A Tale of Two Countries

Along with most other schools in NSW, my son’s school is celebrating Book Week this week. As part of their celebration of the theme “One World, Many Stories”, they were invited to come dressed in their national costumes for assembly.

In our house, the issue of race and “nationality” is not something that we bring to the Meatball’s attention, even though he’s of mixed heritage (I was born in the Philippines and Fruit Man’s parents are of Italian descent). When I started dating Fruit Man, I was attracted to his outgoing personality, not his bum nationality. The fact that I wasn’t Italian and that he wasn’t Filipino wasn’t an issue.

So anyway, I had to decide whether I was to dress the Meatball in the Philippines’ traditional costume

Barong Tagalog

Or go for the Italian traditional costume (I’m told of which there are many)

Oooo.... Trendy....

I even toyed with the idea of sewing two halves of each to get an effect like this

Won't work?

To be honest, I didn’t really want to dress him up. I didn’t want my son to have to choose my husband’s or my country of origin’s costume to dress in. He’s both. He’s also Australian. Why should he have to decide? Or better yet, why should I, as his parent have to decide?

After much agonising about what to do, I ended up sitting the Meatball down and told him he wasn’t going to go in costume.  I explained to him about his mixed background and why Mummy wasn’t going to pander to some ridiculous requirement for him to choose which country he related to the most. Well, not exactly in those exact words but in a way a 5 year old can understand (read: you’re not dressing up because Mum said so).

Freaking out and explaining to Meatball all the way to school about why we weren’t participating in this activity, we turn up at school and only half the kids have gone to the effort of dressing up…

These kids…. where’s their national pride????   =p

Have you ever had a school event/function that you didn’t get your kids to participate in because of your personal opinions?

Images courtesy of Wikipedia and www.costumesgalore.net