Our next door neighbor, Nukie, is being moved from a too-full kindergarten classroom into a new emergency overflow kindergarten. I introduced his mom to the new teacher, because I had just happened to meet her.
As we were talking I complimented how smart her son is (as well as being so friendly, social, athletically talented, and kind to babies) and her reply was awesome. “He’s going to be like his uncles, one is a professor at a university in Seattle, another is a professor at home in our country. He collects my English and whenever he does I say, “Damn, Nukie, you smart like hell.” We cracked up laughing… it was nice to get the chance to chat with her!
So I was thinking this morning about immigration and diaspora, and what it’s like to have your extended family living in several different countries. I looked up some interesting info. I know that our other neighbors sent huge packing crates full of stuff back home (as they proudly show me whenever the crate is getting full.) I also remember when their hometown library burned down and they collected money to send for it. So it was interesting to read about their country’s economy being a MIRAB, or based on “Migration, Remittances, Aid, and Bureauracy”. I also read some cultural information about philosophies of child-rearing (children raised to be extremely cooperative, social, and respectful of hierarchy, showing respect by anticipating and responding to the needs of others.” When I think of how Nukie and Moomin play together I can see that their socialization is very different – Nukie treats him as the elder, and Moomin doesn’t know how to respond (at least not very nicely.)
There was another complication to the kindergarten classroom shuffle: I heard the teacher’s explanation that there was a list of the order the children registered for the school, and the cut-off was 215, and Nukie was number 220, and so he got bumped into the new overflow classroom. But Nukie’s mom didn’t understand a word of that explanation and later remarked to me that he probably got put in a different classroom because he is too active, i.e. hyper. But to explain this with our language barrier was really hard! I’ll let his older sister know when I see her next.