Diwali, the festival of lights is one of my favourite times of the year. The food prep, the gift prep, the pujas, the family parties and the mithai boxes can be so much fun but the gift-giving and parties can also keep things very busy!
My husband is from South India and I am Canadian. We are the living, walking, breathing epitome of cultural differences -- he is Hindu, I am Catholic; he is a strict vegetarian, I am not; he comes from a huge traditional Iyengar family, I come from a very small Canadian family. We met and fell in love 10 years ago in college, and it still stands that he's the best thing that ever happened to me.
Who hasn't gone through playground drama, right? What I didn't realize is how this situation was making daughter feel low about herself and her ability to handle her emotions on the playground. I think like most parents I wasn't sure how much to ask her about stress. Culturally, many of us grew up with more conversations about academics and marks than conversations about feelings and stress.
Anyone who has had or has ever been to an Indian wedding knows that they are not like other Canadian weddings. Indian weddings can last four or more days of festivities -- they really do become a marathon of sorts.
We tend to be more liberal with our kids while living in the country of our origin but move to the West and suddenly stricter rules are imposed. I suppose it is a fear of the unknown. But I have to remind myself this is the country where my daughter will be growing up; it is equally her home as her birth country.
I understand baby M's preference for her brothers' toys and enjoy watching her play with them. I was a tomboy as a child and I secretly like that she seems to be one as well. However, I think my expectations of seeing her playing quietly with what Toys "R" Us would deem "girl toys" is definitely changing
After months of research and swatches you finally got your wedding outfits in order. Colour coordinated, jewelry and make up synced with footwear to match or compliment the outfit. But once all the hoopla is over, does that expensive outfit get packed-never-to-see-the-daylight again? That doesn't sound right
If there is a day where your ethnicity truly stands out, it has to be report card day. If you have been raised by South Asian parents, you know what I am talking about. Your parents could have been the sweetest, politest head nodding in agreement sort until the day your school smarts is up for evaluation. If it didn't read praise all the way through you probably were in trouble.
He walks out every morning wishing he didn't have to. He bids farewell to his beautiful baby. What milestone will he miss today? A glorious toothless smile? A giggle during tummy time? The first time he says dada? To all the father's who bid farewell each morning to their babies to provide for their families, kudos to you. You just might be doing the world's toughest job.
Each child is different, gifted uniquely, and those moments of celebration, even if all you do is take them out for Dollar Menu sundaes, builds their confidence. Teaching them not to give up. And helps them to expect more of themselves. And in the end, they need to know that they are loved, accepted, and treasured, apart from their accomplishments. Simply because they are yours.
As a Bangladeshi feminist working wife and mother, I have more than my share of explaining why I am raising my daughter to be an independent young woman instead of one who studies Bollywood movies for moral direction. Being a brown feminist mom is a daily battle, but more so with others than myself.
In my mind the modern day version of the 'arrangement' is boy and girl meet each other based on the recommendation of family or friends, it could be in a somewhat chaperoned setting or on their own, depending on how open-minded the respective families are. Both parties are equally allowed a say in the matter.
The roots of a push present date back to India. A woman would be showered with jewelry, a sari or cash -- called a Godh Bharai. This ritual has been around for centuries. I simply assumed that any woman would love a present for pushing another human being out of her body. It turns out my assumption was incorrect.
The first three weeks, she was completely immobile and bedridden. During this time, I have never been so busy in my life but I have never felt so fulfilled. Caring for a bedridden mother, two little boys and a newborn, while my husband was forced to go out of town for work, made me realize what life is really about.
You might say this is a classic case of the blind leading the blind. What I offer you here are pearls of wisdom after 15 years of marriage and seven years of being a divorced single parent. Had I known then what I know now, perhaps my happily ever after would have happened the first time around.
This question is similar to asking a married woman if she gets along with her husband's last long-term girlfriend. For most women the answer may be no. But for stepmothers the situation is much more complex. Your step children's mother's presence is deeply embedded in your lives because of the influence she has on them, even though you may rarely ever interact with her yourself.
I decided to ask some of my favourite Masalamommas I know how they plan to raise strong girls, what they've done to foster strength in their daughters and for those that have sons, what's the plan on teaching him how to treat women well. I think you will enjoy their answers as much as I did.
Having children is a real eye opener into your soul. You really get an opportunity to look at yourself and listen to yourself -- your kids mimic everything you do. If you are going to bully them, they will bully back -- other siblings, kids in school, even you. So it is extremely important to lead by example.
At their age, the best explanation I can give my kids is that we are Muslim and that's why we don't celebrate Christmas. I know that as they get older, I can get into more detail but for now, that will have to suffice. We still wish our friends and neighbours who celebrate a Merry Christmas just as they wish us a Happy Eid when it's our turn and I hope to pass on this respect for other holidays and faiths to our children.