I do not think much of parents who attempt -with notoriously contrary results- to forcefeed their own beliefs and ideas into their children’s head. At home, I tend to shy away from dangerous topics- S.E.K.S, R.E.L.I.G.I.O.N, and who Mr. Ahmadinejad is and why we all love talking about him in hysterical tones of voice.
Nevertheless, I can’t help noticing that the school is doing an extremely bad job at teaching my daughter about international relations and the state of affairs in the world, and I find myself wandering if I should step in.
I got my first inkling that something was wrong when I heard my daughter describe Haiti to a classmate- apparently, Haiti is a poor child, probably a baby, who was left lying under the ground for a few days, until she was rescued. My daughter sent her a loonie through school, to help her get something to eat.
Today, as we were talking about her school friends, she stated that she didn’t like “Fatima” because she is from “Soula Araybia somewhere like that”.
Now, as a matter of fact I don’t like Soula Araybia much either – I detest their policies on women and treatment of imported labourers. So I was interested when she said that- I thought perhaps she had been learning about different womens’ rights in different countries. This is Canada after all, the country famous for becoming upset when you tell its leader “your mother…” and demands that you cry “you father…” too, in the name of gender equality.
“Why? Why don’t you like Saudi Arabia?”
-“Because they’re all poor…”
There were so many things wrong with this statement that it was difficult to know where to begin. I started with the factual errors.
-“No! They are NOT! Saudi Arabia is one of the richest countries in the world! Anyway, there are plenty of poor Canadians too!”
The princess reacted to this piece of information as if I had called her camel a mule (as we like to say in Farsi). She widened her eyes. “No there are NOT! Canadians aren’t poor.”
The problem is, once those teachers or classmates or whoever it is plants these valuable pieces of information in her brain, she believes in them with all the fervour of a devout fanatic. Trying to change and erase these nuggets is the work of Lord Elephant (very farsi tonight, aren’t we?).
Well, I guess I should try harder, and start talking more about the state of international affairs. My Version. The Truth.