamaican, that was a non-negotiable. She didn’t want to have to explain her culture to someone else. The moment I married into a family and moved to South Georgia, I understood her sentiments as I noticed the stark differences between people in South Georgia and Jamaicans.
Growing up on an Air Force Base, I was surrounded by a variety of cultural experiences. I didn’t quite realize how much my culture influenced my way of being until I got married. My husband was well traveled (and a travel agent at the time), so he embraced my Jamaican culture-the good with the bad.
This post was also published by the Huffington Post.
As parents, it’s our job to teach our kids (and educators) how to love the skin they’re in.
As a school counselor, the one thing I wish I could give my students more of is confidence. I work in a middle school, and one of the most awkward moments in adolescence. Girls compare themselves to other girls and boys feel bad if they don’t have the newest tennis shoes.
Here are a few tips on teaching kids to love themselves: