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What tips does Jenny have for raising children to respect their culture’s traditional values?
By
Jenny Phang

7 Jan 2016 - 3:31 PM  UPDATED 7 Jan 2016 - 3:32 PM

Dear Jenny,

Like you, I’m a first generation migrant parent, raising Australian-born children. I’m struggling to find that balance between making sure my kids keep my culture’s traditional values, but still embrace the best Australia has to offer? Any advice?

Jenny: In every culture, there’s good aspects (like respecting your elders) and bad aspects (like arranged marriage and honour killings – very bad). So keep your own culture’s good aspects! And keep your mother tongue. When your children are growing up, talk to them in your mother tongue, so even when they grow up, they still understand their mother language... even if they’re clumsy at speaking at it, like my children.

I love Australia, but I’m not a big fan of the drinking, sex-ing, white culture. I’m not racist or anything, but big nights every weekend in my culture – the Chinese? A big no-no. Yes, enjoy alcohol and sex, but just do it safely! In moderation. I do like how white people say “life is short”. Asian people are so scared of dying, but white people are all for trying new things, like me! Like how recently I did an ocean kayak... even though I can’t swim. Most Asian people of my generation wouldn’t do that. Also, Chinese are extremely superstitious, and I really hate that. My ex-husband? He follows Chinese horoscope books – toong sing – to the page. “F” those things, I say. 

 

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