Tell me of your life, teach me of your culture - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 36 Old 12-12-2005, 07:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Here at MDC, there is a wide variety of backgrounds represented. I want to hear about it all! I want to hear about different cultures, and different upbringings... even the "normal" ones. Tell me of your tribe, your village, your neighborhood, your country... educate everyone here.

I'm American. I'm mixed with a lot of European ancestry, and some Native American. Growing up, we had no cultural roots that were clung to in our household. My paternal grandmother, however, is Irish Catholic, and she has always tried to instill that pride in me. I am proud of all my roots. It was known growing up that we are Native American along the maternal line. It was also known that with this came special power to the unbroken line of women. Our house was not a religious one, but we did have some beliefs. We believe in ghosts. We believe in near death experiences. We believe in psychic abilities. That has always been a normal, obvious belief in our family.

The neighborhood I grew up in was poor working class. There was a lot of racism. A lot of drug and alcohol abuse, and a lot of violence were in that neighborhood. Everybody knew everybody else. The neighborhood was approximately 4 blocks by 8 blocks, and consisted mainly of a few related families. They were all Americans... mixed European ancestry with no strong roots. We were one of the few families in the neighborhood that didn't have relatives living within the neighborhood (since I moved out of the neighborhood some relatives moved in the neighborhood). A lot of people were sick in the neighborhood as a result of buried chemicals. You've heard of the Love Canal, right? Same pollution level. For awhile, the parents fought for the government to do something about it. But, they all got exhausted from the fight, and gave up, busying themselves with their own drama in their lives.

There was a playground in the middle of the neighborhood, where the kids would go to play. There was never a parent present. Eventually, as the average age of the kids grew older, the playground started getting over-run with the teenage boys, who would drink heavily while playing B-Ball on the court.

We swore when we spoke, and started smoking early. We walked down the middle of the street, daring cars to hit us. We graffiti'd anything we could. Most of the time, we'd travel in packs. This would range from between 4 and 50 kids (yes fifty) at any given time. During the summer, there's always be a shopping cart left in the neighborhood, where the older kids would stick the younger kids in, and push them down the street. In the winter time, we created snowball wars, where I'd usually discover my brother was on the other team.

Our house had a pool, so all the neighborhood kids flocked there. Plus, my brothers had sports equipment for every sport imaginable. As you could guess, they were quite popular. There were boys in and out of the house all day. The majority of the kids in the neighborhood were boys, too, which made things interesting.

Oh, and a "celebrity" grew up in our neighborhood. We knew him as the neighborhood idiot... the world knew him as the man who got his c*ck cut off.

Most of the girls got pregnant by the age of 16. Most of the parents kicked their kids out of the house by that age. Domestic violence was typical.

The air smelled of burning rubber, smog, and marijuana. The homes weren't kept up. The paint was chipping. The fences were broken. The roofs were all in disrepair. The houses were close together. Our was one of the few houses in the neighborhood that looked decent, with new siding, a new roof, hedges trimmed, and a decent set up in the yard (a hammock, an adult swing, and flag polls with the american flag, navy flag, army flag, and the MIA/POW flag).

Oh, yeah, my father served in the navy, and he's big into the American pride thing. BIG TIME. And, he's big into hunting. Those were always a natural part of growing up... loving your country, and the right to bear arms. However, it was also a given that gun owners should be responsible, and it was always locked up, and we were taught respect for the guns.

Education wasn't a high priority in our house, as both my parents got their GED, yet my dad made nearly 6 figures (and this was years ago).

Oh, and in our house, we had a lot of animals growing up. Try at least 15 cats at any given time, plus 2 dogs.



