|Immigration: From the Mentors
My cousin (let's call her Lynne) was born in another country, and she and her family moved to the United States a few years ago. I remember when I first met her. She had a funny accent, often mispronounced things, and didn't understand American lingo. My cousin was amazed at all the access to technology I had; she treated my Nintendo DS like a gold Olympic medal! She was also awed at all the things I took for granted: my own room, a computer, a closet filled with clothes, and a big bin filled to the brim with toys I hadn't played with for years. Lynne recently visited my family, and I noticed that she's really adapted to American society -- she looked like a "typical" American tween: skinny jeans, a "Twilight" tee from Hot Topic, and Converse sneakers. I said to her, "Whoa, you changed a lot." She answered, "Really? This is just what I normally wear." I take it that Lynne didn't try hard to be more American; she just took the appearances of her friends and meshed them together to make an image for herself. I guess hanging around her American friends helped her adapt to American culture. Yay for her!
One of my closest friends moved to Canada from Syria when she was about twelve years old. It was very hard for her to make the adjustment. She missed her friends and family, and she ended up going from a cushy life in Syria to a much harder one in Canada because her parents believed that they would make life easier for their children that way. Though we met about a year later -- when we were both thirteen -- she was still having trouble adjusting. My friends and I absorbed her into our group quickly, and it made her life much easier. Five years later, we're still great friends, and she actually thanked me a while ago for helping make her stay in Canada a good one! The best thing that you can do to help a new immigrant is to do the same thing my friends and I did: take the kid into your group. Be patient: immigrants don't always speak the best English, and they're as aware of it is you are. It's so much easier to adjust to life in a new country if you find friends quickly.
Immigration is becoming more and more popular in this day and age, their are over 20 million living in America alone! And while it's never easy moving, moving to a different country where the food, culture, clothing, traditions, trends etc. are different is hard to imagine. We all know that we have to accept people for who they are, so if you know anyone who is an Immigrant it's important to realize what they have gone through and make them feel comfortable. You might even learn a thing or two about different cultures and traditions, but more importantly, you can make a friend. Remember, we all live under the same sky!
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