Friday, September 18, 2009

Kids In Mexico

Okay, I love kids. Always like to laugh with them, joke around, and play little games or just entertain them. I recently started teaching music classes in Mexico and 2/3rds of my piano class are girls under 10. They are all beautiful and cute. But they do keep their distance. My tendency when teaching kids is to hug and encourage them. Usually, in spite of any language barrier, this allows me to develop a good rapport. But in Mexico, they seem to keep their distance, which is a bit disappointing and hard for me to adjust to.

A little cultural background might be helpful. In certain parts of Mexican society, there is an assumption that girls will be the subject of sexual advances from any males, even relatives, so they must learn to keep their distance and even be kept away from males until they marry. The assumption in the culture seems to be that male libidos are so hard for men to control that other actions should be taken to protect the girls, since the males can't help themselves. Before I get lambasted, I am not saying I agree that male libidos cannot be controlled. We are biblically called to self-control so clearly God holds us accountable for controlling our desires and actions. But I am saying that it seems to be a cultural point of view there. Now, ironically, I am dealing with Protestant Christians here, so you would hope that would be a little different, but so far I am suspecting it may not be.

In any case, this presents a culture clash for me, as I have to be aware of how I interact with the kids and really watch myself so as not to offend. It should be easier, I guess, but I am so used to building rapport with kids, and often their parents, by joking and playing with the kids and just having fun. It also helps us bridge our language gap. All of these students, by the way, speak Spanish. A few know some English, but mostly it's the adults who do, not the kids.

In any case, an interesting culture clash that seemed to fit here. Sorry I have not posted in a while. Between vacation, job changes and some new writing projects, I have not had the time.

For what it's worth...