Am I raising my children in a similar environment? No. Are you raising your kids similar to the way you grew up?
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#2 of 36 Old 12-12-2005, 12:15 PM
 
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my life? i was born to a jewish father and an irish catholic mother. we were working class and union family. my mom to this day still works for a major communications union. we traveled alot. christmas in hawaii and canada. friends in arizona. we weren't religious but there was a menorah in our house. my mother had complelely abandoned cathalocism. my younger sister and i went to public school our whole lives. i was shot with a bee bee gun while playing in the yard one year , maybe in the 5th grade. my sister was different, special, a slow learner. always needed help in school.my mother worked alot. my father raised my sister and i essentially. with mental illness i beleive he did the best he could with the resources he had.when i was 19 i was sent to live in nicaragua with my moms sister. i was dropping alot of acid and drinking and not knowing what to do. that experience changed my life and truly politicalized me. i meet people who did alot with very little with what they had.
now i am the mother to a half nicaraguan and irish girl. she turned seven on december 10th. it has been a good life so far. no major trauma.good health. good jobs. god has been good to me.
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#3 of 36 Old 12-12-2005, 12:17 PM
 
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oh, i did n't see the last question. yes and no. i travel at least 2 a year with dd. this past year we went to see relatives in wisconsin and camping. my mother raised me on meat, meat and more meat and dd is a vegetarian. i take her to union meetings. i 'm raising her catholic but am going to pull her out of the catholic school she is in now. she is being raised in the same house i was raised in
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#4 of 36 Old 12-12-2005, 12:52 PM
 
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My family is mostly European in origin, with a smattering of Native American. (Pretty common in New England.) My father's side is strongly Brit, with his mother being a Welsh war bride and his father all things Brit, though some generations back. They're all very fair, freckled, prone to red hair and sunburns, except my gram, a tiny, pale, "Black Welsh" woman who, at 84 years old, weighs the same she did on her wedding day, still has no grey in her hair, and hardly any wrinkles. That's also the side of my family that taught me about witchcraft, although quietly. My mother's side is mostly upstate New York farmer stock, with a lot of German ancestry, splashed with a healthy dose of Scots. They're all blond-haired and blue-eyed except my mother and uncle, who are both throwbacks to their great-grandmother, a Blackfoot Cherokee: black hair, brown eyes, olive skin, and high cheekbones.

Religiously we're mostly New England Christian -- i.e. Congregationalist or Episcopalian. Except, as noted above, for a few family members who have followed a family tradition of having and recognizing the "gifts" and teaching at least one child in the next generation the family traditions. Mostly the rest of the family isn't aware of this (that being one of the traditions) , although in this day and age I don't think they'd particularly care. My generation is much more open about it -- we also have more than one for the first time in a long time and a boy to boot: myself, my sister, and my cousin. I ended up pagan, she's Christian, and my cousin's, well, himself.

My sister and I grew up in the same house my father, his cousins, and my grandfather and his sibs all grew up in. It's not a huge house, but it was designed by my great-grandmother on a couple of acres overlooking the Connecticut River near the mouth. She was an odd duck, and designed half the house in the ranch style and the other half like a boat. There were a lot of nooks and crannies and strange design features, a hidden passage from the root cellar to the garden, and every generation has added something of their own to the house and gardens. It was a fun place to grow up.

I don't know that we have a lot of cultural traditions, but we have a lot of family traditions. My family's *very* big on tradition. Certain holidays are at certain houses every year. We all get together at every holiday and birthday. There are certain traditional "rules": I've never seen anyone fight at a family gathering (besides little kid squabbles), politics and religion are totally open for debate but you can't get mad about what's said, certain manners are upheld . . . and good beer is always appreciated. It's cool that the ILs even all get along and everyone's pretty relaxed around each other, even though we're all stubborn as hell, considerably opinionated, and don't like to be wrong. I'm thinking these traditions evolved as a means of survival.

Kids are encouraged to travel, and all the adults do so on a regular basis. My parents are going to Panama this winter just because they haven't seen it yet, my grams took a cruise through Alaska last year on a week's notice because my cousin invited them, and my aunt just got back from Macchu Piccu.

Education is valued; in this generation everyone's graduated high school and at least started college. It's just expected, and if anyone decided not to go that route, they'd probably have to be pretty free-spirited to get away with it. I think that's the only excuse that would fly. Likewise, art is a pretty common background. Both my grandfathers were artists, my great-grandmother, my aunt, innumerable other relatives. We're not a wealthy family by any means and probably never will be. If it isn't art, it's usually public service of some kind, although almost everyone holds down a "regular" job too -- it just isn't their passion or main focus, more a means to an end.

