Sharing experiences connects Chinese families
Moving to a foreign country can be difficult, especially when you don’t speak the language. For those immigrating from China it’s about learning to connect to New Zealand culture while still maintaining what's important about being Chinese.
For Chinese raising children in New Zealand they struggle to adjust to the relaxed and non-competitive nature of New Zealand parenting. This is where SKIP Champion Eva Chen comes in. Eva connects with Chinese families by running parenting workshops and providing resources in Mandarin so they can learn new ways to bring up happy, healthy and resilient children.
Proud to be Chinese in Aotearoa
Eva encourages parents to be proud to be Chinese, but also reminds them to connect with New Zealand culture. She says Chinese parents recognise that it’s still important for them to embrace Chinese language with their children.
"In my home we only speak Mandarin and my children only speak Mandarin to their grandparents – there’s no English there," Eva explains.
"It’s like making a smoothie," says Dora Yang, a mother who attended one of Eva's workshops.
"You take bits that you like from each culture and sometimes you might need more of one ingredient and less of another."
Sharing experiences of parenting
Eva also runs a series of emotional parenting support workshops to check in with Chinese families about how they are connecting to New Zealand parenting culture.
"Imagine you are bound to a hospital bed your whole life and then in an instant you are alone in the wild – you wouldn’t know what to do," parent Mel Wang uses this analogy to describe her move from China to New Zealand. "It’s great but it’s hard."
Eva encourages parents to share experiences like this so they feel connected and can help each other smoothly settle into life in New Zealand.
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