Coffee & Conversation: Holiday Edition "Christmas in a Multi-Cultural Household"
The holidays are a special time for many. From tree shopping, to adorning the home with bright lights, cozy pillows, blankets and a whole lot of cheer.
This year, I wanted to dive deeper into what Christmas means for different households. I had the privilege of speaking with a few moms and experienced the holidays from their family's perspective. From new traditions, holidays in the life of the busy, content creating mom, to multicultural family holidays these moms gave me a full look into how they are spending their holiday.
Speaking to families with multicultural backgrounds was extremely important for me because a pretty large percentage of multicultural and interracial families make up the world's population today. I had the amazing honor to speak with Embri, a born and raised Bahamian who now lives abroad in the UK with her husband whose culture background is Kenyan based. The couple are parents to a beautiful baby girl, Brianna. I caught up with Embri to see what the holidays (and day-to-day life) is like in her household.
You are truly in for a treat hearing from these amazing moms their take on the holidays. Sit back with a glass of hot coffee, cocoa or egg nog (if we're feeling really festive) and enjoy!
Raising Brianna in a mix of three cultures by Embri Stuart-Kamau
As Brianna’s mother it’s important to me that she has a life fill with love and rich experiences. This includes embracing and living between three different cultures. Brianna now has a mix of her ‘British’ way of life and also the culture I have as her mother with a Bahamian background and her father with a Kenyan background. This means she will grow up with heritage and traditions from both of us as her parents as well as by extension her grandparents, aunts and uncles.
I would like to see as many of my cultural traditions continue with Brianna as possible and this can be difficult to balance with the British way of life that she is growing up around. Simple ways we are introducing our culture to Brianna is in things like Bahamian food and Kenyan food. Some Bahamian cuisine she loves are macaroni, peas and rice and coleslaw and I allow her to watch me making them in the kitchen whenever possible. My mother-in-law also cooks traditional Kenyan food like, maandazi and chapati and allows Brianna to watch too.
Another way Brianna is picking up on her Kenyan culture is language. My husband Brian has introduced Brianna to some Swahili words and she’s already picking up on certain words like “kwaheri” which means “goodbye”. Another positive of being bi-lingual like her dad is this will be a great language skill for her to have.
Obviously living and working in England will still shape a lot of our lifestyle and values as a family but we will continue to share our Bahamian and Kenyan culture by staying culturally connected and encouraging her to embrace her full cultural identity. Brianna has already loved being in my home country of the Bahamas for the last few weeks and has already seen lots of Bahamian traditions like Bahamian music and food over the Christmas holidays.
When Brianna is older we plan for her to spend some summers with my parents (her grandparents) living and fully embracing the Bahamian culture. I also plan to share stories of my upbringing on the island and talk to her as much as possible about both her cultures and racial background. We are hoping to take her to Kenya for holiday within the next year or so then she can also see more of her Kenyan background and traditions there too.
Embri's beautiful family is a reminder that the universal thing that we all share is love. May this season bring you loads of fun, love and laughter to your family and yours.
Coffee + Love + Many Prayers