What my Chiedish Child Teaches Me Every Day (1)

By Xuefei Chen Axelsson

Stockholm, Aug4(Greenpost)–My Chiedish(Chinese-Swedish) daughter Annie was born in December, 2007, my Chinese friend said it was a wonderful Christmas present for me. Indeed, she completely changed my life and I got something new every day.


When she was two years old and three months, we sent her to the kindergarten. There she began to learn the Swedish thinking. Before that I was very proud that she stayed most of the time with me and could be able to speak in Chinese and recite Chinese poems.


But after going to the kindergarten, she was like a little mirror to vividly imitate the teacher. For example, she could use her little hand to put on my forehead and said, “Alla barn måste sova nu meaning All the children must sleep now.”


She learnt the rules that man should not use violence and if anybody uses it, the other should not hit back, but say “stop”.


One evening I was tired and lay in bed, my husband also lay in bed reading a book. By accident I threw a book to Jan’s hips and he felt the pain and threw the book to the floor angrily.


Annie cried immediately and said to Dad, “Pappa, du får inte slanga, du kan saja stoppa, (Dad, you shouldn’t throw the book to the floor, if you are not happy, you can say stop)!”


We both felt a little bit embarrassing and felt glad that she learnt a good solution from school. It was really a good lesson for me.


Of course, I feel she has too much freedom. Not long after she went to the kindergarten she began to talk at the table, I decide. She brought all her rules at the kindergarten to our home table. Anyone who wants to speak must raise his or her hand.


This reminds me of my childhood. The only thing I remember is that children should not talk at the dinner table. Only my dad talked a lot loud and sometimes only my mother could criticize him for talking too much and too loud.


We learnt to obey whatever Mom and Dad said. But now Annie began to speak what she thinks. There were a few times she cried so fiercely that she said it was always the parents decide and as a child, she never made any decision. Afterwards we have to give in.


In Stockholm, any child can find a kindergarten within 500 meters. There is a good website where people can see where a school sits and how it is like. The same rules for primary school. In comparison with Beijing, many parents in Beijing wish their children to go to the best school and in that way it needs a lot of sponsorship from parents. But in Stockholm, it is the city that pays for every child. A school is good or bad, depends on how many students it can recruit.


If it has too few students, it will bankrupt. And Annie’s new school came from her own classes and in combination with another bankrupted school.


Annie speaks Swedish with Dad and Chinese with Mom. After years of listening to our conversation in English and watching TV, she can speak English too.


She is proud of being trialingual, but sometimes she feels it is too much to read and write the Chinese characters.


Thus it is still a long way to go to really master the Chinese language, but she has had a good foundation of speaking the language.

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