Now more than ever, we find ourselves living in an increasingly cosmopolitan society. And amidst different parenting styles, religions, races and cultures we find our children faced with a myriad of different influences that inform their identities. Being raised in an inter-faith or inter-cultured family is now a common occurrence not only in South Africa, but in many other parts of the world.
While there are certainly great benefits to the child’s psychological development to be gained by this vast exposure, what happens to those children who are more than just exposed but who are actually raised by parents of differing religions or cultures or by parents who have different ideas towards rituals and routines in general?
Gender, culture, race, religion and or even nationality, are only some of the markers of personal identity for adults and children alike and identifying with any number of these signifiers gives children a sense of belonging and groundedness. Unlike hair, skin or eye colour, a child’s identity is not inherent or fixed. It is experienced, nurtured and developed in part from exposure to the cultural and religious rights and rituals that make up the family.
Read more on Happy Chrismukkah in our Dec/Jan 2015 issue. Subscribe here!