I created HapaMama in 2008 as a place to share the experiences — beautiful, humorous, and frustrating — that are unique to families trying to bring together Asian immigrant cultures and mainstream American culture.
In January 2011, I decided to take this blog to the next level, addressing issues that face Asian Americans and mixed-race individuals, as well as reviewing books and sharing recipes for traditional and fusion foods. Of course, there will still be a cute kid picture or two.
More Than the Sum of Its Parts…
As a new mother, I read every book and article under the sun. You know, the typical articles about breastfeeding or how to get your child to sleep through the night. While there are countless resources for almost every aspect of childrearing, there were many areas of our new family life that did not exist in mainstream publications. Like–how to explain to your Taiwanese mother your desperate attempts to sleep-train your three month-old? Is there a word for Ferberization in Mandarin?
More recently, in an age where kindergarteners — and their parents — do pages of homework each week, I have had to grapple with what kind of school to send my oldest child to. A high test score suburban school? Private school? Neighborhood public school?
Another struggle is whether or not the kids should learn Chinese, requiring me (I mean, my child) to do countless more worksheets. Let kids be kids, some say. But when I overheard my son at age three, telling his friend that his grandmother speaks Spanish — or is it Japanese? — maybe a little cultural appreciation isn’t such a bad thing.
Creating a Community
The topics here at HapaMama have struck a chord — not only with Asian Americans and mixed-race families — but with foodies, parents, and anyone interested in multicultural living. HapaMama has been featured on Patch.com as one of “10 Food Blogs Everyone Should Read”, Cooking Hawaiian Style, and on Hartlyn Kids Multicultural Corner.
Share the Journey…
I’m not here to give advice or stand on a soapbox. I’m no parenting expert. That will become quite apparent if you read my entries. But I know I’m not alone. With the large numbers of Asian Americans marrying partners of other races, the issue of how to raise a family that straddles two worlds is something we will have to figure out together. My hope is that you’ll share in these experiences with me and that you will find a sense of camaraderie here.
© 2008-2013, Grace Hwang Lynch
Please contact me if you are interested in a custom article for your website or publication.