Archive for August, 2012


Tooth Fairies over the world.

My daughter has been craving for pizza since over a week now. This is the only way one can get her to willingly eat some veggies (aka some pieces of pepper bell hidden under layers of cheese to hide their too green flavor). Now, do not get me wrong, I may be a distracted person, but when it comes to nutrition, I have got my secret weapons. I have a much bossy brother who steps in whenever little Princess thinks of getting around the plate of greens. With some threats to make her write a whole notebook of alphabet and numbers or some occasional emotional blackmailing or some not so emotional blackmailing (don’t be worried – nothing that could ruin a life), little Princess is getting her share of vitamins. OK, I could have found some more creative ways, and trust me, I did try but Capricious Princess would however always find a plausible (according to children’s logic) excuse to just eat a plate of plain rice.

I guess you are already judging my mommy skills by now, but that’s OK. I do not mistreat my children – oh my God, I would never ever think of that! – and I have been through this with my own parents and didn’t turn out to be a sociopath/serial killer and I now LOVE vegetables.

So I came back home tonight, with some lovingly baked pizza from my work place’s canteen (they ARE delicious) and wasn’t that much surprised when I found Cameron patiently waiting for me at the doorstep.I triumphantly handed her the microwave – heated goodies and enjoyed her glistening little eyes. These really are some small pleasures of life. She made her way to the dining table while I lazily made my way to my much deserved cup of coffee.

As I enjoyed the first sip of the hot beverage, dreaming of some faraway snow coated landscape (I am already living on the faraway island in the sun), I peeked and saw what was all but tears of joy. I was confused when I heard the loud cries which followed. Did she find out that I ordered an all-veg pizza??? Crap!

No, my little cutie was growing into a young woman! She lost her first tooth!!! Okay, not her first, I might be exaggerating a little bit to get you read the whole post. Anyway, she lost a tooth and sobbed. The competent mum that I am of course tried to comfort her. I mentioned the tooth fairy who would be glad to have to work this week-end, but she was already aware of that.

We also follow some western traditions with the exception that, instead of a Tinkle-bell like fairy, we had La petite Souris or the small mouse. Mauritius being a former french colony and still very much influenced by the french culture, it was all too normal for us to adopt this ritual a la french. The unlucky tooth is placed under the child’s pillow and the little mouse (ours is probably more tanned than France’s) comes to exchange the tooth for some money or a gift. I personally see it rather like a trade than an exchange and I place some coins worth a chocolate bar. Or should I make a stock of gifts for every unexpected tooth lost?

With my sweety in my arms, my mind was already working on the potential subject for my next blog post and while figuring out what the Little Mouse equivalent is in the further west region, I also found myself wondering what the Little Mouse equivalent is in the rest of the world.

because I did not find a better pic

I decided to do some research on the web and started with Wikipedia. Here are some interesting facts I found:

About the appearance

Rosemary Wells,  author of a number of popular children’s books: “You’ve got your basic Tinkerbell-type tooth fairy with the wings, wand, a little older and whatnot. Then you have some people who think of the tooth fairy as a man, or a bunny rabbit or a mouse.”

One review of published children’s books and popular artwork found the tooth fairy to also be depicted as a child with wings, a pixie, a dragon, a blue mother-figure, a flying ballerina, two little old men, a dental hygienist, a potbellied flying man smoking a cigar (seriously? Who would do that?), a bat, a bear and others.

Related myths

Hispanic culture also has a mouse.The Ratoncito Pérez (or Ratón Pérez) – quite the same tradition as in English-speaking countries, with Raton Perez exchanging the tooth for a gift.

In some Asian countries, such as India, Japan, Korea and Vietnam, when a child loses a tooth, it is customary for him or her to throw it onto the roof if it came from the lower jaw, or into the space beneath the floor if it came from the upper jaw. While doing this, the child shouts a request for the tooth to be replaced with the tooth of a mouse. This tradition is based on the fact that the teeth of mice grow for their entire lives, a characteristic of all rodents.

In Japan, a different variation calls for lost upper teeth to be thrown straight down to the ground and lower teeth straight up into the air; the idea is that incoming teeth will grow in straight.

