Keeping An Identity: Communicating

When Georgia was 2, we joined a gymnastics class, now this wasn’t just a baby gym class, it was the real deal, a proper competing gym team. It was here that I first heard of ‘mouth’. Coach S, said to me, ‘Mouth – they start really young, especially girls, and it doesn’t stop!’.

I was confused ‘mouth’? I found out she meant was ‘answering back’, the instant, uncalled for spouting off. I didn’t believe it then, 5 – 6 year olds, answering back?! Little did I know… Read more »

Roald Dahl’s Matilda

From our last visit to the local library, I picked up a couple of audio books that I thought we might all enjoy especially during our car journeys.

We are really audio book virgins, never have we ever had anything other than music in the car (OK even the times tables CD  was in tunes!).

Roald Dahl's Matilda

Roald Dahl’s Matilda, read by Miriam Margolyes, was simply fascinating. We actually sat in the car after arriving home, just to listen to a bit more of the story. Read more »

Mar 14, 2011 - Culture, Learning, Life, Parenting, School    6 Comments

Japan: How young is too young?

As I watch and read and read and read about the devastation, first of the earthquake in Japan, and then the tsunami, and the current nuclear reactor scares, I keep wondering if we should mention it to Georgia.

The likelihood of her ever finding out herself, at home, is somewhat, highly improbable, given that we do not watch live TV (news), or listen to the radio. If she does learn of it, it is most likely through school.

A (probably crazy academic!) part of me, sees so many ‘lessons’, geography (earthquakes, tsunamis), social studies (charity, sharing etc), history (as it unfolds!) and yet, deep down, I really don’t want to scare or worry a five-year-old needlessly.

How young is too young to be told of such events?

Keeping an Identity – Religion

When asked “What religion I am?” I often stumble and then mumble something about being culturally Buddhist – but in all honesty I find myself at odds to define that I belong to a specific religion.

I grew up with taoist influences (with Gods, Goddesses and ancestral worship), Buddhist teachings, in a Convent school and have been to Churches (Roman Catholic and a range of Protestant ones too).

We have prayed in Hindu temples, visited shrines, bowed our heads at Japanese Shinto temples and seen the inside of mosques.

Mosque Read more »

Conversations with Georgia: On Lent

This morning, at 5 am, (!)  Georgia squeezed in next to me. As I willed her back to sleep, her little voice pipes out:

Lent, Easter

G: Mum, when’s Easter?
(I can see her thinking chocolate, easter eggs, holiday!)
Me: It will be soon, but do you know, now is the time called Lent?
G: (huffily) I know that already.
Me: And do you know what Lent is about? (pause…but no response comes) It’s about giving up things.
G (without skipping a beat!) : Ok! I can give up work and Cello practise!

Obviously I explained to her that Lent was about giving up things you really like or love, and her reasoning was,
G: (adamantly) But I do really like writing!

On Raising Girls

…in conjunction with International Women’s Day Centenary

As Georgia grows up, I often find myself contemplating the messages that I send to her through my actions, the things I say, the way I am and more importantly, the choices I make or have made.

And as we celebrate the centenary of the International Women’s Day (on the 8th March 2011), it seems just the right time to articulate my thoughts. In an open letter to a now 5-year old Georgia, I want her to know …
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Conversations with Georgia: New School = New Friends, True or False?

You know how it is, people always say ‘Kids are really wise’, I always took it at face value (meaning I thought it might be, but never really bothered to work out why) and then today, the realisation struck me.

In their honesty and directness, children cause encourage us to re-evaluate our thoughts and opinions, indirectly it seems that they are wise, but what happens really, at least I think, is that they raise an issue, give us something to think about then we come to some realisation and attribute it to them.

This is exactly what happened today, in the car going to ballet.

It’s only a 10 minute drive to ballet, but we have often had ‘profound’ conversations, Georgia and I. Conversations between the backseat and the drivers seat…. Today it was about people, more specifically friends. Read more »

Keeping an Identity – Culture

In six months time, it would been eleven years that I moved away from ‘home’ – the country of my birth. I try hard not to call it ‘home’ anymore, because that’s not where I live, that’s not where my child was born, that’s not where my heart lies.

Materially, making a home away from home, has not been hard, it has after all just needed money (the house, the car, the furniture etc. ) What has been a little more of a challenge is trying to recreate or replicate certain childhood experiences and memories for Georgia, that we (being from Penang, Malaysia) have so loved and treasured. In short to try to give her the experiences of the culture that defines us, and the worldliness of the variety of religions in the country that we come from, as opposed to the country we now live in.

I know it’s easy to say, she will have her own experiences, make her own memories, but so much of what we experience defines who we become, and while living comfortably and affluently in a developed country now, I sometimes lament the fact that she will miss out on the extremely, diverse, mullti-culture, multi-religion environment, that I took so much for granted when I was growing up. Like they say, you won’t miss it until you lose it!

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