Expat Magazine

Childhoods – How Kids Grow up in Different Countries!

By Martinemler


Today I would like to introduce a new book by Michaela Schonhöft. Everyone who is interested in other cultures will be happy to read it. A great overview of parenthood worldwide. It is written in German.

 Why Japanese Teens are less rebellious…  why pregnant women are more relaxed in New Zealand…. why a binding relationship in upbringing is important in Japan and India…. why Chinese mothers  surrounding themselves with beautiful cultural art during their pregnancy….

This was the main introduction of all reviews to this book and I copy it for my presentation.

Michaela Schonhöft interviewed families from around the world in the past years. She was searching for happy children. The result is a beautiful and affectionate book about childhoods of different cultures around the globe. If someone is interested in other cultures this is the book to read next. Her conclusions is … well you have to find out yourself.

While reading I remember my own experience. In my opinion this book mirrors the reality.

In one chapter she is talking about the ghost children of central Australia. A story I have never heard about. A compelling story how the Ngalia believe in ghost children. At another point the author talks about a pregnant women who swims with dolphins in Hawaii. The dolphins are totally into her and gathered around her.

I think I can contribute a story out of my life. I gave birth in Singapore and my kids grew up in Asia. Singaporean love children. My gynecologist was a tiny,  middle aged Chinese Singaporean Lady with a short military hair cut. After my first appointment she sat at her desk in her conservative costume and with her horn-rimmed glasses sitting accurate on her nose and studying us for a while than she said hesitantly:

“Do you want to get the baby earlier?”

We looked surprised at each other. This was our first child but that much we know that babies should not come earlier as expected. Carefully we asked for the reason. My gynecologist looked at us, two Angmos, who did not know anything and replied in a serious manner: This could be a tiger baby! The delivery date is at the beginning of the tiger year and it would be better if it is an ox. She shaked her head in disbelieve and looked at us. Her eyes talked for her and they said: “Why don’t you know this, this is basic.” My (Ex)-hubby replied, tigers are strong and it would be great to have a tiger baby. A discussion erupted. East meets West!

Well, my son arrived in the year of the Ox and my gynecologist said on that day to my hubby: “And …. this child wants to be an Ox.”

This is Michaela Schonhöft Website:


If you like her site please go to her Facebook site and click on the like button:


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