In Middle Eastern countries (including Iraq, Jordan, Palestine, Egypt and Sudan), there is a tradition of throwing a baby tooth up into the sky to the sun or to Allah. This tradition may originate in a pre-Islamic offering, and dates back to at least the 13th century. It is also mentioned by Izz bin Hibat Allah Al Hadid in the 13th century.

In parts of India, young children offer their discarded baby teeth to the sun, sometimes wrapped in a tiny rag of cotton turf

The tooth fairy is less common in African cultures. (Probably because of the myth that Africans have stronger teeth which rarely fall – don’t laugh, I was set to this evidence by a European tourist back when I was a tourist guide!!! I did laugh at her face though!)

Hammaspeikko, Finnish for “tooth troll”, is a metaphorical device for explaining tooth decay (caries) to children, akin to the Tooth Fairy. Eating candy lures tooth trolls, which drill holes into teeth and look scary. Brushing the teeth scares them away. It is not clear whether the tooth troll is a single entity, or if there are many.

All the above is copied and pasted from Wikipedia.

If you have other traditions, you are the most welcomed to update me in the comments section. If not, I would be glad to read your comments nonetheless.

XOXO, Dona

Advertisements

Dying young…what if???

I’ve been covering a cough/flu since a month now, thanks to the “I-hate-modern-medicine” part of me who refuses to swallow any chemicals-based pills and the “I-am-too-lazy” part of me, who well, is too lazy to prepare any natural concoctions to fight the ugly bacterias. As a result, I ended up taking a leave without pay from work yesterday (I am only entitled paid leaves as from today, being my 1 year anniversary at the job;bitter sweet irony, huh?). I probably coughed and threw out 1/3 of my lungs and I wondered if the smoking wasn’t majorly responsible for this.

Anyway! When I was back to work today and pondering about how a stupid flu could be having the best of 200-and-something-lbs me during my free time, I pondered so deep that I imagined how it would be like, if I actually was living my last days on this earth. (Just writing the last sentence took me about 5 minutes between the thinking and the coughing, so you have an idea how bad it is) Back to the fruits of my pondering, I thought to myself that if I were to leave this awful world, there would probably be more regrets than just leaving a loving family behind. There should be something that I would miss. Not that you can really miss anything when you’re dead, but hey, blame it on the germs eating part of my brain.

So, with the part of my brain which was still struggling to be functional, and because dying young is a fate which does not happen only to others, I came up with a bucket/to-do/last wills list I would like to accomplish before turning 30 and gray, that I wanted to share with you. Any ideas are the most welcome, since, again blame it on the bacterias, I cannot think of much lately.

1. Work out

Because working out is the actual topic I am trying not to avoid. Working out leads to a trimmer body, leading probably to a happier me and happy people have a longer life expectancy (at least I hope).

Image

I work out!!!

2. Have a “bitch-for-one-day” day.

I read about a funny article in a German magazine a few years ago, about that shy girl who is usually afraid to assert herself and avoid being pushed around, but who decided to act bitchy for a day just to know about the feeling and related about it. I was soooo inspired. I am not usually shy, but sometimes reserved and I have seen more of my reserved sides lately than I needed to.

3. Gang bang !?

OK, ‘nuf said, don’t judge, have mercy (grin).

4. Play the guitar.

Actually, I started to learn a few years ago. I took lessons during 5 months before I flew to the unknown as an Au-pair to Germany. I even brought my guitar along, in the hope that I would finally be able to play “More than words”. The guitar is in better hands now but I still regret not being able to show off my skills during camping nights at the beach.

5. Last will stuff: Have “TNT” by AC/DC played at my funerals.

I just love this song, it’s timeless and I will probably be rocking in my coffin if they grant me this very last wish. I should update my family about this one though.

6. Visit a few countries/cities like Ireland, New Zealand, New York, Bali and Holland

This is my top 5 list in descending order. I will surely not be able to achieve that one before 30, mostly due to my budget (except if I meet a millionaire who would accept taking me on a world tour without asking anything in return, you never know! Anyone out there feeling philanthropic??? ). With some savings or maybe some happy turns with my lucky numbers, I can probably afford the first one.

7. Get inked.

This one depends on No 1. I feel like a nice big tattoo on my back would look even sexier with a trimmed body. I am already thinking of the motives I would like to see on my skin and trying not to think too much about what it will look like when I’ll be 70 (if ever).

