BUILDING STRONG FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS DESPITE THE CULTURE GAP – ART OF CONNECTION WITH BELAL KHAN
By: Belal Khan
To understanding culture properly, see it as a combination of what we deem important coupled with how we implement it.
For example, respect to parents is something that’s seen as important in both cultures. But, the way that respect is applied is different.
In American society, you’re develop bonds of friendship with respect. However, overseas respect comes with treating them with authority, almost like a formal relationship. But, that won’t necessarily breed respect in an American setting.
So, how do we bridge the cultural gap between parents and kids, especially when they grew up in two different worlds?
Looking back at my childhood, I’m greatful for the fact that I have a close relationship with my parents. I believe the age difference between my parents and I had something to do with it, considering that most of my friends’ parents were much older.
A lot of my friends also lacked the experience of being told stories about their childhood, their families, and their siblings.
It wasn’t just stories of like, “back in my day..”, but it was more about my parents having to get to know my extended family in India and kind of grow up with them while they weren’t really there.
It was an interesting feeling when I visited India for the first time. Getting to see all the characters of my parents’ stories in real life and recalling what I was told and then they would tell me their side.
When I finally met them for the first time, it was like I already knew them. My parents connected me to a bigger community, and family of people.
However, I don’t believe that us telling stories is enough. We need to make some of our own stories that we can one day share with our children.
I remember when I was younger my family and I fell upon harder financial times, one of the things my dad would do is deliver newspapers, and he would have me come along with him.
Delivering newspapers isn’t a fun thing, but looking at it in hindsight, having spend that time together, gone through those ordeals together, having had that experience together, I believe is something that brought us all a lot closer.
That experience also taught me that you’ve got to do what you need to do to take care of the people you care about and are responsible for. That was my dad leading by example.
The thing was that we did things together.
If we really want to foster relationships and build family ties, and bridge that cultural gap so to speak then what are you doing to make memories together. What adventures are you going on so that when you have kids, you’ll be able to share those very stories and they can look forward to meeting their extended family?
Posted on January 15, 2015, in ARTICLES, VIDEOS and tagged art, art of connection, art of connection with belal khan, article, belal khan, building, building strong, culture, culture gap, despite, different, family, family relationships, friendship, gap, islam, knowledge, learn, respect, strong. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.