What is it like to Parent outside your own culture?

The enormity of raising my son really hit me when I held him in my arms for the first time after being in active labour for over 14 hours. Even labour did not scare me as much as this huge sense of responsibility, I felt at the time for the little life we had created. Throughout my pregnancy, I never really belaboured over much on the aspect of raising my son in Australia and how his childhood would be different to my growing up years in India.

Parenting Australia Melbourne Frankston Beach

Both my husband and I moved to Australia nearly a decade ago to study but we fell in love with Melbourne and its multicultural ethos so much we decided to immigrate to this beautiful city and Country. The Australian community is accepting, generous and happily encompasses different cultures in its fold. While both my husband and I come from close knit families and grew up in an around extended families, we initially did miss having no family here. All the moral, cultural, religious and family values that a child learns through interactions with family and relatives are the building blocks of his personality as an adult.
I wanted to give my son the best of both worlds and cultures. Looking at his face, I wondered ‘How was I going to balance these juggling hats? Had I bitten more than I could chew? Was I dreaming the impossible immigrant dream? I did not have an answer to those questions then, but I had a strong resolve that I will raise an Australian Child while maintaining a strong root to my Indian Culture. I had to ensure that this beautiful being would get everything he deserved and more.
A recent research study conducted by Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) stated that, in Traditional (Collectivist Societies) including the Indian Society, Parenting is about raising a child who has a sense of responsibility towards his/her parents and community they may reside in or the religious faith they may belong to. Whereas in the Westernised Societies, Parenting is focused more so on making the child autonomous and the focus is for the children to learn through their own experiences. Reference
As an immigrant with a child born in Australia I have to maintain this fine balance of both theories of parenting, however with continuous learning about both Cultures. How do I manage to teach my son Indian Values and Cultural beliefs while living the Australian Way of Life?

To read the full article click here. It has been published in Kidspot.com.au which is Australia’s biggest and best Parenting website. 

Outdoors, summer, Australia, Picnic , Parenting , Cute Baby , Mumbai 2 Melbourne

Do not forget to leave me your feedback in the comments below.

XOXO

Sharvari 

 

50 Comments
  1. Very well written article.Yr language is absolutely fantastic.I am proud of u Sharvari.U r managing everything ie yr hpudr,job & yr son so beautifully.God bless u.

  2. Living a life of an expat is definitely challenging but I’m sure it ha sits perks too! I’m sure you are going to be just fine 🙂

  3. Wow!! I always wondered how do india moms bring up their kids in western countries….loved reading the article kudos to you for maintaining best of both the worlds!!!

  4. I can feel you! All my cousins are based outside of India .. I could see them struggle .. With the same confusion .. I could see the children grow up with a mixture of both the communities though 🙂 they always had the best of everything

  5. Beautifully written article. I understand it is always right to teach your kids best of both the cultures so they appreciate both equally. I wish you good luck 🙂

    1. Thank you so much Natasha, glad you liked and read the article. I try to maintain that balance so that Rey gets the best of both worlds 🙂

  6. Wow dear you are an incredible mother. Your son know to speak 3 language in such a young stage. And you are maintaining good balance with our culture outside India which is very appreciative.

  7. The enormity of this responsibilty is beyond my conprehension.I think.knowing this challenge exists is the first step to parent effective.

  8. I know what you are talking about. We always stayed away from our families and had the same thoughts as you. We have to balance out the things as parents. All the best to you for your sweet little munchkin.

  9. I can relate to the huge sense of responsibility feeling. It is a fine balance that you are maintaining in raising your child and I am sure you are doing a great job.

  10. Wow, it is indeed a beautifully written article. All these pictures are so beautiful. You are doing a wonderful job in raising this cute little munchkin.

  11. Sharvari, I am sure it becomes difficult to raise a child outside your culture but after reading about your parenting style , I feel you are doing it so well. Staying away from home has its challenges but its a huge learning experience for parents as well as the child. Nice post and congratulations to be featured on the best parenting website of Australia.

    1. Thank you so much. Glad you liked the article. absolutely raising a child is difficult and outside one’s culture even more so.

  12. i can completely understand though i will be moving back to India but still I have been in the same boat and raising a kid outside the country and away from own people is difficult and at the same time raising him with a sense of love towards his own people…

  13. You are doing a great job, I can’t say that I understand what you feel raising a baby in a foreign land but yes the points that you mentioned definitely indicates you are an awesome mother.

  14. Yes, I believe it would be a big challenge and not having family around at such point of time is what get us into more nervousness. But I think your son would have been your strength at the same time.

  15. I don know how is it to parent ..but as a kid raised outside India i can tell my parents did struggle a lot to teach us our culture an traditions along with embracing the lifestlye of the country we were living then. Its not easy…

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