Friday, April 19, 2013

Some CZ vs. USA Cultural Differences

Not liking the bundle

I just finished reading a short article on by Elizabeth Haas called 10 Ways I’m More Czech Than American; and can't help but repost. She delightfully explains some of the endearing cultural differences you can experience while a newbie in Prague.

One of my favorites is:

"9. I frequently fret that my daughter will catch cold.
Long before I became a mom, I worked at a Czech nursery school. The parents continually nagged the staff, no matter what the season, to tuck the kids’ shirts into their pants and pull the pants high, as if a thin scrap of denim could shield vital organs. Cut to a well-heated living room in the U.S. last fall as my baby niece braves the elements barefoot with a slice of back exposed, while my own child plays alongside her in punčochy, the thickest Czech tights money can buy...hiked beyond her navel, naturally!"

Although I did not become a bundler, the Czech use of tights is brilliant and we adopted them for our youngest. The two other Czech behaviors for infants that stood out here:

1. Many Czechs keep their infants lying flat in a stroller until they are one year old. You rarely see a Czech infant in chair position. I was told that Czech's believe that it helps promote spine development. In Prague, there are many expensive and well designed strollers.

2. In cold or windy weather, Czech's make sure to put hats on their kids, especially to cover the ears. I am not sure if a majority of Czechs adhere to this practice but I have been scolded for not having a good hat on my kids. A Czech mom told me that they believe it protects the ears from any sort of damage.

I have also been scolded for having about 2 cm of skin exposed between Alani's leggings and socks in the Fall. When at a festival, three women came up to me separately to tell me that Alani's full legs weren't covered, and that I should get a blanket. Its been fun to learn the different beliefs in India and now the Czech Republic, makes me see my own American expectations in a new light.

1 comment:

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Richard Fleitas
Richard P. Fleitas, Psy.D.
Licensed Clinical Psychologist
International Diagnostic Solutions