Exploring the Pacific Islands

Heritage blog1

Heritage blog1

This year to honour Asian-Pacific Heritage month I have made a simple printable that will help you and your children/ students with exploring the Pacific Islands!

Just click on the image below to open a file in another window!

pdf image pacific islands

As I mentioned in two of my previous posts, I have no direct relationship with the actual Heritage month since it is mainly honoured in the USA. However, I can absolutely relate to it granted our family’s diverse cultural background, and the fact, that part of our family lives in the United States and Guyana.

I think such heritage months should already become international since the United States itself has a very complex diverse population, that includes so many ethnic background from around the world!

Please do scroll down to see what other bloggers have shared! And hop over to our landing page to enter an amazing Giveaway!

 

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Welcome to our third annual Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month Blog Series and Giveaway!

Do visit my posta from last year and 2014.

May 2
Pint Size Gourmets on Multicultural Kid Blogs: Mixed Ethnicity – The Children to Asian Pacific Islanders

May 3
The Art Curator for Kids: Otagi Nenbutsu-ji Temple

May 5
Crafty Moms Share: Katie Chin’s Everyday Chinese Cookbook

May 6
Creative World of Varya

May 9
Crafty Moms Share: Malaysian and Singapore Children’s Favourite Stories

May 12
All Done Monkey: Coconut Curd Recipe

May 13
Colours of Us: 30 Asian and Asian-American Children’s Books

May 16
Bicultural Mama: 11 Chinese Foods that Are Not Really Chinese

May 17
Wise Owl Factory: Vocabulary and Word Search Printable and Classic Stories

May 23
Miss Panda Chinese: Interview with My Son on Learning His Heritage Language

May 27
Pack-n-Go Girls on Multicultural Kid Blogs

May 30
Crafty Moms Share

My China Story {Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month Blog Series}

 

 

 

 

 

Asian-Pacific 2015

This year several bloggers from Multicultural Kid Blogs Community have again gathered to commemorate Asia-Pacific American Heritage Month. While some of us don’t live in the US or not from there, we either have an Asian-Pacific background or reside in the region. 

Last year I shared with you a bit of my family’s background. And you do know I have been living in China for the past 14 years. Today I would like to honour Asian-Pacific heritage by sharing you a story – my China story.

Some time in 2001 I had a dear friend moving to China and telling me what an exciting place it was. She kept calling me and convincing that I should try and come here for at least a year. So I applied to various schools and long story short – I received an invitation to work for an educational company that published books (Little Dragon American English –  the program that unfortunately doesn’t exist anymore), and sent teachers to kindergartens to teach. 

I remember how I felt going to the Chinese Embassy, getting my visa, getting my flight ticket and getting help from a bunch of supportive friends.

I remember landing in Chengdu, the first city I lived in. It was a little cold (end of November), but not the cold I was used to: it was humid and the cold would reach down to the depth of my bones and joints. Friends used to take us sometimes to local restaurants where I couldn’t eat the food: it was so full of chilli pepper that my mouth burnt for days if I ate at least something. Just as generous they were and treated us, they also soon understood my misery and would always order extra dishes for me that had no spices in them. They also took great interest in how everything was for me and one family used to invite me often to dinners at their house. They treated me with love and respect and made sure I was as comfortable as possible. This is how I first learned about big hearts Chinese have. 

I spent 3 months in Chengdu and then I moved onto Shenzhen – a big city in the South of China. It was the first time I tried sweet & sour sauce they made lots of food with. I really enjoyed living in Shenzhen- I made lovely friends and I worked in 2 beautiful kindergartens.

Harbin – a city in Heilongjiang. I lived there for a year teaching in kindergartens and learning the basics of Chinese language. Harbin belonged to Russia for a short period of time and since it is very close to Russian border in Far East, there are lots of Russians there working and studying and you can find Russian food and many older people still speak Russian pretty well!!!

