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5 Lessons Our Kids Can Learn From Mountain Climbing

14 January 2018 – 9:17 pm | One Comment

Someone asked our 6.5yo Brie about her recent Mount Lawu hike:
‘So did you enjoy it?’
And … Brie shook her head.
‘Oops!’, the man smiled and looked at Wilson. ☺️

To us, it is okay if our kids …

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Home » Daily, Parenting

Are You More ‘Western’ or ‘Eastern’?

14 May 2017No Comment


The way we respond, interact with others and live our day to day, is highly influenced by the kinds of culture that we – consciously or unconsciously – adopted.

My question is, have you ever wondered:
Are you more of a ‘western’ kind of person, or are you more ‘eastern’?

Do you adopt more of the western culture, or more of the eastern culture?I grew up in Australia spending my teenage years and early twenties there.

I spent a good 13 years of my working and married life in Singapore, raising 3 kids on our own in a country that embraces Chinese, Indian, Malay and Eurasian cultures.

And now, we’re in Jakarta.

(Sometimes I still find it hard to believe that it’s been FIVE years since we relocated!)

You see, every now and then, I do have people asking me, ‘You’ve lived in the West and the East, do you adopt more of the western culture, or more of the eastern culture?’

And my reply has always been, ‘Having lived in both cultures, I try to adopt what I believe as the best from both cultures.’ =)

For example:

Western culture:
It is RUDE to speak loudly in a foreign language where people around cannot understand what you’re talking about.

(This is considered okay in the east, well at least not THAT rude)

What we choose to do:
When we’re on a foreign land where Indonesian is not spoken by most people, we try not to speak Indonesian loudly.

Like when we were in Australia recently, I continually reminded the kids to speak in English when we’re in public (I had to repeatedly remind them because they’re not used to speaking in English all the time =)

If, btw, they insisted on still speaking in Indonesian, they then must speak softly to each other. I explained to them why it’s considered as rude by Australians to speak in a language that others don’t understand.

It is RUDE to arrive at someone’s home and NOT take off your shoesAnother example is:

Eastern culture:

It is RUDE to arrive at someone’s home and NOT take off your shoes. It’s also rude to NOT greet the people there, especially the elderlies.

(This is considered as not THAT rude in the west)

What we choose to do:
We ‘train’ all our kids since young to take off their shoes before entering anyone’s home, and to greet those whom they meet (loud and clear please, not a whisper=), especially if they’re older. If they don’t know their names, then they must at least politely say, ‘Hi aunty’ or ‘Hi uncle’, looking at them in the eye when greeting them.

(I know of families whose kids are not told of the importance of greeting others, asking for permission before entering other people’s bedrooms / opening other people’s drawers, etc. Each to his own, of course)


There are many other examples that I hope to share with you. Perhaps, in another blog post then? =)

Kids being kids, they don’t ALWAYS do what they’re taughtSo, back to my earlier question:
Are you more of a ‘western’ kind of person, or are you more ‘eastern’, or perhaps, both? =)

Have you given it any thought before?

Now, we all know, kids being kids, they don’t ALWAYS do what they’re taught.

So, what we do as their parents:
– continually remind them of what they need to learn
– correct misbehaviours
– repeat the above (with patience in our tone of voice =)

Easier said than done.

May God give us extra patience and perseverance in teaching and guiding our children every day. Amen.

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