To state the obvious, Vik and I come from very different cultural backgrounds. Fortunately, this has never been a source of tension in our relationship. Quite to the contrary, we both enjoy learning about (and taking part in) the other’s traditions.
Now that we are expecting a little one, we have been giving a lot of thought to how we will share our varied experiences and traditions with our son, and the unique family traditions we will create from the best of both of our worlds. Although we are far from figuring out the ins-and-outs of raising a multicultural child, we both agree that at the very least our son will be doubly blessed to enjoy two-times the gift-receiving holidays as the majority of his peers!
Of course, introducing our son to the various American and Indian holidays and all of their attendant traditions will necessarily involve introducing Mommy and Daddy to the same. In an effort to get a head start on this endeavor, this past weekend I decided to give Vik a primer on one of the most important aspects of one of America’s most revered holidays — I taught Vik how to carve a jack o’ lantern.
Okay, so maybe Halloween is not really one of the most important holidays on the American calendar, but it was always a big deal in my family (probably because it also happens to be my Mom’s birthday). We always went all out with homemade costumes (no pre-made vinyl contraptions for us), Halloween-themed baked goods, and, of course, pumpkin carving. Vik has already mastered the art of consuming baked goods (regardless of the occasion), and was introduced to costumes two years ago (when he was the Scarecrow to my Dorothy). But, until yesterday, he had never carved a pumpkin. Well, I decided this needed to be remedied before our little one arrives, because if there is one thing a father should be able to teach his son, it is how to gut and carve a giant squash.
Of course, as Vik does with most things, he excelled at pumpkin carving, putting this veteran squash artist to shame. As you can see from the picture below, any concern I had that our son might one day find his father’s carving abilities to be lacking were completely unfounded.