Is it important to engage immigrant children and youth in their traditional culture of origin?
Living in Canada we are blessed by a peaceful co-existence between groups of different cultures and ethnicities. We are fortunate to be able to share cultural experience through festivals. Should young people be encouraged to participate in these traditional activities and why or why not - non racial/prejudicial answers only please and thank you.
Important for study purposes yes. I remember Native American and Pilgrim trips. The Native American was always more informational and interesting. Studies of Asia were also fantastic.
Most definitely yes. In the city where I live we also have an International Festival every July. Kids especially join in and showcase traditional dances and songs from their native countries. They also cook food and sell gifts. Brilliant idea.
I have two kids. Since my wife is Asian and I am white they are mixed. While they are not immigrants I still feel it's very important for them to grow up understanding both cultures, learning both languages even. I don't want them to feel like one culture is better than the other at any point in their lives.
In thinking about this question, I think back to when I lived overseas myself, four years total across three countries. Just because I was living in a foreign land, did that mean I had to lose my original culture? No, definitely not. Part of who I am (or anyone else) is where I came from, where my family came from. That's something we should always be proud of and carry with us from generation to generation.
Important? No. I am a Dutchie living in America and although I grew up with Dutch values, I am more Americanized than anything. I value my heritage, but I find it nearly useless in social aspects as an American. I am always longing for my "home" when I know that I am better off here and if I was there, I would want to be here.
If / when I have kids, I want them to be understanding of other cultures in general, but I will raise them to integrate into whatever country we happen to be living in, probably here.
What is more important is how they treat others and that they learn to live well wherever they are. I want them to know about other cultures, but I do not want to raise them as aliens in the country they are born in. It is far more important that they are raised with good values and that they can communicate and socialize with their fellow citizens. I see too many people celebrating their own cultures in a way that sets them apart from the culture they are living in. I don't want my kids setting themselves apart from others in ways that don't matter. My nieces all have little or no interest in the country their fathers came from and they are great without it.
That being said, I love learning about other cultures and eating their food, but that's it. Culture is interesting and eye opening, but what really matters in the end is how we love others.
If I was married to another foreigner, I would expect that our kids would be partially raised with her cultural values, but would want them to learn to be Americans first.
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