Lois M. Collins: Immigrants, refugees can choose which aspects of culture to assimilate

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  • trueamerican Huntsville, AL
    June 29, 2012 4:32 p.m.

    Deseret News needs to change their name to the "Pro-Immigration Newsletter". That is the main thing you see in this paper.

  • ulvegaard Medical Lake, Washington
    June 29, 2012 8:47 a.m.

    My wife is from Denmark and so I am learning Danish and it is spoken here in our home along with English so that our children can have both worlds. At Christmas we do Danish traditions on Christmas Eve and American on Christmas day. And there are some other things that we do that are very Danish. I am also teaching my children to stand at attention for the national anthem and to put their hands over their hearts, etc.

    What often happens and what causes the most problems, I believe, is when immigrants come here and try to reform their homeland within our borders. They wave their own flag while spitting on ours, refuse to learn English and go out of their way to put down our traditions and customs.

    There is nothing wrong with holding on to traditions -- I think we become lost without our heritage. But we also have to live in our communities. We can blend without losing our identity and we can adapt without surrendering our values. We just have to make wise choices and even seek Heaven's aid at times.

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    June 29, 2012 6:47 a.m.

    There are two issues here. What is being discussed in here is diversity, i.e. the real diversity, knowing about different cultures and then choosing what is good and what is bad. Diversity is approached with a standard of what is good and bad. It is not amoral.

    In a sense, the US is 'the belly of the beast' we are the cultural engine for the world, for both good and for evil.. E.g. I saw a video of some people rapping in a fading Central Asian language. When expatriates come to the US, they are going to be changed from the experience. It cannot be avoided. What can be done is to expose the children to as much of the traditional culture as possible. But it will require work. It won't happen by accident. Organize classes, song lessons, drumming lessons and tell stories at night. Turn off the TV so you keep talking to one another.
    Maintaining the language is important. Children who know their parents' language will be more fluent in English than if they only know the poor quality English that they learn from their parents AND from TV.