I would describe our family as: ‘globetrotting,’ ‘entrepreneurial,’ and ‘sleep-deprived’.
My children’s unending energy comes from both cultures. From having a Finnish breakfast to an American dinner, the children are balanced in the middle. One of the advantages of raising children in a multi-cultural family is the understanding that there are many ways to do and to think about something, and being able to literally think about things in two ways. This starts with us as the parents learning from each other and then it is passed on to the kids.
“I would agree that being raised in a multicultural family makes a child more tolerant, open-minded and accepting of other cultures. Besides helping to create a richer environment at home, the blend of cultures creates a more accepting and curious attitude for things outside the home.
We have been gradually taking pieces from both our cultures and adding new traditions of our own as we go to create our own family culture.
There are double the holidays celebrated, traditions that need to merge, and cultural foods that I need to find ingredients for to make.
“We are also trying to figure out what curriculum our children will follow for their upcoming school. Our toddler understands both English and Finnish, but mainly speaks back in English, while our eight-month-old is cooing fluently in both languages.”
I would describe our family as: mosaic, dynamic, and interesting.
Raising children in a multicultural environment creates different scenarios that allow them to possess receptive minds towards any environment they find themselves in. I believe that tolerance is innate for children born in multicultural homes by default. Being raised in an interracial home also inculcates acceptance in children at a very young age, making them understand that there are different ways of living. It makes the children innovative and this can be observed in little things such as fabricating a dish by simply infusing both cultures in it or just incorporating one cultural dance move into another.
“Growing up in a multicultural environment also provides my children numerous wonderful opportunities to travel, and this has made them knowledgeable in geography to say the least. Having paid a visit to my home country and few other countries in Africa, they now do understand, first and foremost, that Africa is not one huge area of land where animals roam on the street with human beings but rather a continent made up of 54 beautiful countries which has urban and rural areas as well as thick forests where the animals belong like in the rest of the world.
As for cultures, as hard as it sounds, I notice that our children tend to lean more towards the German culture, and this can be easily understood; given that we usually spend all our holidays in Germany. So, when we are not here in Dubai, we are in Germany spending time with my in-laws and family friends. It was only this summer that we travelled to Nigeria to visit my family and show the kids my hometown.