There's a lot about my family that I admire and am happy to pass on to my children. We're trying to provide a similar environment, where exploration and awareness of life outside your immediate world is standard, art and music are valued, education is important, and creativity is something to be celebrated. I think my family could be more communicative and less emotionally reserved, and I'm trying to change that in my own behavior with my children, but other than that, I feel grateful that they have such an active role in Qualia's life and will with our future kiddos.
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#5 of 36 Old 12-13-2005, 06:01 PM
 
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I'm half Polish & half Czecho- Slovak (more Slovak tho )
I'm only 2nd generation American. My family is very big on preserving our Euro culture & trads. I've kept up with some of the naming trads & so on.

most DH's family could care less but there's one part that really keeps up the Scottish (a tad Irish & tad German) trads so we hand with them. DH is learning so much about his roots!

I raised my DD with all the stories, pride & trads of her peeps.
Her bio-father's side is similar to mine so we bought them all in.

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OT - I have a good friend that was in the military & 1 of many sent to "clean up" Love Canal during it's heyday. She now has serious medical problems & had 3 m/c's after her time there :

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#6 of 36 Old 12-13-2005, 07:00 PM
 
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I'm 1/4 Polish, 1/4 German, 1/4 Lebanese and 1/4 mix of Danish, Irish, NA, French maybe and who knows what else. I was raised Roman Catholic although the hybrid 1/4 is protestant and the Lebanese 1/4 is Marionite Christian.

I was raised in a working class steel mill town in NW Indiana. There was racism to some degree. I'm closest to my Lebanese relatives so I actually consider myself more Lebanese than anything else. Food and family are important. All important discussion and holidays were about food. Family scandal ensued when a cousin married into a family that used cumin. Education was very valued and my sister and I were expected to go out and "do better" than my parents. That said, they didn't care how we "did better" as long as we went to college. To that end my parents saved to send us to the Catholic high school that was basically college prep. My mother read all of the time, still does. As a result I also became an avid reader. My grandfather was an officer in the air force so my mother went to 12 different schools growing up and was basically an air force brat. My grandfather didn't want her to go into the air force b/c the women that did were lesbians. My mother came out of the closet a couple of years after she divorced my father while I was in college.

I've taught my dd the Lebanese baby talk that I know. Education will also continue to be highly valued in our house, my dh is a teacher and I work for a college. I'll also teach her how to cook and hope that she will express an interest. I have my grandmother's bread dough bowl that was given to her by her MIL. I'd like it to meaningful to dd as well. We live in Vermont and not the same sort of working class I came from. I'm hoping it provides the ability to give her values from my upbringing that are good but also reject some of the bad ones.

I also hope to expand her horizons. My mother was agoraphobic growing up and my father well went to work in a steel mill at 16 when my mother was pg with me. So my parents didn't know a lot about the world or have much desire to travel. I'd like dd to know the world is hers.

I married an atheist and I'm basically a lapsed Catholic. Sometimes I'd like to raise dd Catholic just so she'd have that experience but it always seems hypocritical to do that when I don't believe myself. So we'll try to expose her to all religions. And at least she won't be shocked like I was to discover that the majority of people aren't Catholic.

It's funny someone at work said she never liked to feel that she belonged to a group b/c it implies us vs them. I wanted to say there's nothing wrong with feeling like you belong to a group it's when you begin to think your group is better than everyone else that the problems begin. But if you share your group so much good can come from it.
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#7 of 36 Old 12-13-2005, 07:06 PM
 
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I was raised in a conservative christian american household. We were poor and focused on Jesus. I didn't learn a thing of our ancestory or family history.

I am not raising my children in any of the traditions I was raised in.
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#8 of 36 Old 12-13-2005, 07:07 PM
 
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This is fun.

Let's see...
I grew up in the midwest, mostly in Milwaukee,
which is a beautiful little city on Lake Michigan.
We spent some time of almost every day at the lake.
We know the color of the lake before we see it,
because we can judge it from the color of the sky.

I was an only child, despite many miscarriages. My
family was always pretty ambiguously european,
although when I was a teenager I learned that my
grandaddy was born in Russia, and smuggled out in a
horsecart by his mom, a singer, and a russian jew.

