Bill Belew has raised 2 bi-cultural kids, now 34 and 30. And he and his wife are now parenting a 3rd, Mia, who is 8.
Hi Mia! Do you want to know what my favorite thing is about being an Indian in America? The thing I love most of being multi-cultural is that I get to celebrate two sets of holidays. Talk about never having a dull moment. Between the American holidays and the Indian holidays, I feel like I’m always celebrating something. Life feels like an ongoing festival.
My favorite time of year is from October until January 1st. For me the holiday season begins with either Diwali or Halloween. Diwali is celebrated on the new moon that falls sometime at the end of October or beginning of November. So sometimes Diwali comes before Halloween, and sometimes it comes after. These two holidays celebrate nearly opposite events. Halloween celebrates entering into the darkness while Diwali celebrates the triumph of light over the darkness. In spite of their different meanings, the holidays are celebrated very similarly.
For Diwali everyone wears a new outfit (which they actually call a costume, even though it’s just normal fancy clothes). For Halloween people dress up in some unusual costume also. For Diwali families prepare lots of homemade sweets to surprise and delight their family and friends. For Halloween families purchase or prepare lovely delights for the children that will visit them on Halloween night. Indian children run around their neighborhoods asking for all the treats available in their neighbors homes. American children run around trick and treating. I get so excited about the treats for both holidays, I’ve actually written treat cookbooks for both Halloween and Diwali (click the words to take a peek).
So what do us Indian-American children do? We dress up in fancy costumes one evening, and crazy costumes another. We indulge in Indian sweets on Diwali, and then gorge on party size goodies on the 31st of October. And We enjoy two really good reasons to run around house to house visiting friends and neighbors sharing treats.
And then, after all that, we still get to enjoy Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year! I love being an Indian living in America! It’s been such a blessing in so many ways.
Written by Monica Sawyer
Talk to Bill and others about their experiences raising bi-cultural Japanese-American kids.