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9.08.2008

passing on ethnic heritage to your children

This is a really interesting aritcle in the New York Times about second generation Asian American parents (well, one in particular) and some of the challenges they face in trying to pass on their ethnic heritage to their children: In Any Language, a Full Plate.

For many, it's a key question—and not an easy one: How do you pass on your ethnic heritage to your children when you grew up in an immigrant household focusing 100 percent of your energy on making yourself as mainstream American as possible?

The article focuses on one Asian American family and the debate over whether or not to enroll their children in Chinese-language classes, in part to preserve some culture but also to meet other Asian American kids.

On top of that, there's the growing pressure these days for children to learn more, sooner. The couple in the article wonders what activities to enroll their kid in, and how early. But hey, in a way, isn't that sort of an Asian parenting thing too? Who else sends their kids to violin lessons at age 3?