Mostly we moved around quiet suburban middle-class
areas, many in Milwaukee. Milwaukee is extremely
segregated, and the segregation really ran deep. I
had black friends, but I never really considered
going into their neighborhoods until I became an
adventurous teenager. I had a chinese friend whose
parents ran a chinese restaurant, and we would eat
grilled cheese sandwiches while we waited for her
to come off her shift at night. I had some indian
friends, and I felt like part of some secret
culture, eating vegetarian food at their houses and
trying to learn hindi. Kids at school thought that
learning other cultures was a joke, as was my
vegetarianism. It was cool, though, thanks to Kurt
Cobain and the like. I could dye my hair, smoke
weed, follow the dead, and just be different. And,
thanks to grunge, I was cool.

I went to about 15 different schools around the
midwest, mostly milwaukee, but also Indianapolis,
while growing up. My mom has multiple sclerosis,
and my dad travelled a lot, so I took care of her
as much as I could from the time she had her first
stroke (when I was 3).

I went to college out east and then moved to the
east coast. My dad moved to Chicago, London
(remarried), Paris and now NY. My mom stayed in
milwaukee, in a quiet suburb, where she dates a
former mayor (local celeb).

I married an ethiopian man. My family tries hard to
mispronounce my kids' ethiopian names (We purposely
chose names that are difficult to mispronounce) and
avoid eating ethiopian food. He was the 12th of 12
kids, which is great, because although I was an
only child, our family is huge, although my inlaws
are scattered across Sweden, London, NY, Ethiopia &
Eritrea. In his family, extended breastfeeding,
cosleeping, babywearing, making your own baby food,
babymooning, celebrating women's entry into
motherhood, and keeping your maiden name are
normal. In my family, the same practices are wierd
and open for debate. Ethiopian culture is very
family friendly and child centered. Fortunately, we
live in a very multicultural region that has a huge
ethiopian population, so we're able to live both
cultures with ease, to some degree. And
fortunately, ethiopian food is great for
vegetarians.
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#9 of 36 Old 12-13-2005, 08:29 PM
 
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I was raised by lovely, wonderful lapsed Catholics--Irish, through and through. My extended family is religious, but my parents both felt betrayed by the fact that they were baptised as infants without any say in the matter . . . thus, they decided to leave the decision open for my brother and I. After much reflection and study I found my way to paganism at age 13, and have been learning ever since. My parents were fairly healthy but still big proponents of the Standard American Diet; I went vegan at age 20 and stayed that way for five years (have edged back into vegetarianism during this pregnancy).

DH is Latvian (first-generation on one side, second on the other), and his family is extremely connected to their roots--Latvian was his first language, he went to Latvian Saturday school as a child and Latvian summer camp as a youth. I was so enchanted by the culture that I ended up majoring in Baltic Studies at university, studied abroad there for my last semester, and have been dancing with the folk-dance troupe for 10 years now (DH has danced for 13).

We are planning on raising our children (one due in spring, more planned for the future) bilingual--trilingual, if you count signing! They will have Latvian names, speak Latvian at home as much as possible, etc., etc. We are purposely choosing Latvian names that are (a) not too difficult for my parents to pronounce, and (b) not easily Americanized.

DH's family is fairly religious, but DH considers himself "pagan at heart", so we will be celebrating the solstices and equinoxes at home, and will keep Xmas traditions with the extended family.

We are also looking forward to raising our family in the same house that DH grew up in--his parents are ready to move into a smaller space, and we are ALMOST ready for home-ownership, so as soon as we get our finances in order (next year, 2007 at the latest), we will be purchasing their home.

Both DH and I love to be outdoors and spend almost every summer weekend camping--can't wait to include a baby on next year's trips. We also love to travel, and we are already planning our first "family" trip to Latvia in 2008 (we had planned a big trip for next summer, but decided to cancel it when we found out we were expecting).
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#10 of 36 Old 12-13-2005, 08:42 PM
 
