Involving family in major life events even when they're far away is essential for successful long-distance families
Milestones are an important part of any child's life, especially when they're rooted in cultural traditions. But many multicultural parents don't have family living close by, and when the list of nieces and nephews and grandkids starts to grow it's nearly impossible for family to attend every major life event.
Thanks to technology, relatives can still be a part of the celebrations through things like:
Video Chats (Facetime, Zoom, Duo, and so many more!)
But how can family play an active role in a cultural celebration?
My husband and I are both members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and many of our family members are also of the same faith. One of the things we believe in is the importance of giving our babies a name and blessing to help them during their lives. Many parents dress their babies in white for this special blessing.
My mom lives out of state and wasn't able to attend my daughter M's baby blessing in person. She still wanted to be a part of this special day, so she offered to sew M's baby blessing dress with a matching bonnet. My sewing skills are novice at best, and I had been planning to just buy a white dress online, so I eagerly accepted her offer.
M won't remember this special day, but we have pictures to commemorate it. She'll always be able to look back and see the beautiful outfit her Sobo (grandma) made for her showing that it was a special moment for the whole family, not just those that were in the room when she was given a name and blessing.
We sent pictures to my mom as well so that she'd be able to feel close to M and know that while she couldn't attend in person, she was able to play an important role on M's special day.
Here are 3 ways that we've incorporated "a part while apart" in our cultural celebrations:
Host a live stream of the event so friends and family can watch and comment live
Include family in the event's logistics (reach out for family favorite recipes to serve, get feedback on the appropriate traditional decor or attire to be used, ask for clarification/meaning behind event customs)
After the event send participating family members photos, videos, and thank you cards so their support can feel appreciated
By including family in momentous occasions, you will not only be preserving your cultural heritage but will also be connecting various generations together through celebration.