Here’s the awesome news: You will be parents!
Here’s the other awesome news: Your family is bicultural or even multicultural!
And suddenly you and your partner ask yourselves in which language you will talk to your little baby. Will you celebrate Thanksgiving or Sukkot? Will you have your child baptized or circumcised? Are you going to organize an enormous “Quinceañera” birthday when your daughter is becoming 15? Or will it rather be a “sweet 16”? Will she need to wear a headscarf when she’s older?
Or all of this? Or non of this? Or your own mix?
If you find yourself in a position like this, I hope the following 7 points will help you to find your own answers when raising your child with different cultures – make it the way it fits best to you and your family!
#1: Create your own traditions or set clear rules
The probably most discussed problem for multicultural families is how to deal with rituals and traditions. Of course you have been raised up with your traditions and your partner has his own traditions. These can be religious traditions but also just what you normally do in daily life. As you both experienced those traditions from a very young age, keeping these traditions is very sensible for you – both of you. The only problem: You can’t live a family tradition without the family!
Here is what you can try:
1) Pick out the most important traditions and rituals for you and celebrate them all with mutual interest. For example, celebrate the Japanese 3-5-7 festival for your little girl as well as the Latin American 15-birthday party.
2) Where you have to decide for only one way, discuss it until you both agree. Then stick to it. You can’t be Muslim and Jewish at the same time. If you decide for one, then stick to that religion in terms of your child.
3) Make your own mix where you can. Instead of a German Christ Stollen or an Italian Christmas Panettone you can make up a new recipe and make it your new family tradition – maybe other family parts will love it too! Or have the Stollen one year and the Panettone the next.
Always remember that besides all discussions at the end your family is becoming so much richer of traditions and rituals than without the other culture(s)!