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Born to young, poor parents who were involved in a Christian cult (I am 3rd generation in that cult). They separated when I was 5. I had a severely handicapped brother. He was murdered by being shaken to death when he was 6 (he was the size of a 1yo) by my mom's bf at the time. The bf was found guilty 19 years after the fact and is serving time. When brother died, I was taken by CPS and put into my dad's home. He was abusive to me. I became a champion long distance runner. Moved back in with mom at age 16 and she was not the best mom but she didn't beat me. Mom kicked me out the day I graduated from hs becuase I was no longer her responsibility. I have to minor half-sibs that I have not seen for 7 years b/c I no longer have my mom in my life and she won't let me see the sibs. Went to college on running scholarship, earned degree, got married at 21. Worked for awhile as a tech writer, quit when I got pg with dd1. Have been to India 3x because my dh is from India. I am a Hindu/Pagan ecclectic and dh is Hindu. We will have been married 10 years in Jan. That about sums it up!

7yo: "Mom,I know which man is on a quarter and which on is on a nickel. They both have ponytails, but one man has a collar and the other man is naked. The naked man was our first president."
 
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#11 of 36 Old 12-13-2005, 08:57 PM
 
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one thing I love about my culture... (post 5 )
we use anything as an excuse to eat, drink ,dance & get together AND it;s nothing unless there is a baby or 2 to pass around & kids running around. We are super family people!

eta - my family was really poor imigranys that worked themselves up. They had the worst of the worst job given to them - steel mill workers, hard, cruel laborers, mine workers, etc but it was always taught to me to share with lthose that have less - man they had nothing as it was but my G-mas always made 1 more plate of food "in case" someone came over.
Kids came 1st also

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#12 of 36 Old 12-13-2005, 10:52 PM
 
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My family have been in New Zealand for about 80 years all up- they came from Northern England, Wales and the goldfields of Australia to name a few places. None had much when they got here, but they all made good by sheer hard work.None of them were particularly religious, mostly Anglican and one of my grandfathers was a mason. Im a celtic reconstructionist myself, so Ive certainly gone off the path, so to speak...Lol.
My own path gives me the opportunity to delve into my ancestry and to learn one of my mother languages-welsh.
We had a lot of gatherings when we were kids and it was common for us to go and stay with the grandparents- not something my dh did, so he didnt get to know his grandparents that well, which is sad....my kids and parents are carrying on the tradition , however.
Im bringing up my kids a bit differently to the way I was brought up- no talking back for us, but I like my kids to have an opinion...Lol.
I travelled for a few years and did crazy things, married fairly young to the straightest man I could find... and finally got to have all the cats and dogs I wanted
Oh, and next year Im going back to study........I cant wait.
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#13 of 36 Old 12-13-2005, 10:57 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by polka123
one thing I love about my culture... (post 5 )
we use anything as an excuse to eat, drink ,dance & get together AND it;s nothing unless there is a baby or 2 to pass around & kids running around. We are super family people!
Right on, polka123! The Latvians are much the same; they LOVE to eat, drink and dance . . . and love those babies as well! DH and I have been enjoying the eating/drinking/dancing part so far (our wedding celebration stretched out over five days, and the reception alone was 12 hours long!), and are really looking forward to adding a baby to the mix next year!

I will be missing out on the family tradition at Xmas dinner this year, though--vodka shots at every place that are constantly refilled for toasts!
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#14 of 36 Old 12-13-2005, 11:32 PM
 
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#15 of 36 Old 12-13-2005, 11:45 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Journey
Oh, and a "celebrity" grew up in our neighborhood. We knew him as the neighborhood idiot... the world knew him as the man who got his c*ck cut off.
I grew up near where he lived when he got it cut off.
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#16 of 36 Old 12-14-2005, 12:33 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Birth Junky
Right on, polka123! The Latvians are much the same; they LOVE to eat, drink and dance . . . and love those babies as well! DH and I have been enjoying the eating/drinking/dancing part so far (our wedding celebration stretched out over five days, and the reception alone was 12 hours long!), and are really looking forward to adding a baby to the mix next year!

I will be missing out on the family tradition at Xmas dinner this year, though--vodka shots at every place that are constantly refilled for toasts!
you know it - something about the Poles, Urkaines, Czechs, Slovaks, Latvians, Belarus & alike .. they all do it but then again, we all came from about 8-10 tribes in ancient times.