My next city for a year and a half was Qingdao. I will always hold dear the time I spent in this coastal city. It is by far my most favorite city in China! The climate is not too humid, not too dry. The winter is also not too cold. But there is some mild snow. The city used to belong to Germany for a very short time and there is an older part of the city where you can find buildings built in Gothic style and the streets paved with stones. Beautiful!

After Qingdao I moved to Beijing. It was a city with a special character (which is not there much anymore – the city is still beautiful but the older structures have been replaced with new, modern and shiny ones). Beijing will always be special to me as that’s where my husband and I got married!

So, once I was done with my contract, I moved to Zhuhai, where I am residing now and where we are bringing up our 3 children. I have written about Zhuhai when participated in Neighbourhoods around the World Series.

So that’s just a summary. 

What have I learned so far about Chinese people? I believe Chinese people have very open hearts. They will treat you with love and respect as long as you are true and honest with them. I can’t say I have never encountered anyone here who is completely the opposite of what I said above. But overall and vast majority of people I met were kind and helpful. Even our best friends, people whom we can trust with all our lives, are Chinese.

This doesn’t really change when Chinese move abroad: they still follow their cultural trends, they try their best to bring children up with dignity and patience. Most of Chinese I know are hard-working people and very persistent in achieving their goals. 

I am grateful for China has brought me lots of experience, both professional and personal, and since this is where my family was born, it will always hold dear in my heart.

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Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month Blog Series 2015 | Multicultural Kid Blogs

Multicultural Kid Blogs is excited to announce our second annual Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month Blog Series and Giveaway! See our main page for a full schedule, and be sure to enter the amazing giveaway below!

The giveaway starts Monday, May 4 and goes through Monday, June 1. Enter for a chance to win one of these amazing prizes!

Please note that there are shipping restrictions on some prizes. In the event that the winner lives outside of the shipping area, that portion of the prize will be added to the following prize package.

Grand Prize Package

Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month Blog Series & Giveaway 2015 | Multicultural Kid BlogsThe Grand Prize Package includes:

Personal Tea Ceremony Gift Set from Gift a Feast
Includes everything you need to prepare and enjoy matcha, the tea served in traditional Japanese tea ceremonies. Enjoy being part of the journey of matcha tea from the temples of 12th century Buddhist monks to today! US shipping only

Calin Yang Doll from Pattycake Doll Company
For the parents of Multicultural, Biracial, Black or Asian children, finding that perfect doll used to be a challenge. But today all that has changed. Pattycake Doll Company is the recognized source for Black, Asian, Hispanic, Biracial, and Multicultural Dolls as well as Dolls for Boys, and donate 10% of profits to children’s charities. This month’s contest winner will receive the most popular Asian Baby Doll in the world – Calin Yang by Corolle.

Asian Kites from Tuttle Publishing
Kids will learn how to make colorful kites while exploring Asian culture and history with this easy-to-follow crafts for kids book.

All About Japan from Tuttle Publishing
2012 Creative Child Magazine Preferred Choice Award Winner! A cultural adventure for kids, All About Japan offers a journey to a new place—and ways to bring it to life! Dive into stories, play some games from Japan, learn some Japanese songs.

Hello, Bali from Kids Yoga Stories
Say good day to the magical island of Bali through these energizing yoga poses for kids. Join one of the Yoga Kids, Anamika, as you surf like a surfer, dance like a Balinese dancer, and sit like a monkey. Included is a list of Kids Yoga Poses, Basic Indonesian phrases, and a Parent-Teacher Guide with tips on creating a successful yoga experience.

