On 26/05/2005, at 8:56 AM, Akkana Peck wrote:
As to how this affects girls growing up, I couldn't say. I was a "tomboy" (more interested in climbing trees than playing with dolls) and if a story featured male characters doing all the fun stuff, I just went ahead and identified with those characters. It never crossed my mind that being female meant that I should only identify with only female characters. I know a lot of girls aren't like that and good female role models are important; but for me it wasn't an issue.
It is very important, and also cultural role models. I remember when my daughter, who is Anglo-Vietnamese and has always identified herself as Vietnamese, first went to kindergarten, she became unhappy. When I asked her about it, she said:
"It's not OK to be Vietnamese at kindy." When I asked her why, she said, in summary:"There's nobody there who looks like me. There are no pictures of people like me, no Asian dolls, no chopsticks or rice bowls, no clothing like our traditional clothes, and when I speak Vietnamese, people look at me as though they don't like me. There is no music of ours, no stories, no adults or kids who look like me, sound like me, behave like me."
The kindy has since got the point and become more multicultural, but multicultural support isn't just about the kids who can't speak the local language. It's about accepting and reinforcing who you are.
I remember at one stage in junior primary school, there was a young Vietnamese boy there who had just arrived in the country, so the school gained some temporary support for him, a Vietnamese man who helped him out. Trinh, whose English has always been excellent, and who has been brought up bicultural, followed that Vietnamese adult around like a lost dog.
from Clytie (vi-VN, team/nhóm Gnome-vi) Clytie Siddall--Renmark, in the Riverland of South Australia Ở thành phố Renmark, tại miền sông của Nam Úc
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