I am not perfect, but I give full support to my child
(Kenny and his father, for the first time, experienced Batik together in Indonesia)
My name is Feng Yanni and was born in kota Tarakan of Indonesia. I first studied in my home country and then traveled to Taiwan for further studies. I later worked at a small firm, got married, and also faced many cultural shocks and challenges. My life story began when I was studying in Indonesia. Indonesian citizens have to choose a religion, and every citizen's ID card has a column for religion (agama). There are 6 religions recognized by the Indonesian government (Islam, Christianity, Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Confucianism). The Constitution guarantees citizens the right to freely choose their beliefs. Indonesian concepts and thoughts are closely related to our religious beliefs; for instance, very different from Taiwan’s education system, we had had religious courses since we were in kindergarten. Since I was in Kindergarten, I first came into contact with Islamic lessons. I later learned concepts of Buddhism in elementary school, and I also got about 40 Muslim classmates at that time. These experiences allowed me to understand and explore different cultures and religions.
When I was in junior high school, my parents arranged a Catholic school because they thought schools with nuns and priests would be very strict and disciplinary. We got a church at the school, and we went to church every Friday in class. However, it brought me much pressure because I had to accept various cultures and religions and also learn how to interact with classmates from different backgrounds. After I graduated from middle school, I traveled to the second-largest city in Indonesia, Surabaya, to study at a Christian high school in Surabaya. Can anyone imagine the struggles that I had to interact with people from different family backgrounds and religions?
(Kenny and his mother in front of the flag of Indonesia)
Looking back on my journey of growing up, I started to think about how I had broken through all these difficulties. I had faced improper treatments several times from my classmates which made me feel uncomfortable and less confident in the new environment. I tried hard to find my own way of figuring out life answers, and I realized, "Oh, what I had been looking for are all in books and on respectful seniors. What if I knew them earlier?" Therefore, I decided to share all these journeys of growing up with my child to help him understand himself and find peace in the heart.
Doing the right thing at the right time plays a significant role in life. So, since I got pregnant, I have started reading books about parenting and figured out some ways of cultivating children:
- Emotional management skills: Parents have to teach children about emotions, meaning that we allow them to show their emotions but also teach them to control it. Understanding emotions is important to set up their own standards and principles and helps us improve relationships with others.
- Language proficiency: Languages are the key to know different cultures. The reason why I was able to serve as an Indonesian teacher trained by the Ministry of Education and joined the editing team of Indonesian textbooks of the 108th curriculum guideline was that I have Indonesian and Chinese proficiency. When I was pregnant, I taught Indonesian, English, Chinese, and music to Kenny. He's now over three years old and sometimes sings Indonesian, English, Taiwanese, and Chinese children's songs, which makes me very happy. When he couldn't speak, I talked to him in Indonesian although it looked like I was always talking to myself. Gradually, he started to utter a few Indonesian words, and when he hummed Indonesian children's songs, I felt so proud and realized that it is very important to persist in doing the right things and to be patient.
- Hands-on experience helps children enhance their interests in studying and inspires their imagination when coping with different issues. This ability is highlighted in the 108th curriculum guideline: What we've learned in school, including knowledge, skills, and attitudes, can help us solve issues in life. The new
Children will also be built with Cultural Quotient (CQ), that is, the ability to adapt to various cultures. In addition to teaching children to recognize their own emotions, they'll learn to face and deal with their stress and find their true happiness and meaningfulness when pursuing dreams. Lastly, I'd like to share what I've learned with you, "Happiness falls on learning how to be alone and talk to your own heart. Making friends with people from different backgrounds will broaden your vision and lighten up your life.
Written by Feng Yanni (馮燕妮)