Wednesday, May 9, 2012

I pledge allegiance

Once in a while I wake up myself from the mundane life to the realization that I live in a different country from where I grew up. I have volunteered quite often for my daughter's classroom during this school year, and one thing struck me from the beginning was to pledge allegiance to the flag.

This photo doesn't belong to me. I googled it under I pledge allegiance.
When my 4-year-old daughter started to attend her preschool from last September, everyday she followed the 8 steps as a school routine. All the little kids stood up from their tiny square spot from the colorful rug in the middle of classroom. One kid held up the American flag in front of them and the others put their right hands up close to the heart. And they started to recite, I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

I reminded myself I should learn about the pledge of allegiance. In fact, the word "pledge" and "allegiance" were quite foreign to me. To a certain degree, I have a good excuse; I grew up in South Korea, I haven't had any education for the other country's pledge of allegiance. During my grade school years, I had to recite my own country's pledge of allegiance, 나는 자랑스러운 태극기 앞에 조국과 민족의 무궁한 영광을 위하여 몸과 마음을 바쳐 충성을 다할 것을 굳게 다짐합니다.

Takwondo athletes from around the world pledge the allegiance to the flag

Few days ago, I went to the local library near by our house. Once I'm in the library I head straight to the children's book area. During my book searching to read to my daughter for the week, I found a book that I needed so badly, I pledge allegiance by Bill Martin Jr and Michael Sampson, illustrated by Chris Raschka.

I always remind myself if I want to receive respect from others, I should respect them first. As much I put the high value for my own culture, custom and history, I shall do the same to others. And this is how I show my respect to the country I live in now, by learning the pledge of allegiance from a book, contemplating the deeper meanings and values. I am gonna share my own learning experience with my little daughter. I will also remind her being a daughter of native Korean, native Canadian (my husband is French-Canadian), who mostly living in U.S.A. It's gonna be a challenge for her to accept the culture differences per se, she might feel overwhelmed as well. But we keep try to understand where we come from and where we are now.

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