The Joy of Having International Friends
Being Of Two Cultures
I am born of two cultures. My mother is American, and my Dad is from the Philippines. By my last name people would automatically think I am from Cuba or Spain. I wish I could have a dollar bill for every time someone has questioned me or my Mom, " Oh, related to Fidel?" And the typical response has been, "No the paternal side of the family is from the Philippines. The Spanish explorers brought their culture to the Philippines.
I looked very Filipino from birth and as I grew older, I became looking multicultural, showing the other nations that my mother's family is from. Irish, German, English, Amish and Jewish. My Mom stated that her mother was from the "black Irish". When I got older I learned that black Irish means that the Irish may have some genetic links to a region of Spain. That influences the color of dark hair and eyes could either be the color of brown or green. I find my Irish heritage to be interesting.
I have always loved my family reunions because there are so many wonderful traditions and delicious dietary treats. The language Tagalog is spoken amongst the older individuals. Even though my parents decided not to teach me the other language since I was American born and they did not want to interfere with learning, I always could get the gist of the conversation and appreciate the language difference. My daughter even obtained a Tagalog to English dictionary. My children have learned to appreciate our multicultural family as well.
AMERICA, THE MELTING POT
In the 1960s, the oriental racial population in my town was increasing. The reasons is that the United States is "a land of opportunity" and with the number of internationals entering in to this country for educational purposes and back then becoming an American citizen was so much easier. Even though the laws have gotten tougher in this new century for new people to come to live here, it is well that those who do find a new abode here will definitely benefit from what our culture has to offer.
There are so many opportunities for people born and raised in America to learn from the other cultures. Throughout the year there are municipal efforts where I live to celebrate with the festivals honoring all different countries. I have been to a few, especially the one for the Philippines, which is like a bigger version of one of my family parties! So if you come to Baltimore, MD in the summer time, make sure to check out the scheduled events for which International Festival is featured at that time. Just about all the ethnic groups have their featured festival, such as Greek, Italian, Spanish, Irish, German, African-American, Native American, Polish, Amish, Caribbean, to name a few. There is fun, food, music, and always a feeling of joy in the air at these festivals.
Other places where I have been culturally experienced is in schools and at the work place. To get to know Internationals at the Professional level has its challenges as well as positive feed back. The English language is taught world wide and there are educators I know who are hired to help those who have come into this country learn how to communicate effectively while living here. America's hiring policy that is, "equal opportunity" has offered the best way that they have to being a part of our country's workforce, especially when they have come here to be educated.
MAKING NEW INTERNATIONAL FRIENDS CONTINUES
Since I live in a multicultural family, I know I am blessed because I have developed a sensitivity for those who have genetically inherited qualities. I am so impressed when my Aunt and Uncle who were both born in the Philippines and arrived to the USA in 1967 continue to provide their cultural experience in their home at every family party. I am comfortable with tradition. American Professional neighbors and friends to come and join our cultural parties. I always have an opportunity to meet Filipinos from their other extended families.
At the workplace, there is not enough time to discover individual's cultural interests or background because we are "on the job". Making off work social arrangements often has been done to get to know them. Many internationals that I know work extra hours so they can send Money home to their country to help the family who hasn't come here yet.
As a nurse, I have been assigned to international families who have come here for educational purposes, gotten married here and had their children while going to school. The babies and children of these families are surrounded by their culture at home and then have the opportunity to learn American culture when they enter school. While working in their homes, I get an education too. They are always happy to make me feel comfortable probably because I am respectful of their diverse traditions.
I always show respect and never express an attitude when it comes to language, habits or beliefs. I apply my Christian principles to accept everyone sine the Lord God accepts us.
HubPages has been an International experience. I was so impressed how many followers I have are from all over the world! And I am so excited to follow writers from all parts of the world. This creative potential lets me learn about others from everywhere. Thank you to the Creator of HubPages. Even if I only have ten minutes to spare, I have to see what my new international followers are writing about.
Because I am a Believer in Jesus Christ, I am so thrilled when I am able to meet an international who also believes in Him. God IS EVERYWHERE! I respect that all origins different ways of believing. It is so great that even time stands still and for that moment the National borders disappear.
TEACH YOUR CHILDREN TO BE CULTURAL
My children knew from birth that they are multicultural. It is a wonderful experience to have variety in their lives. I always had a desire in my heart as a little child. I used to pray as a child, "God, teach me about the people in the city." At that time, I remember being in the car with my parents and they found themselves "lost". I remember it was in the West side of our city and all the people on the street were African Americans. God answered my prayer. When I became an adult and started working in the City!
Taking the children to museums, historical societies and cultural events, showing them films about different cultures and listening to music of other nations are all the ways to broadening their knowledge and to teach them not to have an attitude. And when listening to the World News with the children, let them know that certain events that occur in the World does not involve a Whole Race of people but certain individuals who have certain issues going on in their own personal history.
The experience of having International friends, acquaintances, work friends, meeting internationals on line, and interacting with those of "different color and origin" makes my life a more diverse and exciting. I am grateful for the fact that I have parents from two different countries as well.