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Daughter left out in 'shogakko'

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  • #16
    Thanks a lot everybody for the replies.

    Yes, Old Style, we are in Asakusa, near Ueno. There are many foreigners here, but most of them are in fact tourists who come to see Asakusa and Senso-ji.

    Ttokyo, we are Muslims, but not religious really. I do not wear hijab, and my daughter eats schoolfs lunch with no problem.

    I like to believe that in fact we were unlucky. Almost at the same time my daughter started eyochienf, my son started to have daily seizures. I was so depressed and so busy with Dr appointments that never thought about the importance of involving in school. Of course at that time I didnft even know how parentsf participation in school activities is important in Japan (Iran is not like that). I didnft even know enough Japanese to exchange a few words with other mothers, or explain our condition to them. And none of them could speak English either. On the other hand, my son is very cute. Although he is mentally and physically retarded, nobody can tell this by only looking at him. Only recently some of the mothers have discovered about my son through my daughterfs teacher. So all these years I might have seemed like an aloof woman who just comes and goes like a ghost, and does not talk much. In the few occasions that I tried to talk to the mothers with my poor Japanese, some misunderstandings happened, like I meant something and they understood something else. I also made some mistakes, like I gave some of them presents that later discovered they interpreted as a bribe to persuade their kids to become friends with my daughter. Oh I just wish I could go back in timec

    I feel much better now; I have accepted my sonfs condition and am ready to socialize and make friends. I even have recently started studying Japanese, but am not really fluent yet. Anyway, from all I have read here and elsewhere, I think the best solution for us is to move to another district.

    I guess gMinato-kuh is a good place for foreigners. What do you all think?

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    • #17
      Another thing. I guess in Japan, European or American kids have a better chance of being accepted than Asian or Middle Eastern children. The reason some of your kids have encountered no problems might be that they are white and blonde. I have heard Japanese people love blonde hair.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by lilygz
        Ttokyo, we are Muslims, but not religious really. I do not wear hijab, and my daughter eats schoolfs lunch with no problem.
        I admire you and your family's courage. It must have been pretty hard living in Iran and not being very religious. I have never been there and am certainly not an expert on things Iranian, but from what I see on TV, religion does seem to be of primary importance there. Was this one of the reasons why you and your family decided to resettle in Japan? Are you here for good or do you hope to someday return to Iran?

        Originally posted by lilygz
        On the other hand, my son is very cute. Although he is mentally and physically retarded, nobody can tell this by only looking at him.
        Sorry to hear about your son, but it's refreshing to see somebody be not so PC (politically correct) when it comes to talking about their children and their children's problems. Your situation sounds very difficult and I hope you find a solution very soon. I also hope it doesn't come down to choosing between what is best for your daughter and what is best for your son. An international school might indeed be best for your daughter, but tuition is really expensive, isn't it? How's your financial situation? Can you afford to just pick up and move house (even to another place in Tokyo) on the hope that things might get better for your daughter?

        Do you have any other Iranian friends or family members here in Japan that you can talk to? Your English is very good, but sometimes it can be really reassuring to talk about your problems in your mother tongue. Maybe you know some other Iranian mothers here in Japan who also have children attending Japanese schools? Are there any groups or organizations for Iranian expats in Japan?

        Maybe you'll find these websites helpful.

        TELL Children & Families
        Child and Adolescent Counseling Service Tokyo, Japan
        Association of Foreign Wives of Japanese (I know your husband's not Japanese, but you could make some new friends through this group)
        Japan with Kids Forum

        Good luck to you and your family.

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        • #19
          Hi Shimi, thanks for your kind words. Oh my God, everybody would love to return homec Nowhere is like your home country. Iran is not that bad; the stupid rules set by the government would not really bother us (of course I love not wearing hijab, like many other Iranian women ). We didnft leave Iran for religious reasons, or at least this was not the main reason why we left. We left Iran in the hope that we make better future for our kids (well, at that time, for my daughter), but what happened was just the reversec And no, we cannot really afford international schools. But we can afford moving to like Minato-ku, which I think is a more international district. Thanks for the links also!

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          • #20
            Lilig - of course this is to do with you and your children being Iranian foreigners rather than white foreigners or foreigners marrried to Japanese. The last point I think is the key problem - the potters posting here have mostly had better experiences because they are married to a Japanese person. The Japanese prioritise their relationships with other Japanese above all else. Your daughter sounds intelligent and friendly - but she looks distinctly foreign. That is the 'problem'. And by the sound of it you and your husband are both Iranian, one of you is not Japanese, so that further lowers your status in this society. Your daughter does not matter in this case to the other children because a) she is distinctly non white foreign looking (and some white kids have a really tough time too), b) The other mums do not really want their children being involved with non Japanese for the reason I said before and because they regard it as being not useful for their child to be close in any way to a non Japanese. In this case you need to move her to a school where there are other foreign kids of her own age. All the talk about how Japan is changing etc means nothing to the overwhelming percentage of Japanese who do not perceive any useful benefit from engaging with foreigners. If you were wealthy and had some status in this society it might be different. Foreign children of foreign parents can have a really tough time in Japan - it is those who have the status of some Japanese blood that are usually fine. Korea is the same and worse in some ways with Korean mothers often openly telling their kids not to play with the tigi or half blood or completely foreign kid. Move to a place where your daughter can make friends - a place where there are more foreigner families with no Japanese spouses or relatives. Sorry to hear this as you are the kind of migrants that we need in my home country Australia - boat people from Middle Eastern countries and Central Asia have given a bad image with their sense of entitlement and demands for welfare and that we change our culture for them. We need more people like you - ever thought of migrating to Australia?

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