One can’t never be able to count his or blessings, for sure. However. one can at least remember the blessings by writing them down to be shared to the whole world. I have been trying to focus on blogging, because I know I will be someone by blogging, just so you know I have been blogging since 2003. Speaking of blessings, really I can’t thank enough how glad I was being given a chance to go to Frankfurt with my family to visit the biggest German book fair that is held annualy. As you might have read on my previos post on ‘Indonesia Becomes the Family of the European World’, I managed to grab some books we (my husband and daughter too) we wanted.
Back in my home country Indonesia, bilingual stoy books for children are abudantly available in many bookstores. However, they are mostly Indonesian English, or Indonesian Chinese and neither of which I need at the moment. I do not want to send a message that English is not important, IT IS as a matter of fact as it is an international language. But, the purpose of having bilingual children book stories in English and Indonesian or Indonesian Chinese does not suit to our goals for our daughter right now, especially since we live here in Germany. I studied English as my major at the university, so sometimes it’s a kind of against my heart that I do not speak English with my daughter. There comes a time when my daughter learns another foreign language, and when that time comes, I will probably mix my language with English, but for the time being until years to come my only speaking Indonesian to her is the best strategy to persist her in using Indonesian when speaking to me or other Indonesians. I am an Indonesian coming from Java, my husband is a German, and our daughter has dual citizenship until she reaches 18 years old when she has to give up one of the citizenships. We have some rules regarding languages spoken at home: I use ONLY Indonesian, and my husband uses only German. We have been applying these rules since she was inborn ( 4 months in the womb), sounds crazy? well, a little bit out of the topic, but baby in the womb can already hear you, especially his or her mom’s voice! (yayyy! I have that special privilege to win her since she was in my womb, isn’t that awesome??). Anyhow, back to the original topic of a language spoken at home, our daughter is able to differentiate those languages perfectly. I realize the importance of books in early childhood. I do think that children learn a lot of things in life through books. Children’s lingustic skills are developed gardually, from time to time and one of many ways to advance the skill is to provide books to assist her or his language development.Not only do books help language development, but they also provide children with cultural values, moral values which are varied, and such thing will do good for her tolerance towards others, hopefully.
I am not happy to know the fact that even libraries here do not have Indonesian children books that are already translated into German. We need those books to support our goal to make our daughter realize that she is raised in a mixed-cultural family that speaks two languages most of the time.
I was very happy to get these books at the book fair. The books I got where bilingual Indonesian German. Three books, I got were in German, but written by the Indonesian authors. The stories are based on the legend of some areas in Indonesia, which means that those book hold Indonesian cultural values. I was so excited that I felt like grabbing all of them, but some were just for the display of the book fair event. Those kinds of books suit to our goals for our daughter at the moment. Finally, my daughter has the access of reading the bilingual books Indonesian German. Finally, my daughter (and probably my husband, well who says that children books are only for children?) reads Indonesian stories translated into German. Finally, there is a close connection between the Indonesian and German language in a form of CHILDREN’S BOOKS! Yes, Indonesian German children’s book is one of a kind!
I hope soon, those books are everywhere in the bookstores and libraries here. Way to go Germany, way to go Indonesia, and Thank YOU to Frankfurt Buchmesse once again to appoint us as the Guest of Honour 2015.