This is another classic question I love being asked. It’s not even -“What religion will you raise your children with?”, which I can accept to be a valid question and reply with- “all of them”; but, -“What are your kids going to be?” – I don’t really know how to dignify that with a response, so I usually resort to saying:
“MY KIDS ARE GOING TO BE HUMAN.”
I grew up in a poly-religious household and turned out alright (debatable, I know), so I presume that my unborn children are going to turn out alright too.
My husband is doing his best to learn the Russian language along with Russian customs. He has come with me to church when I felt the need to light a candle for humanity and he celebrates annual Jewish festivities with me at a close family friend’s house. Likewise, I am doing my best to learn Farsi and accommodate myself with Persian culture. I have celebrated Norooz (Persian New Year) with my husband’s family and have attended the holy shrine of Imam Reza in Mashhad, Iran.
We are trying to incorporate one another’s backgrounds into our lives, to better understand each other. I will never forget one night, late last year where the lighting of the 5th or 6th Chanukah candle (Chanukah is a Jewish celebration), fell on the same night as the Persian celebration- Yalda Night. My parents, along with one of my husband’s friends (who is Iranian) came over to our house for dinner. We each took turns to light one candle on the Chanukiah (a 9-branched candelabrum used for Chanukah) after which we ate grapefruit and watermelon to commemorate Yalda Night (it is a custom to eat red fruit on this night). Multiculturalism at its finest.
That is the sort of environment that I would like to raise my children in. I want to expose them to different bits and pieces of each culture and religion that make up my husband and I. Hopefully, we won’t confuse them too much. Personally, I loved growing up with two religions and two cultures. It meant that I received lots of presents and had a lot of excuses to eat and drink. My parents taught me about and celebrated Christian Easter, Russian Orthodox Easter, Jewish Passover, Christian Christmas, Russian Orthodox Christmas, Chanukah, Normal New Year’s, Russian New Year’s and Jewish New Year’s. In addition to that, the offspring of my husband and I will get to celebrate Persian New Year as well a lot of other Islamic and Iranian festivities.
If anything, my future children will just be happy to take more days-off school for ‘religious reasons’ than any of their peers. I always used my several religions to my advantage. Not wanting to attend compulsory Saturday sport at school, I told my teacher that I couldn’t go due to Shabbat (Jewish day of rest and abstention from work), which precluded my parents from driving a car on a Saturday morning. On school camp I demanded a Kosher (Jewish dietary requirement) meal one night, declaring that I’m Jewish on Tuesdays. My kids will have even more material to play with- I’m looking forward to see how creative they’ll get.
Although I am new to the blogging world and am completely incompetent at using technology (I only recently learned how to make hyperlinks), I believe that my message of peace and tolerance needs to be heard. To learn a little bit more about my background please read my post titled “A little bit about myself…”. To learn more about why I started this blog, please read my post titled “Introduction…”.