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Home » Daily

Time with the Bigger Family : Opportunities to Learn Basic Courtesies

30 March 2015No Comment


One of the things that I appreciate about living in Jakarta, is the opportunities to see my bigger families more often than when we were back in Singapore.

(Back in Singapore, we went to Jakarta for holidays about once or twice a year. And, at times we had relatives visiting us too, once in a while)



I guess, most importantly, I appreciate the fact that my children get to spend time with their great grandmother, grandparents, aunties and uncles, as well as cousins.

Such interactions also give them a sense of identityBecause to me, I think it’s important for my children to know that they are part of a bigger family who cares for them.

They need to know their background and culture, in a bigger picture.

Plus, I feel when they spend time with the bigger family, such interactions also give them a sense of identity.



And, guess what else do I appreciate?

Opportunities for my children to learn and apply basic courtesies towards the elderlies (including some basic table manners).

Approaching seated elderlies and verbally greeting themI mean, basics like:

– Approaching seated elderlies and verbally greeting them (eg. When we’ve just arrived at a restaurant or at my parents’ home)

– Say, ‘Makan dulu ya’ (ie. I eat first ya) to others before you yourself start eating (This is especially said to those older than you)

– Allow the elderlies to take the first scoops of the food served on the table



– Before spinning the turn table (to get to the dish we want), we need to check and see (and wait) if others are about to scoop or are in the middle of scooping some food onto their bowls / plates.

Keep our elbows closer to our sides– If we have a lot of people sitting on one table, then we should keep our elbows closer to our sides (instead of care-freely spreading our arms on the table and taking up a lot of space just for ourselves)

– If we dine together, say ‘Thank you for the meal’ before we go home (and if someone paid for the lunch / dinner at a restaurant, eg., then the children would need to approach the person, and say thank you)

Okay. Gotta stop here.

There are too many to mention one by one =)




Simply put, I’m just grateful that we get to spend time with the bigger family.

Lots of things to learn from them, and from being with them.

We are blessed.

PS: Photos were taken when we celebrated ‘cap go meh’ together over dinner (ie. Fifteen days after Chinese New Year)

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