My daughter was born on Christmas morning 2015. Since then we were all busy to adapt to each other and become familiar to our new role as parents and child. After the first weeks of constant rush and sleepless nights, I finally found the time to write down what I wish for my little girl regarding her role in a multicultural society. Of course, these thoughts are just focused on multiculti stuff and there are many, many more things I desire for her growing up. But as this is a multiculti blog, I will only write about the multiculti part of it. Maybe not only my daughter will enjoy reading this in the future but also you as reader can use it for your own multiculti reflection…

 

My dear daughter,
For your future growing up I have a thousands wishes, hopes and prayers. All of them are connected with the deep, eternal love I feel for you. As you will be brought up with different cultures, I wish the following 10 things to be part of your life and that they might form you into a truly authentically world citizen.
With all my heart and love,
Mum
1.) Learn the world’s “heart language”
From birth on you will automatically learn at least two languages – German and Spanish. You certainly will have the facilitation to learn even more languages that are spoken in the world. But apart from spoken language there is also a language without words that seems to be present in all countries. I refer to this feeling you have when you look each other into the eye and truly understand the other even without interchanging a word. Being able to “speak” this “heart language” is what I wish for you.
2.) Feel free to adapt to whichever part of culture
Well, you will certainly have some parts of Paraguayan and German, Latino and Western European culture. But the question is, what does this mean to you? I truly wish that you have the freedom to take those parts of both cultures that feel comfortable for you and let those things apart that don’t. Also, that you feel free to learn from any other culture in the world to which you feel connected and make it your own.
3.) Don’t think in nationalities – just be yourself!
We often make the mistake to think in nationalities and such develop prejudices. All Chinese are workaholics, all Polish steal cars, and so on… Don’t think of yourself as German or non-German, Paraguayan or non-Paraguayan. Just be yourself and feel what you are. Don’t think what you could be.
4.) Be proud of who you are and all its bits and peaces
One time you’ll might think: “I’m different to all the other kids in my class.” And thoughts like “I’m less than the others because I’m only half-German or half-Paraguayan” might occur. But my sweet little one, it’s not “half”, it’s “double”! You’re as much German or Paraguayan as the other kids (if we even can speak in nationality terms as I just wrote in point 3 that we shouldn’t think in nationalities…) and even more. You will learn so many different things from both of our cultures and you will be able to connect them to form something new, your own thing, your own culture. So you can be proud of the mix you are – it will enable you to look beyond the horizon of cultures!
5.) Stay curious!
Your mother and father only found to each other because we were curious for the other and the other’s culture. So, in a way, you are a product of curiosity. Being curious in life always brings you further and is – what I think – one of the most important abilities one can develop. But it’s also essential when it comes to other’s cultures, languages, habits, etc. This can mean that you will travel curiously around the world but it can also mean that you open your eyes to the way your direct neighbour lives and manages his life.
6.) Keep on learning!
You might come to the point where you think you know everything. And yes, you will definitely know a lot. But not everything. One never knows everything and the moment you think you know, you know nothing. So keep on with “not knowing” and learning about everything you are curious about (see also point 5).
7.) Enjoy the languages you speak and many more
Personally, I always enjoyed learning and speaking languages. But apart from German I had to sit down and study the languages I know now. You will be given at least two languages right from the beginning. So I hope that this will give you a good basis for developing an interest in languages. I mean, you only can truly learn from others and the way they think by speaking their language (apart from speaking of course the “heart language”, see point 1).
8.) Forgive your parents
Your dad and I are learning every day something new of each other’s culture and often make the mistake of looking on our differences from a nationalities’ perspective (for instance: “you always need to plan for the whole week, that’s so German”, “you need so long for everything, that’s so Paraguayan/Latino). I really hope, that we stop doing this but if we don’t, please forgive us. Instead, teach us what you have learned by growing up with us and our two different cultures. Help us, if you like, to become the mix you are and on the same time not forgetting our roots.
9.) Learn from “locals” as well as from “globals”
As I already suggested above, “culture” can stand for a certain culture in a country but also for a culture lived in a region, town, family and maybe even further down. I hope that you can see this and I wish that you will be able to appreciate that you are surrounded by different “cultures” and that you can apply all the above mentioned in a “global” but also in a “local” way. You don’t necessarily need to travel far to learn from different cultures and live a multicultural life.
10.) Form part of a multicultural world!
Last but not least I truly wish that you become an authentic member of a multicultural world. What does this mean? For me, being a member of a multicultural world means that you live as a conscious, self-developed person who is connected to as many other people in the world as possible, going into a deep relationship with them and mutually learning from each other and adapting parts of other’s cultures in your own life. But as I said “authentic” I mean that you yourself need to develop your own definition of being a “world citizen”. What does it mean for you? What does it mean to you? How you want to live it? Do you want to live it? I wish that you have the freedom to define this for yourself.