In honor of my wedding anniversary this month I wanted to write a post about how beautiful it can be to celebrate and learn about your significant other's culture.
Some of the best memories that we share show how we celebrated each other's culture.
For example: Our Wedding Day
My husband and I had a beautiful small wedding on Kailua Beach in Hawai'i. While there in Hawai'i my then fiancee, his mother and his aunt were able to experience some of my Hawaiian culture. This included the food, people, land and stories.
Lei in the Hawaiian culture can symbolize many things. It is a symbol of love, respect, honor, peace etc. In modern Hawaiian culture the Lei is used to celebrate people and show love for someone. That being said, of course lei played a significant role in my wedding. The men involved in the wedding wore Maile Lei. This is a lei that used to symbolize royalty. In ancient Hawaiian times it was royalty who used the Maile Lei. In modern Hawaiian culture it is often used in many types of celebrations including Weddings, Birthdays, and Anniversaries etc.
After the ceremony we all returned to my house in Hawai’i to celebrate and EAT! We had a variety of foods that are both ethnically Hawaiian and culturally adapted in Hawai’i. As far as ethnically Hawaiian food we had Kalua pig, Poi and Poke. Other cultural Hawaiian foods included Chinese food, which is not exactly like food found in China. Chinese food in Hawai’i has been adapted over the years to have some variations of traditional Chinese dishes.
Example 2: The Party
In relation to our marriage and celebrating our marriage I also had the chance to learn about my husband’s culture.
My mother in law and her cousin were gracious enough to throw a party in California (where we live) to celebrate our marriage with those who could not make it out to Hawai’i. In order to fully kick off the party my husband and I “Jumped the Broom.” This was a way to pay homage to my husband’s ancestors and culture. Jumping the broom symbolizes sweeping away past wrongs, evils and/or bad spirits. It symbolizes starting the marriage on a clean slate. This was such a great experience. In fact we still have our beautiful broom hanging up in our Bedroom. I’m so happy that we were both able to share our cultures with each other to start off our new lives together!
Fast forward to 2016…6 years later…
We have a little bit of both cultures hanging up in the house! In fact we have my husband’s Maile lei up on the mantle. We also have the very broom that we jumped over together hanging up in our bedroom. Both items are great reminders of not only our wedding but also our commitment to each other. They are reminders of where we both came from and how we have now merged our cultures to form a beautiful family together. And then there’s those 2 beautiful kids…how can you not love those beautiful faces (they must look like their Mom, just kidding babe *muah*).
1. NAPS-Try to get the kids to take a nap. Hopefully the nap will take up most of the flight time. Luckily my kids get lulled to sleep by the background noise of the engines. Sometimes though the flight is WAAAAYYYYYY longer than the nap. Then you need to utilize the other tools in your aresenal.
2. Bring all of the electronic devices you own. And make sure they’re fully charged. In fact when I travel with my kids I even brought an old Nintendo DS that I have. I haven’t used that thing in years but it was great for the kids.
3. One thing that I learned from other parent blogs and posts is to bring some inexpensive brand new toy or activity. The kids get so excited to open something new. And they are more likely to be interested in a new toy longer. The surprise of something new also gets the excitement going.
4. INVISIBLE INK PENS AND COLORING BOOKS! This was a great discovery for me on my last trip with my kids. I had forgotten all about these types of books. It was pure luck that I ran across a few of these books in a CVS. BEST PURCHASE EVER!!! It kept my kids entertained for half the flight. The books were awesome because they entertained both children. I also didn’t have to worry if my 1.5yo wanted to try coloring the seat or tray. The ink didn’t work on anything but the book it came with! My 5 yo loved it as well. She loved getting surprised by the colors and it even had sticker puzzles. The puzzles helped her practice her number recognition.
5. Don’t forget the snacks. I have found that if you get a bunch of different snacks there's bound to be something they will want. Of course these have to be easy to eat snacks since they are young kids. I also pre packed the snacks in small zip lock baggies. Easier clean up and you don't have to worry about resealing or tying bags.
6. When traveling with more than one child, be sure to have enough toys/activities for all kids. For example: I had 2 invisible coloring books so each of my kids could have their own book. You don’t want the kids to start having a “mine, no mine” fight on an airplane.
7. Be prepared to switch activities and switch them often. Kids usually have short attention spans. I have been on some long flights or rides where we started coloring then switched to the Nintendo, then went back to coloring. Stopped to eat and back to playing again.
8. Bring infant or toddler Tylenol on the plane. Always have this on hand just in case your child does not adjust well to the small cabin, recycled air and elevation. I made the mistake of not bringing this once and I could feel my 1 yo burning up. I felt so bad because I did not have anything to help him. He was burning and uncomfortable. Luckily there was another mom on the flight who had some.
I also have some tips specific to traveling with young children by yourself. But that will be for another day.