1st Prize Package

Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month Blog Series & Giveaway 2015 | Multicultural Kid Blogs

The 1st Prize Package includes:

Udon Noodle Bowls from Uncommon Goods
Whether you’re hosting a dinner party or lounging on the couch, this creation is ideal for udon, soup or stir-fry. A blend of a mug and a bowl, the handmade piece is contoured to fit snugly in the palm of your hand. Black lacquer bamboo chopsticks included. US Shipping only

Japanese House Architectural Blocks Set from HABA
One of the oldest cultures in the world also has one of the most beautiful forms of architecture. Complicated multi-tier roofs and ornate pagodas allow the builder to create temples, palaces or calming formal gardens. With this set your child can take their imagination on a trip to Japan in the safety of their own living room. US/Canada Shipping Only

All About Indonesia from Tuttle Publishing
A book for children that takes them on an adventure through one of the world’s largest and most culturally diverse countries. Along the way, kids are introduced to Indonesian culture and history, the food, the language, and the natural beauty of this fascinating country!

Fun with Asian Food from Tuttle Publishing
This Asian cookbook for kids contains fun and easy recipes that children will love to cook and dishes that even the pickiest eaters will savor!

Indian Children’s Favorite Stories from Tuttle Publishing
This colorfully illustrated multicultural children’s book presents Indian fairy tales and other folk stories—providing insight into a rich literary culture.

2nd Prize Package

second prize Collage

The 2nd Prize Package includes:

Sushi Slicing Play Set from Melissa & Doug
This elegant 24-piece wooden sushi play-food set is packed in a beautiful storage box and includes sliceable sushi rolls, shrimp, tuna, easy-use chopsticks, a cleaver and more. Sushi rolls make realistic chopping sounds when sliced! US/Canada Shipping Only

Countryside from Kevin So
An album filled with “heartfelt great songs, great singing and great playing…simply something you’ll love if you’re a fan of originality, melody, surprising lyrics and beautiful instrumentation, beautifully played.” Learn more about this artist and listen to samples of his work here.

Book from the Maui New Zealand series from Global Kids Oz
Enjoy a book of from this collection of New Zealand Maori Myths and Legends that every New Zealand child is brought up with in school!

Angkat: The Cambodian Cinderella from Lee & Low
In the first English retelling of this ancient Cambodian tale, our heroine goes further, survives more, and has to conquer her own mortality to regain her rightful place. Angkat—child of ashes—endures great wrongs as she seeks to rise above the distresses caused by her own family. US Shipping only

Summoning the Phoenix: Poems and Prose About Chinese Musical Instruments from Lee & Low
Including both flights of fancy and practical considerations, lively poems capture each child’s musical experience with a different Chinese instrument, while sidebars provide more information about each one. US Shipping only

Sixteen Years in Sixteen Seconds: The Sammy Lee Story from Lee & Low
The incredible true story of the first Asian American to win an Olympic gold medal. Winner of Lee & Low’s New Voices Award. US Shipping only

Juna’s Jar from Lee & Low
When her best friend moves away, Juna sets out to search for him with the help of a special jar. What Juna finds is that adventure—and new friends—can be found in the most unexpected places. US Shipping only

A Place Where Sunflowers Grow from Lee & Low
A powerful story of hope, recounting the little known tale of the art schools that offered moments of solace and self-expression to Japanese Americans in the US internment camps of World War II. US Shipping only

Enter for a Chance to Win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Heritage and Cultural Identity Crisis {Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month Blog Hop}

heritage
When I first decided to co-host this blog hop, I stopped and thought – how does my family fit into an AMERICAN Heritage Month? We are not Americans. Nor do we live there. However, granted my family’s very rich and diverse background I decided I can come up with a post sharing on how we fit into Asian-Pacific heritage at all and how we deal with cultural identity crisis.

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Meet me again: I am originally from Russia. My mother’s family comes from Altai Krai (see the map below).

Courtesy of Wikipedia

My father’s family comes from Poland, Belorussia and the area now known as Tomsk Oblast in Russia (see the map below for the latter).

Courtesy of Wikipedia

My maternal grandmother has been married to a man who comes from a minority called Shors.