Yes, Poles were notorious for 2-3 day wedding receptions - Bride & Groom long gone but the partying went on.
We had one of my Aunties 89th B-day party in a neighborhood pub/restaurant... that's where she wanted it

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#17 of 36 Old 12-14-2005, 12:51 PM
 
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Originally Posted by noorjahan
Nice thread!!!

I've to say that last 7 years in the US I didn't learn as much as I did last few months coming here about American life!!!!

I can actually write so much that I'm afraid I'll bore you all!

My ethnicy is Bengali and nationality is Bangladeshi. I think, 80% up are Muslim and the rest Hindus and Christian and Buddisths in my country.

I was actually typing up the reply..........but turned out I have so MUCH to say..........that it's impossible for me to write at one sitting!!!!!And I would hate to give tini tiny info.........caz there are so many things!! And I would LOVE to say every single details!!!!

Jouney, if you or anyone else wants to know anything specific ask me, I'll write like that.
Please please just tell us some about your childhood and how you got here. I'm very interested.
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#18 of 36 Old 12-14-2005, 07:25 PM
 
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more please?

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#19 of 36 Old 12-15-2005, 12:06 AM
 
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#20 of 36 Old 12-15-2005, 02:51 AM
 
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My paternal family is German, my maternal is Norweigan. My parents didn't really honor any special cultural events or traditions. We weren't involved much in organized religion - sometimes we'd go to church on holidays. We spent Holidays with my wonderful Grandparents, who are still alive and well, and spend time with my kids. They are the ones who taught me abut the importance of family.

I grew up in an affluent suburb. The kids were snobby, had lots of money and little supervision. I remember in my graduating class, a poll done said 85% of us smoked pot. There was a lot of bigotry, lot of teasing the poor kids.

My parents were not rich, but we pretended we were. They were involved with Amway and it was very important to appear wealthy. Thus, we took extravagant vacations to the Caymans, wore expensive clothing, dined out, etc. I was a child model, which made me self-conscious and hyper aware of myself at a young age. We went bankrupt when I was 5, the same year my mom got pregnant with another man's child and left my dad.

For the next 10 years, she went back and forth between 2 men - my father and my 2 little brothers' father. They'd move in and out within weeks, we'd have to play both sides. One would live with us for 6 months, move out, and my mom would ask the other to move in under the guise of a long-term committment. Back and forth, for 10 years. I did a TON of drugs, slept around, stayed out for days at a time, cut school...I finally moved out when I was 16, and lived happily with just my father until he died a year later suddenly, and I had to go back with my mother and that lifestyle of different men every few months. One molested me, she didn't believe me. I dropped out of school, and moved out, got a job, met my dh. I got married when I was 20 to an incredible man who I love like crazy.

We have 2 kids who we are NOT raising the way I was raised. We are loving, stable, and committed to each other. I don't have traditions to pass on to my kids, so we are making our own Hopefully my children will have some to pass on to their kids.
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#21 of 36 Old 12-15-2005, 03:02 AM
 
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I'm Irish, born in Ulster
We emigrated to Canada when I was an infant, so I don't remember home. I will say, however, that I was raised very Irish and had some trouble from time to time w/ the Canadians. They're (we're) unbelievably polite, sometimes to the point of nothing getting done And I tend to be...opinionated.

I remember in high school someone asking me where I was from, and that was a weird question, because I don't have an accent(sober, anyway). I said "Ireland, why?" and she replied "Oh, you smell ethnic." I guess the ham 'n pea soup that me ma had been cooking for 2 days had seeped into my skin and hair. So gross...

ps. I wish there was a tricolour flag Or the Canadian flag done in the 3 colours, even better!
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#22 of 36 Old 12-15-2005, 01:24 PM
 
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I'm one of those people that had an idyllic childhood. I wouldn't change anything about it.

My ancestry is European (mostly from England, Scotland, Ireland, Italy, Denmark, Switzerland). My dad's family has been in the US since the 1600s but my mom's mostly from the mid-1800s. My dad's family for the past 100 years was well-educated and held professional jobs for the most part. My great-grandmother had a college degree! So did my grandmother. My mom's family was poor and uneducated but hardworking and wonderful people! My mom was the first college graduate in her close extended family. She was always encouraged to continue her education.

