I’ve been waiting for this film to come out on DVD for a year now. I have to say…this documentary did not disappoint. I awwed, cooed, laughed, and sat back in complete awe at a brilliant masterpiece about four babies from four very different parts of the world and their first year of life. San Francisco, Namibia, Tokyo and Mongolia are the four regions these babies are from.
It’s so interesting to see how first world countries are not so different from each other in raising children (i.e. San Francisco and Tokyo). I even had to sit there asking…’why is she naked?’ Then there was the “Now, I’ve seen everything!”
I laughed hysterically at the Tokyo baby throwing a huge fit because she was given a toy that she couldn’t figure out. I kept saying…now, why would they do that to the poor child? But it’s just a way of showing how in Japan, intelligence is embedded in the mind of a child at a very young age…that is, the need to be highly intelligent. Can you imagine her frustration when she couldn’t figure out why the wheel kept falling off? Oh, she threw a gigantic fit!
Then there were these weird baby classes. I don’t understand why we have weird baby classes in America or in any first world countries.
I was surprised at the bathing rituals of the kids. From the regular bathing with parents, to the big basin, to washing a baby’s face with a mother’s milk (that did not look sanitary to me), and then cleaning a baby like an animal would clean their young. No diapers? Why…the baby will just go on the mom’s leg, and she’ll take a corn husk and just wipe it off.
There were some shocking ways that babies are raised…even in America that had me thinking…not any one way to raise a baby is correct, nor is it wrong. Weird? Yes. You just pray the baby turns out okay.
I will say that I liked the community involved in Namibia in child rearing. I didn’t see any men. I only saw the women sharing the duties of raising the children. If you were breast feeding, you don’t turn away other babies…unless a third comes along, then they just have to wait.
All parents scold their children in the same way. Siblings in Namibia really do look out for their younger brothers and sisters…and they’re very serious about it, too.
I thought it was cute when one child was trying to learn how to stand up on his own, another baby that could already do it, came over to try to show him how to stand up.
Child rearing…it’s best to have other children around because they will help teach other babies how to advance much better than an adult can teach the baby. It’s evident in the film. A child is more likely to go straight to the task at hand when they’re exposed and raised with other children. They learn and are inspired by the other kids. That’s what I liked most about the Namibia culture.
I also enjoyed watching the animals interact with the babies. They know it’s just a baby pulling at them, dragging them around, standing in the middle of a stampede…they watch out for that little tyke. Even the cows notice the little baby in the middle of the field. They try to protect him. Cats and dogs…they just tolerate the pulling and tugging…and they never snap at the little one.
If you haven’t seen this documentary, I definitely recommend it. It was so enjoyable and educational. In a way, it was like a primer to get ready for the future. 😉
Here’s a clip from the movie: