So I woke up this morning realizing that we partied too hard last night at the Lone Star College – Jakarta International Day Celebration and I didn’t write before I went to bed. But hey, at least it is still Tuesday back in the states right? Well, we were not partying like we did in college. There was no keg stands, no jungle juice, no beer, but there were loads of laughs, students sharing information about their countries, and most importantly, sharing food from their countries!
International day celebrations have one of the best parts about living in Jakarta. We have been submerged into various cultures and food, and it’s always amazing to see the pride people have in their country, just like we do with the U.S. Yes, no matter what I am proud to be an American and super proud to be a Texan! Not only do they host an international day at Aaron’s school, but the boy’s school also hosts an amazing international day for the students. They have performances from various countries, food stalls for the kids to try the food, and then the secondary students decorate rooms for each country where the primary students can get stamps in their passport and learn more about that country.
These celebrations are something I’m going to miss when we go home and one I would like our new school back in the states to consider doing. Some of you may be wondering, but you won’t be at an international school. Why wouldn’t we be? That is one of the amazing things about living in the U.S., we truly are a melting pot, and our families lineage come from so many different countries and cultures. How amazing would it be at a young age to look and see that we come from all over the world? To start thinking about traveling and seeing the world? To open our eyes and realize that we, as Americans, we all do not come from a cookie cutter background.
For instance. My mom and her parents were born in Mexico City and didn’t immigrate to the United States when she was nine years old. My great great grandfather migrated to Mexico from Spain. My dad was born in the U.S, as were his parents, and my great grandmother is Native American. But recently, I was talking with a friend from Yorkshire, England and we were discussing my maiden name. She was telling me that Matlock, my maiden name, comes from Derbyshire. To make it even more interesting, I recently got my ancestory.com results in, and my ethnic estimate said 43% Great Britain. And here I thought I was more Hispanic than anything!
But there are families that have migrated or immigrated to the U.S. with kids that are going to school with our children too. We have a friend that we made here in Jakarta who is from Australia, has two beautiful boys and they live in my hometown in Texas. The boys are going to the local public schools, but how fun would it be for them to teach other students about Australia and their life as a third culture kid (TCK)?
After living abroad for three years and our boys attending an international school where they interacted with people from Indonesia, Korea, Japan, India, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Netherlands, Bangladesh, Bruni, England, China, Poland, Romania, Russia, Vietnam, Germany, and more! I never want them to think the world is a small bubble we live in. I want them to know more about our beautiful world and all the beautiful people in it and how to interact with people from different cultures.
Not only has it taught them how to interact with different cultures, but it has also opened their eyes to want to travel! My oldest son has fallen in love with Japan. He loves anime, ramen, the language, and wants to spend as much time there as he can. Jordan, who is our middle child said he wanted to visit Canada, New York City and see the Eiffel Tower in Paris! Your littlest one Pierce doesn’t know all the countries yet, but he knows that he has friends that are from all different countries and wants to be sure we see them.
Not only have my kids experienced learning about their friend’s countries, but I also have too. I have talked about having the most amazing group of friends. Not only are they amazing women, but we have learned so much from each other since we are our international group. Our backgrounds are Mexican-American., India, Australian-Indonesia, Brazil, England, and Japanese-Malaysian. Quite the bunch right? But we have learned so much and have amazing respect for each other.
So yes, I’m going to miss our international day celebrations, but I don’t plan on stopping teaching our children about the world. I hope other parents can see the benefit of teaching their children too! Maybe we can all learn to love each other a little more if we realize that we are all different.