Our questions breeze right in through the open windows of our minds: fearful reactions can grip us with chilled anxiety, while sun-kissed, hope-filled responses enable us to envision a bright future. When we decide to enter into another culture, we truly don’t know how that choice will affect each of our uniquely-designed children. How will they choose to follow our host culture? Will they learn how to fit in and adapt without losing their sense of identity?
After having grown comfortable living in a large city on the east
coast of China for 15 years, our family relocated to central western
China in 2011 for my husband to pursue his PhD. Through his field
research, the door opened for us to live in a Muslim minority village
for weeks at a time, which needless to say was a huge change for us.
Our 13 year old daughter Jordan felt at home right away, and she
couldn’t wait to be done with home school so she could spend time with
her new friends. One of her writing assignments when we were back in the
city was about her life in the village...
Our 15 year old son stepped off the same bus into village life, but with
much more hesitation and resistance. Over time, however, as he and his
older brother learned how to participate in the Sufi festivals that
honored the deaths of their shieks, his perspective began to change.
Through joining in with the other young men of the village as they
served food at the festivals, Joshua became part of the community. This
is what he wrote in a college application essay about what village life
taught him about adaptability and diversity...
To read what Jordan and Joshua wrote about their different experiences in the village, click here to go to the post on the theme of "Follow" for Velvet Ashes: http://velvetashes.com/how-will-our-children-adapt/