Almost 8 years ago when we were packing to leave behind everything we knew and all that we were familiar with, my dear father in law sat my husband and I down and gave us a talk.
He talked about the many things involved in the life of an expat but the one thing I always remember from that talk is this:
He said to us, no matter where you go and make your home, remember to do this one thing: teach your children their mother tongue. Your children will be exposed to a lot of things in their life, they will learn about different cultures and customs and see many different things, but make sure they know their language. It is their language that will always remind them of their roots and their identity.
I’ve always wondered why he said that to us. Maybe it’s because we come from a country that boasts over 750 different languages. But as we’ve travelled here and there his words have become a real reminder to me that my children must know their culture and heritage and their language. And by knowing and embracing their own they will be more appreciative of their friends and peers cultures, customs and languages.
My husband and I speak to our children in our languages (yes he speaks a different language to me)! Our kids are not there yet but we are making progress!!
For more wisdom from our elders visit Jane’s sidebar. Great theme Theresa.