8. Have a song written for me.

Tough one. I guess I should start updating my contact list with a few musically gifted people and get them bewitched or even find a part time bashful lover who doesn’t mess with notes??? I will figure out.

This is how far I got during my spare time at work today but I will be extending this list as soon as I get my working mind back on track.

XOXO Dona.

Regardless where you live in the world, communication is the most important tool you have to make yourselves understood. Words of course play a major role but we have found so many other ways to express ourselves. Be it signs, art and music. The list could go on; we just need to be creative. Communication skills is a must-have when applying for most jobs nowadays.

So what happens then when language becomes a barrier?

I could relate too well. I went to Germany as an au-pair, with only some basic German language skills. I was left with two kids, one of whom didn’t speak english or french. I was going around the house with my dictionary and would take 10 mins to tell her she should stop being naughty! Thank God this phase is over and I’m almost fluent in German.

Now to give you some background; I met my husband in Germany. We got married in Mauritius a few months later. We now have 2 kids, Cameron,6 and Dean,2 (not very German names!). My husband speaks German and English, which in a country where English is the official language, should not be an issue at all. Not if you know the Mauritian history.

Image

Mauritius is a former Dutch (1638–1710), French (1710–1810), where the island started developing effectively, and British (1810–1968) colony. Though the English occupancy is still very well felt in the Government and even educational system, most Mauritian will speak French. The French brought slaves from Africa. As a result, and for better communication, Mauritian creole was born. Meaning, it is easier for us to speak and understand French. Even if the school books are in English, the language used for teaching is mostly French. (I’m only trying to write in English to get more viewers :p)

Image

Cameron grew up with both French and German. At first she would mingle the two languages, but by the time she was 4, she could clearly tell which was which. I was proud of her, but also happy I could scold her in public, without anyone understanding what I was saying(don’t judge me 🙂 ) But then, about two years ago, my husband and I had to take a decision which was hard for all of us. He went back to Germany for work, and I stayed in Mauritius with the kids. Dean was only 5 months old. During his time abroad, we communicated via Messenger and Dean ,though not really “knowing” is father was aware of him.

As a working mom, I decided to go back to live with my dad. It was the best choice for the kids and myself. My grandma lived next door and she took care of them while I was at work. The children were surrounded by the family. My dad, brother and cousins, aunt and Grandma. They had the chance to live what I had the chance to experience as a kid; Family values.

Of course, I am ashamed to admit that during that time, not a single word of German was spoken. Our daily life went on in a very Creole atmosphere, spiced up with some French. Back to the roots! It is true that kids learn a language very easily at that age, but it is also true that they forget quite as easily.

Now the issue; Hubby came back from Germany yesterday. Though the Homecoming was one filled with emotions, my laziness of not nurturing my kids in their second language is being felt. They do not understand their dad! My daughter would pick some words and sentences back up through her selective memory. Funny to observe how kids can be so cunning these times. She would do as said when being asked to bring this or that, give a kiss or hug, but answer with a i-don’t-know-what you-mean grin, when being told to behave. Even funnier – she would answer back in basic English she learns at school (though she always told me she didn’t learn anything when I asked how was her English class).

Until we find a place for ourselves where the language will be heard on a daily basis, we are trying to slowly introduce German language back in the children’s life. So far we are not doing bad at all. Dean already understands when I ask him to show me his feet or hands. It should be easier for him, since he is just about learning to speak correctly.

Hubby’s only back since yesterday, so we have a lot of time in front of us. This journey to German language should be a funny one. One I too needed. We hope that we will be able to achieve it by the end of the year. All I can do for now is help and fantasize about being able to enjoy not being understood from the public in a few months from now.

If you have had the same experiences, I would welcome all tips to shorten the deadline I gave us and I hope you enjoyed the reading (though my English skills still have a long way to go for perfection).

“When the trust account is high, communication is easy, instant, and effective.”
― Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

Bucket List Publications

Indulge- Travel, Adventure, & New Experiences

whyiamnotskinny

sharing food experiences

Kate's Creative Space

ideas, projects and beautiful things

FOOD CHIC by Amelie

Fashionable food lover, part time chef & eat-aholic

Project 40

A lifestyle blog for men of a certain age...

Learn about nutrition with me!

tidbits from a dietitian student's journey

The WordPress.com Blog

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.