Country (residing now): US Country (originally from): Spain Children, Ages: Girl, 18 months old Majority Language: English Minority Language(s): Spanish, German, and hopefully French some day!
Hi Lulu and Roy! I'm Isabel-Marie, I'll be 17 months old in 2 days!, and I'm from the US (I love Virginia!). My mom is from Spain and speaks Spanish to me, and she wants me to learn German as well... it's going to be a lot of fun!
I'm currently in Spain, where my mom and I are enjoying our summer vacation... so now that I have more time, I wanted to ask you: Do you celebrate any US holiday(s)/tradition(s) in Japan? What's your favorite? And what's your favorite Japanese holiday/tradition?
Last year I really enjoyed Christmas with my family, and now my favorite tradition is eating ice cream before going to the park on Saturdays.
Have a wonderful day!
Isabel-Marie (and my mom Marisa, who's helping with the typing!)
Hello Isabel-Marie and Marisa! We hope you're having a fun summer in Spain!
Muchas gracias for your questions!
Do you celebrate any US holiday(s)/tradition(s) in Japan? And what's your favorite?
Lulu: We celebrate Valentine's Day and Halloween and Christmas. Christmas is my favorite because the day before Christmas, we get really excited and then we wake up early and open lots of presents!
Roy: I like Christmas, too, because I can get presents! Last year I got a remote-control car and some other stuff!
[Adam's note: Valentine's Day is a pretty big deal in Japan...but only women give gifts to men. There's actually a second gift-giving day in March, known as White Day, where men then give gifts to women. (I bet the candy companies invented this tradition to double their profits!) Halloween isn't celebrated here to the extent that it is in the U.S., but it seems to be growing more popular each year. As for Christmas, for children in Japan, this isn't the same magical holiday that it is for kids in the U.S. and one key reason is that the tradition here is for parents to give their kids only one present. But because I wanted my own kids to feel at least some of the magic I felt as a child, I tend to go overboard and pile up the presents under our tree! The photo above shows sleepy Lulu and Roy on Christmas morning last year.]
And what's your favorite Japanese holiday/tradition?
Lulu: My favorite Japanese tradition is Children's Day because it's a day for kids, not grown-ups. Kids rule!
Roy: My favorite is New Year's because we can eat mochi [chewy rice cakes] and we get money.
[Adam's note: Children's Day is a holiday where there are a variety of activities for kids and admission is free at many places. On New Year's Day, children in Japan get little envelopes of cash from family members.]
Roy: What's your favorite ice cream flavor? Have you ever tried green tea ice cream? It's really good!
[Adam's note: Green tea ice cream--and green tea flavored food in general--is very popular in Japan!]
Adam Beck is the founder of Bilingual Monkeys and The Bilingual Zoo, and the author of the book "Maximize Your Child's Bilingual Ability", praised worldwide by parents and experts in the field. Available at Amazon amzn.to/22XKuCt, the global Amazon sites, and other booksellers.
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Nellie: Adam - will watch the video as soon as I can (living circumstances not permitting right now - we are still in temp accommodation and I can't turn on volume) - looking forward to it!
Sept 22, 2017 5:56:44 GMT 9
Mayken: Skyping with grandma last night had to be cancelled due to technological problems - I needed to talk my mom through a Skype update and her phone battery died. :-(
Sept 25, 2017 20:45:42 GMT 9
Joanna: sorry Mayken...this is sad but funny as I'm sure many skype Grandparents have the same woes !(mine..) For us this weekend: potty training has led to great quality time reading and chatting, and some pretty hilarious ml questions
Sept 26, 2017 6:20:44 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Mayken and Joanna, I can relate! My mother (Grandma) can't seem to get the sound on her computer working so when we Skype, we also have to use the telephone!
Sept 26, 2017 6:36:03 GMT 9
Mayken: Adam, and Joanna, it's good to know we're not alone in this!
Sept 27, 2017 2:46:28 GMT 9
Joanna: Planning a long Christmas minority language visit, so exciting!
Sept 30, 2017 14:46:01 GMT 9
Mayken: Yay! Skype is working again on my mom's tablet, meaning we can skype with ml grandma again!
Oct 2, 2017 23:12:24 GMT 9
Mayken: The other day my mom (monolingual ml) called while my daughter and I were out, so Daddy (monolingual ML) answered. My mom was amazed to find out he isn't monolingual ML any more after all, and praised his active ml ability.
Oct 3, 2017 23:28:39 GMT 9
Joanna: For each day my daughter is exposed to other people speaking English (here in France) I put a little star on the calendar...trying to fill it up!
Oct 8, 2017 3:52:17 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Nice motivating idea, Joanna! And Mayken, thanks for sharing your good news on two fronts!
Oct 9, 2017 7:11:50 GMT 9
Marisa: My daughter won't say number one in Spanish or English, but in German! She loves recognizing the number and saying it out loud... it sounds more like the word 'ice' in English, though, but it's 'eins.' Number 9, however, is 'nueve'. So funny!
Oct 11, 2017 10:33:45 GMT 9
Mayken: My dad's giving Adam's book to his Lithuanian friend's daughter, whose husband is sceptical about their little girl learning German.
Oct 14, 2017 21:10:20 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Mayken, thank you for sharing my book! I hope it can be helpful to them!
Oct 16, 2017 15:57:32 GMT 9
Marisa: Adam, another bilingual monkey is about to be born near me (one of my colleagues is giving birth tomorrow), so I also got her and her husband a copy of your book... this world needs more bilingual kids!
Oct 18, 2017 0:06:43 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Many thanks, Marisa! In my humble opinion, more bilingual kids = more empathy in the world = a more peaceful planet.
Oct 18, 2017 7:33:04 GMT 9