Sun, Jan 16, 2005 - Page 4 News List

Cross-cultural families are facing special challenges


A seminar on Southeast Asian culture was held in Fengshan, Kaohsiung County yesterday to deepen local people's understanding of the people of the region.

A worker from the Eden Social Welfare Foundation, which organized the forum, noted that the Taiwanese need to know more about Southeast Asia in light of the fact that more and more Taiwanese are marrying women from the region, the children are growing up in cross-cultural marriages, and leads to special challenges for schoolteachers.

Wu Hui-ling (伍慧玲), an Indonesian woman who married a man from Tungkang, Pingtung County, five years ago, told the forum that she used to live with her sister-in-law in Tungkang until differences with her sister-in-law about how to educate her only daughter forced her and her husband to move to Kaohsiung six months ago.

Wu said she had studied at an Indonesian university for two years before marrying and moving to Taiwan but said she had difficulty getting used to Taiwan's culture.

The differences are especially pronounced when it comes to children's education, she said, noting that her Indonesian cultural background predisposes her to be tougher with her child, which led to interference by her sister-in-law, who spoils her children.

Wu's daughter, who was brought to the forum by her mother, can recite the multiplication table and the Three-Character Book, an ancient Chinese book for small children, which is a remarkable achievement for a four-year-old.

Wu complained that in Tungkang, many foreign women married to Taiwanese are forbidden by their Taiwanese in-laws to attend literary classes or enroll in adult education programs.

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