Nowdays, that the world's distances are no longer that wide and travelling by plane is sometimes cheaper that travelling by bus or your own car, not to mention faster and more comfortable! people get together from all races and colors and more and more you will see multicultural families. Being an expat is a frequently faced issue, you might have a dozen or more friends in that situation. Some have gone away from their country for a more stabile environment, for a better job or just to change something in their life. Maybe they are like me... I said I would stay in Poland for maximum 6 months, build up by CV a bit in the corporate environment and then move on, maybe to UK. Well... you never know what life throws at you, so here I am - more than 5 years later - married to a proud Polish lad and having the greatest blessing: #ladybugbabygirl is in our life! Well... and it's not only me in this situation... many multicultural families started like that, and considering how different the backgrounds of each of the partners could be... well... sometimes this might raise an issue. So without any further ado, here are some issues that the multicultural families face, as far as I could figure out:
- Where do you call Home? Where will you settle in? Where will you build roots? - everyone takes it as a given that once you get married you need to settle down, buy a place and make kids. In less words: get stability! That means you need to figure out where you wish to live, yours or his/hers homeland or just start it altogether in a whole different city / country. Either way you will go, don't listen to what others say. Think about it together, the 2 of you, seeing the pros and cons. Be brave!
- What language will you speak in together? What language will your children learn? - well that was a tough one for me... I always wanted to learn Polish so I could understand people around me, but you know... it's the 3rd hardest language in the world! And it did not resemble to any other language I knew... maybe a bit Russian but I did not remember that much Russian from what my granny taught me... now 5 years later after listening intensively I can understand pretty well unless you talk in dialect. We agreed that it is best for our small one to learn all 3 languages at once: I talk to her in Romanian, Marek in Polish and when together in English. I have met a couple who did the same. Their kid would mix the languages but when he turned 4 he understood the differences and talked truly in one language at a time. Kids brains are like sponges!
- What religion should they be baptised / christened in? What celebrations will you keep? Of course Christmas falls at the same time for everyone but take for example Christian and Orthodox Church and Easter. Very rarely they fall at the same time. We love to celebrate all; it keeps one continuously in a festive spirit, with a smile on your face :)
- Health, safety and the way to raise the child - maybe one of you ran around barefoot, bumping his head against objects in the way, eating fresh flowers or paper or stuffing your mouth with rocks vs. Proper child, probably raised with a nanny and not being allowed to get his/hers hands dirty. The way to go: find the middle ground so all of you (including the little one) will be happy.
- Splitting the holidays between 2 countries and probably not having any real holiday as you will have to visit family, friends, acquaintance and then... poof! Your vacation days are gone! The best thing is to try somehow to get family and friends to visit you at least once a year or meet on "neutral land", some country in between where you could actually have some time off ;)
How about you, are you a part of a multicultural family? Are you an expat like myself? What are your thoughts and feelings about the issues that multicultural families start? Or do you believe all is rainbows and unicorns? :) do share! I am all ears!
Yours very much sincerly,
The Twisted Red LadyBug That Loves Her Better Half And Her LadyBug Baby Girl