Motherhood through Culture

They say you can leave Africa, but Africa will never leave you.

tird4838

I grew up in Africa. 9 years of my childhood was spent in that beautiful land which has very much defined and influenced the person I am today. I remember watching women carry babies on their backs with beautifully patterned chitenges, while balancing buckets of water or wood on their heads. All while looking as graceful and calm as a mother can be. Those are the images that I remember now as a mother myself.

I am also Peruvian. My daughter calls me Mamá, I sing “Los Pollitos Dicen” to my children before bed, and make Lomo Saltado and Ají de Gallina as regular meals in my house.

I am a Peruvian woman, who grew up in Africa, raising a Canadian daughter, while speaking to her in Spanish and carrying her in a chitenge.

As her mother, I have a responsibility and privilege to introduce her to the culture before her; through the foods I offer her, the songs we sing, the books we read, and the language I speak to her in –  the language of her maternal grandmothers, and their grandmothers, and many generations before them. In all that, I give her a sense of identity, and a feeling that she belongs to the world… to many parts of it.

As I carry my children in either in a Malawian chitenge or a Peruvian manta, I can only hope that through the culture of my motherhood, I am teaching them that they are part of many things. Part of many histories and practices before them, and hoping they feel a part of all of them, and love them as much as I do.

shla3779

nhif1090

kejk1703

qqln5848mnbo6109

3 Replies to “Motherhood through Culture”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s