Both of my parents are very well educated professionals. I was raised in a small college town in Kentucky. We had people from many different cultures around us and I always loved learning about them. Most of my friends had at least one parent that was either a doctor or a professor. I was raised in a family that was middle class: my mom was a SAHM, Dad was a university administrator. We traveled, had awesome experiences, were encouraged to learn. Compassion and giving to others was a main philosophy in my family. There were constantly kids over--a real open door policy! My parents were fun and affectionate. We were involved in lots of things (sports, arts, etc). I was very blessed growing up.

I was raised LDS (Mormon) and still believe deeply. Religious traditions play a big role in our family life. It's a very family and earth friendly religion. I see the sacred in almost everything so many Pagan ideas aren't a stretch for me (I just also believe in Christ ). I have always had an interest in other cultures and beliefs. I love to learn (awesome thread, BTW). One reason I love MDC is because of the fantastic cultural environment.

We have tons of awesome traditions in my family. I have 7 siblings. We are very close and love to get together with our families. My whole extended family is made up of very good people who have often influenced me for good. We never lived close to my mom's family but my dad's extended family gets together at least 3 times a year and we love to be together.

My mom was the one that really influenced me in my philosophies. She breastfed all 8 children when it wasn't popular, had 7 natural childbirths, encouraged creative play, taught us wonderful things, belonged to food co-ops and cooked almost everything from scratch, was a nurturing, loving, attached mother. I can't say enought good things about her influence. My dad was loving but a workaholic. He's improved with age!

I married my sweetie when I was 20, adopted our first (and so far only) child when I was 28. I am raising my DD much the same way I was raised. She is multi-racial and multi-ethnic so I hope to have a greater world influence in her life but mine wasn't shabby. I would feel very successful if I could raise her as well as I was raised.
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#23 of 36 Old 12-17-2005, 07:29 PM
 
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#24 of 36 Old 12-17-2005, 07:34 PM
 
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#25 of 36 Old 12-17-2005, 07:42 PM
 
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I was thinking about this the other day, at the park with my babies.

I'm a third generation Californian. I've lived most of my life no more than 5 miles from PCH/Hwy 1. The Pacific Coast is so much a part of me. My "culture" is life at the beach; the exact shape of an overhead seagull is imprinted in my mind, as is the oceany fragrance of fog in June, the lovely blue-violet of Jacaranda blossoms and Agapanthus spikes in July, the hazy glare of December sunshine.
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#26 of 36 Old 12-19-2005, 07:27 PM
 
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very worth a bump !

Me & DH hug2.gif , adult DD lips.gif & 7 yo DS guitar.gif . 2 GSDs, 6 rescue kitties, 4 birds & a gerbil.
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#27 of 36 Old 12-19-2005, 10:56 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noorjahan
How I ended up here

Well, my dad has his own business. He has Chemical business and now he is also an owner of leather tannery. Dad exports and imports chemical that are used for tanning animal skin that turns those into leather, which ends up in big European and Asian cities to make leather products. Like I said he was very ambitious, all he knew was making loads and loads of $$$, and also because he needed it. He had a big family and so many of his relatives depended on him, and still do. He also worked as an Agent (not salaried on commission based, he hated working for someone and hence the business) for a German company named “Bayer” in Bangladesh. He used to give Bayer co. clients. So, because of his nature of his business he always was out of the country at least 4/5 times per year. Those times we used to look forward to!!!!! Lol. When he would be out of the country instead of studying we would watch TV!!

So, all of his friend are from the same occupation. And all of them make load of $ and travels and their main job was to have their children compete in study against each other. It was very tough on us. We would always hear from my dad ‘so and so’s son or daughter did this in exam, what the heck you do?” It was so MUCH pressure. When I think about that time I actually get headache! So, anyway, we have a huge Exam, which is AKA as Exam of our life time, caz how we do will decide our future! And we have that exam after 12th grade and depending on the score on that exam one gets to study medicine, law, engineering, English, Intl Relations and so on. Usually hundreds of thousands students take those exams per year and again there is ranking system. This time since thousands of thousands student take part those who get into first 20 places, are treated like celebrities. I mean it. It’s every good students dream to get a place then. My dad’s friends children who used to spend $$ on private tutor none of the made that list!!!!!!!! So much for competition!!! And can I do a serious bragging???? Guess who made it? I did!!!! The year I took the exam which was in 1997, 700,000 students took the test (it’s published in newspaper) and I got the 20th (yeah I know it’s the last place, but still!!) So, you know journalists come and take pics and ask question how many hours did you study????? Seriously, some students answered 19 hours on a daily basis!!!! But I missed my celebrity moment caz I was in Germany with my dad when the result was published. But I still have the newspaper that has my name with my test score!!!

My older brother decided to study Aeronautical Engineering in 1995. So, he came here with student visa. After my result, usually those who get a place in that exam ends up coming to US or UK for higher education not all but 90%. And by 1995 by dad also bought a fabric store in Times Square, NY, so since he could pay for my tuition too including my brother’s he said I should come here for B.A, so I did. I took TOEFL, in case you don’t what’s that: that is an exam to see how proficient non-native speakers are in English. My younger sister also came here to study Chemical Engineering (that’s because my dad wanted). Now I don’t have any contact with my brother though. So I came and met my hubby few months later, got married!!!!!! However, we all had to send out transcripts to my dad when semester ends he wanted to make sure we were doing well!!!

When I went to the US Embassy to get the Student visa, which they don’t want to give that easily, they refused me the first day. They said if you go there you will end up staying. My dad, that night wrote a nasty letter and fax it to the embassy and told me to go to the Embassy next morning. And I ended up getting student visa! Apparently he wrote “if she goes there, does well in study and gets a good job what the hell is your problem?” I’m not kidding, that’s what he wrote. I guess Visa Officers were just shocked to see such letter!

So, anyway, that’s my life story. I hope you learned something new!!!! Basically being a child in Bangladesh is no fun!

And now I'm going *in hidding* afte making you read such..............nonsense!
very, very fascinating. i met a beautiful young woman from bangladesh whom i befriended. i am so interested in other cultures! thanks for sharing.

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#28 of 36 Old 12-20-2005, 11:00 PM
 
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Started a thread based on this thread in another part of this commune.

https://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=385747

Thank you.
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#29 of 36 Old 12-21-2005, 12:37 AM
 
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Were to begin...............

I was born at Lakeview hospital right across the street from the Milw. County Zoo ( no jokes please : )

Back then it was a pretty crunchy hospital.........my mom came in and was told she had the flu up until her water broke.......

The nurse immedialtely looked and she was already crowning.........my dad who was watching a baseball game said.........do we ahve to do this now .........
He had no clue back then

My parents married at 19 and 24........the same ages Dh and I were..........they had 5 kids.........3 of them homebirth........my sis was hospital just b/c my parents were butt broke and the insurance wouldnt pay for it unless she was in a hospital
But when she got there she threw the nurses out and birthed with only her totally crunchy general practtioner and her midwife..........
Her midwife to this day has been present at 4 of my moms births and one of mine
And she retied this summer

I actually grew up very crunchy......everything from CLW to co-sleeping all the time.......to eating healthy almost vegitarian.........to no vax..........homeschooled all my life.........homebirth.........almost never saw a doc.............our family doc yelled at my mom for bringing us in b/c we had a cold He even did house calls all the time
He was awesome!!!!!!!!!!!! He sold his practice to a doc with 6 kids and this doc doesnt vax and is very pro homebirth and pro bfeeding

I grew up in Milw until I was almost 11........and yes I afree it is VERY SEGRAGATED......Hispanics on the south side.......African Americans on the North Side.........All the hippies crunchies and college kids on the East Side ........and the rich ppl live in the suburbs.....or in the highrises down town

Great mix of many cultures though.......you can find almost anything in Milw


But now a days it is segragation by choice almost........if you are white on the southside you are ignored completely.....no matter how nice you are

I am 1/4 Croatian.......1/2 German and the last 1/4 is a mix of Cherokee, English, Irish

I have almost no ethic influence in my life.......if was never kept going once my g-parents got off the boat
By I am working very hard to change that

My dad was a navy dude turned truck driver......so lotsa swearing

my mom was voted in high school lest likely to have kids
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#30 of 36 Old 07-25-2006, 10:47 PM
 
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