Friday, June 13, 2014

‘2 Moms, 10 Kids’ breaks new ground in Mongolian television

By Michelle Borok

Melanie Kocke is the American co-host of Eagle TV’s Eagle Live’s newest talk and lifestyle program, “2 Moms 10 Kids”, with Migaa Amraa. The concept for the talk show came about when Batkhatan, executive producer at Among Mongolia, approached Melanie about making a TV talk show specifically for mothers. Amid the many TV shows directed at women they saw a real need for something uplifting and encouraging, but beyond that, something that would be geared and tailored specifically to the needs of mothers.

The show’s goal is to encourage and support mothers in their role. Melanie, Migaa and the show’s producers believe, “As goes the family so goes the nation. Mothers are a powerful force and vital to the future of this country and it is our honor to help them in any way we can.”

Melanie is mom to four kids, ages twelve, ten, eight, and four. She and her husband, Hetee have been married 13 years. Melanie has lived in Mongolia since 1999, teaching English to young learners throughout that time and becoming fluent in Mongolian. She has experience with counseling young mothers regarding health and child rearing. Melanie wants to see moms take on their roles with confidence and to generate a shift in the way society envisions the “stay-at-home” mom.

Migaa is mother of six, three boys and three girls. She and her husband, Borhuu have been married eight years. Migaa has professional experience in directing television shows. Meeting and getting to know other mothers is something that drives her. Her goal is to encourage other moms and help them to rise to the challenge that is motherhood.

The opening sequence for the show is a beautifully shot, modern, clever narrative of how these two women gracefully make the transition from incredibly busy moms to television talk show hosts. Their set is a spacious, contemporary living room and the show is shot as if you’re a part of the conversation, curled up on their long, white couch and getting settled in to meet someone whose story you won’t soon forget.

We spoke with Melanie about the show, its reception, and motherhood.

How did “2 Moms, 10 Kids” come together on Eagle TV?

Our executive producer, who is a close friend of mine, came to me with the idea of creating the show last September. As we began to move forward, forming a team to discuss ideas and address the needs of mothers in Mongolia, the show really just came together.

How has your reception been as a foreign co-host on a very locally themed program? Any noteworthy reactions to your proficiency and immersion in Mongolian language and culture?

So far, the feedback has been mostly positive. Whenever possible, I try to draw parallels between Mongolian and American mothers, because I believe that moms are basically the same the world over. The joys and struggles we face as moms are universal and it helps to know you’re not alone. I myself am in the thick of motherhood and I learn so much from each of our guests. I never want to come across as someone who knows everything. Just like our viewers, I am learning as I go! I think the fact that I speak Mongolian helps to put our viewers at ease. Speaking their language conveys a real concern for them and their families. I make many mistakes but the Mongolian public has been most forgiving.

Have you had a chance to address the issues of cross-cultural families on the program?

We are currently working on an episode that deals with this issue. It is an important one because it is becoming more and more common in Mongolia. And it is a topic I know a little bit about.

The show’s Facebook page has more than 11,000 likes and counting. What conclusions have you drawn from the fantastic reception?

We feel extremely pleased and humbled at the same time. Our goal was moms encouraging moms and we feel like that is beginning to happen. We hope it continues!

Any plans to provide subtitles in English to branch out to foreign viewers?

You know, we English speakers are very fortunate in that there is a never-ending supply of resources for mothers in English. Mongolian women don’t have this. Having said that, it would be nice!

Who have been your most memorable guests so far?

It’s so hard to say! But if I had to pick one, it would be Ariuntuya. She is a 35 year-old mom to three busy boys. She suffered an electrocution at the age of 19 and lost both hands as a result. She definitely left an impression on me.

If you could invite anyone from the past or present to appear on your show, who would it be?

My grandmothers.

As the co-host of a show that often focuses on the challenges of parenting, what are your own biggest challenges as a working mother of four?

My greatest challenge is not having enough time. I love spending time with my husband and kids.

What kind of guests can your audience look forward to on upcoming episodes?

More amazing moms! Also, we will be bringing in experts to talk about issues such as teaching children about money, how and when to talk to kids about sex, how technology (iPads and other touchscreens) affect children, and many more relevant topics.

What does the future hold for the show?

It’s hard to say for sure, but we’re just enjoying it and taking it day by day. We do hope to see the network of mothers become stronger as more and more women identify with and help one another.

“2 Moms, 2 Kids” airs Tuesday through Sunday at 6:00 p.m. on Eagle Live. Episodes are also available on their YouTube channel. You can also join their online community on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/2moms10kids.

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