Thursday, 25 February 2016

Bringing up a Multilingual Child

Back on track about how it is actually to bring up a child in a multilingual family, in our case Russian-Hindi-English-a little bit Punjabi... now that's enough I think.

Russian language 

Long before my little A was born I decided that I would speak only Russian and would make it a language of communication at least between two of us. I have been speaking Russian with him since then, mixing it with English words here and there on the way (like ешь it - eat this).
However communication alone will not suffice for him to learn my mother tongue. Written word is also very important so that he sees the Russian language around, its usage, and understands that this language has equal rights with others. For that purpose I always keep a calendar on the wall which is usually given by my parents every year.
Little A has his own backpack, gifted by my Lebanese friend, in which we store all the books. Every day little A brings  this precious bag of books, and we start reading, he comments, points at the pictures, asks to turn the page or not to...
My parents provided many books for A, so we don't have lack of Cyrillic written words.Some of them were gifted by our friend from Moscow, who also has an Indian husband and two kids. So she knows how it is raising children in a mixed family. She brought most popular children authors of all times A. Barto  (А. Барто), S. Marshak (С. Маршак) and K.Tchukovsky (К.Чуковский).
S. Marshak poems and tales for children

Agniya Barto, poems for children. (Агния Барто, Стихи для детей)

"Hare", one of the most known short poems by A. Barto.

"Elephant" ("Слон")
He loves seeing pictures in the book by K. Tchukovsky (К. Чуковский) "Wash'em clean" "Мойдодыр" - it's a book about a boy who was so dirty that all his belongings ran away from him.. so in order to gain them back he had to take a good bath :D
He absolutely loves a little book  called Сорока-сорока (Magpie-magpie). This is a folklore nursery rhyme which you say to a child while making circles on his palm, and then press each finger tip as the story goes... He tries to do this with my hand too :)
 I read him this alphabet book too, and he repeats A, О, У vowels :)

There are as well folktales, fairy tales, poems available for little A, and many good reads are with my parents, and  I can't wait to introduce my little boy to them.

I show him Russian cartoons from time to time too, like Domovyonok Kuzya (a Hob?), so he hears the speech not only from me. Many of my friends who live in India say that it is difficult to inculcate your language when the environment is not there. But as soon as I don't have an option of staying in my country, I shall use other means in order to make it happen. I need to put an effort.
So as you see his exposure to Russian language is limited to my speech, books, cartoons, and Skype with his grand parents. I am not going to overburden him with it, but just wanting to lit up interest in his mother's tongue. My D however is learning Russian now and is on his second year at the University, so I expect a little help from him too :)

English language

English makes a big entry in our day to day communication.
Among the books introduced to A is his favourite Little Red Riding Hood, which I purchased in the bookstore because of its illustrations. It was long before little A was born, but I knew it right there then that it was going to be for my baby.

This one is an old Indian edition of short stories found among many old books my in-laws keep with them. The stories are too long for my A, and have slightly strange plots to my liking.
 Moreover his exposure to English language will increase when he goes to school, as mostly all the playschool programs here are in English, just like the one I used to work for. Hence I don't have much worry for this language, he will definitely learn it.

Hindi language.

Absolutely everywhere. Speech at home and outside, children's TV channels ...BUT little A has no Hindi books as of now, only newspapers, in which he likes to point at the words written in Devanagari. Beside,s of course, little A will be learning it at school.

Punjabi language

Exposure is very limited to occasional conversations by my in-laws. D doesn't speak Punjabi at home, but only when it is required. However this language is taught in many schools here in UT.
I know I take sides - I wrote the most about Russian :P ))) However aiming to bring my A up with the knowledge of three languages I would not like to enforce any of them but implement in such a way that he enjoys this unique opportunity and uses it later in life effortlessly.
Until Little A starts speaking we won;t get to know which one of the languages he would prefer, but just recently he started trying to say the word "bird" in Russian (ptica "птица").. Yey!!! I win! lol

Have a nice day! Just one more day left, and we can enjoy our weekend :)

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Crocheting Useful and Beautiful

Hello dear friends! I guess that our Indian winter has come to an end... Sun is shining bright, temperature is around +24, birds are chirping. Hot Indian Summer is round the corner!
We celebrated my father-in-laws birthday last Monday, the cake my D brought was awesome - fruity delicious!
However last week had also stored unexpected health issues. First my little boy had fever for 4 days, then when he started recovering, another boy, D, fell ill... Both are fine now, but I was taken a little aback and stayed home for almost a week. Hopefully no one else in the house will experience this nasty viral.
Thank you all for encouraging comments on my last post, I must say they moved me, literally! I did start crocheting after little A goes to bed. And the feeling of being able to create again is awesome, even if I get a little less sleep. I am not yet ready for any big crochet adventures, hence I am warming up by going for the small ones.
I have been wanting to have a storage basket (-s), which I finally own, and this is not the last one. I have not used any particular pattern, but got inspired by many on Pinterest, especially by the one with handles. It looks awesome, works up in no time, and organizes little things in the house so well - what more would you wish for? I put two strands of yarn together and liked the marble like effect it created.

Another rather beautiful, but maybe not so useful project is a Mega mandala doily, consisting of 23 rows. I loved crocheting this one a lot because it uses various stitches, and each row is in a different color. It can be called a stash buster project.  I used Indian yarn brand Vardhman, Brilon as usual. The doily was emerging throughout few creative nights, here it is how:
It measures about 35 cm in diameter. I am going to place it on a crockery table in our drawing room.. and make one more for the sake of enjoying making it once again, lol :) Crocheter's madness.
In plans to crochet a set of coasters, maybe something like a set of mats for my little A's meal time, 2 pillow covers for my parents and start another blanket (shall start soon, because this project will stretch till next year for sure, lol). I particularly liked Linda's Greg blanket - the square patterns and colors, aww...! So perhaps I will steal the idea :P
That's all for now, enjoy your week, enjoy your days!

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