I am so excited to be doing a guest post for Tallulah today. I admire so much what she is doing with her blog and the way she is raising her children, so this is a real treat for me!
Tallulah and I first connected over our love for bilingualism and multicultural parenting. This is a major focus of my blog, since my husband and I are raising our son to be a "global citizen." But what does this mean, exactly?
On a day-to-day level, it means that we are teaching him both Spanish and English. We are also trying to instill in him pride in his double heritage (US and Costa Rican) through family connections, food, music, and books.
But you don't have to speak another language or be married to someone of a different culture to raise your child to be a global citizen. You can expose your child to other cultures through reading, media, and outings to cultural events. You can do crafts from other countries and try new foods from other parts of the globe. You can join a multicultural moms group or host an international student. Most importantly, you can model to your child how to be a global citizen through your own behavior, by showing interest in other cultures and having sincere friendships with people from other backgrounds. (For more ideas, you can explore the resources on our Raising Global Citizens page).
Multiculturalism and global citizenship are a passion of mine because they make sense for the world today. We are more interconnected than ever, and if you want your child to thrive, s/he will need to be at ease with people from all over the world.
But my passion comes from a much deeper source than just this practical observation. It is rooted in my personal beliefs and upbringing. I can't talk about my outlook on parenting and the world today without mentioning my religion, the Baha'i Faith, which teaches that we should regard the planet as one country. This is not to say that we shouldn't be proud of where we are from. When seen within the context of our underlying unity, our diversity only adds to the beauty of the human race. So there is nothing wrong with a sane and rational patriotism, as long as our first loyalty is to all of humanity.
Based on this philosophy, my parents taught us to embrace all peoples and cultures. They went out of their way (sometimes literally, by driving us to other towns) in order to expose us to diversity. So although I was raised in a very small, very white little town in North Carolina (and later in a small, somewhat more diverse township in New Jersey), I grew up listening to Persian chants and eating adas polo, singing spirituals, and playing tag with kids from Teheran and Nairobi.
Along with other Baha'i kids, we sang songs about unity and drew pictures of colorful flower gardens, symbolizing how, just like the flowers, the different colors of humanity made us more beautiful.
But the Baha'i Faith is just my own particular well-spring. Many faiths and philosophies teach us to love our neighbors and to regard all we meet as our brothers. In fact, the Golden Rule can be found in all the major world religions. There is a common thread in many belief systems that, essentially, we are all one people.
And this, above all, is what I want to teach my little Monkey, not simply how to speak another language or do a craft from another country, as valuable as these activities are. I want him to carry in his heart the truth that, in the words of Baha'u'llah, "The earth is but one country and mankind its citizens."
Pin It now!