Shors National Dance and Music Group – shor-people.ru

I was born in Buryat Autonomous Region and grew up in Zabaikalie. So most of my life I spent in Asia.
Meet my husband: he grew up in Tanzania. His mother comes from Lebanon and his father is half Persian half Turkish (Azerbaijani) from the North region of Iran. His mother’s family is originally from Iran too, however, their ethnic background is so rich that they even have Mongolian roots! His family members and relatives currently live on almost every continent in the world, they are in multicultural-multiracial marriages and there is no better word to describe my husband’s family but the global citizens. When my husband is asked where he is from, he always replies it is hard to pinpoint the exact place as he was born in one country, which he left at the age of 2 months, grew up in Tanzania, then spent over 10 years in India, now almost 10 years in China. And his family is all over the world!
Meet my children: both my girls and the baby to come are born into our family are currently undergoing an identity crisis. With parents coming from such different backgrounds, being born and living in China, being exposed to at least 3 different languages, my older daughter is confused and can’t give a straight answer where she is from. Now that she is older, she asks questions and tries to make the connections that a brain of 5 year old is capable to make.
As global citizens, we respect our cultural backgrounds. However, we had this unanimous decision made not to stick or impose any cultural traits in our family unless they are applicable to all backgrounds. We raise our children to respect all nations, all cultures, and all peoples of the world. And in reality, when a certain part of their ethnic background is emphasized to point a character trait or a physical feature, I feel very uncomfortable as in my personal opinion it is the diversity of that background that makes them so unique and should give them more chances to adapt easily and fit in anywhere they go.
I want to share some thoughts and ideas on how to deal with your child’s multicultural identity crisis. I am only touching basics here. The cultural identity crisis is a much broader and complicated subject and it is very different for every individual and every family. I am sure we might be dealing with some more issues as our children grow older. But for now here are some things that have been helpful to us:
1. Moral education. Educate your child about equality and diversity. There is nothing better you can do for your child than make him/her truly believe in these 2 great forces that ultimately give us all a chance at peaceful and fair life.
2. Exposure to the world and cultures. It doesn’t mean you have to hop on a plane and rush to another country. You can do it in the comfort of your own home. We have so many resources at our disposal: movies, cartoons, blogs, websites, maps, books – you name them! All these resources not only show us how small the world really is, but also how connected we are!
3. Investigate your own background if possible. It is always interesting to know where your family comes from and despite how diverse it is, we learn to appreciate the history, we also self-educate.
4. Learn other languages. Whether they are related to your own background or not – I found it helpful that my older child can speak Chinese. She can relate to people she spends a lot of time with and she learns more about appreciation of another nation/race.  And through that experiences, we, as parents, also learn more about China and its people. If you don’t live abroad like we do, if you don’t have a diverse community, learning a foreign language is still something very useful as it helps you get closer to the world and people living in it.
5. Remind your children about their background, but don’t push it. Quite a few friends of mine whose parents immigrated to other countries went through or still go through the identity crisis. And most of them were quite bitter about having to “learn the ways” of their parents’ cultures. Big part of them felt like they had to get away from it, didn’t want to learn or speak the language of their forefathers and in general just didn’t want to be connected to their background. I personally believe it is nice to know where you come from and be able to relate. But it should be done by parents in a gentle and natural way. When we want to teach our children about their ethnic or spiritual background, we have to be firm yet loving and appreciative of the current background they are being brought up in.
If you have any more tips on how to deal with multicultural identity crisis – I would love to see the links and suggestions!!!

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Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month Blog Hop - Multicultural Kid BlogsIn honor of Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month, Multicultural Kid Blogs is sponsoring a blog hop, and you are invited! We are celebrating the cultures and peoples of this diverse region by sharing our posts and asking other bloggers to do the same! Our hope is to create a wonderful resource for celebrating Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month with children. Be sure to visit the co-hosts of the blog hop (listed below) and share your own posts at the linky at the bottom!

You can find even more resources on this region in our Asia and Australia and Oceania boards on Pinterest!

Co-Hosts

Multicultural Kid Blogs
Crafty Moms Share
Bicultural Mama
Finding Dutchland
Kid World Citizen
Marie’s Pastiche
All Done Monkey
Tiny Tapping Toes
Creative World of Varya
Miss Panda Chinese