Are you a 1st, 2nd (etc) generation from another country? Share your experiences!I am the first in my family to live in the US and my family has a hard time adapting to the ways of the US,...

Are you a 1st, 2nd (etc) generation from another country? Share your experiences!

I am the first in my family to live in the US and my family has a hard time adapting to the ways of the US, especifically of the South. It has caused me a bit of a problem since they are a bit scared of coming to my house for the holidays because they fear that they would not understand my friends. It is frustrating. Yet, I'd love to hear similar stories and how you *y'all* coped with them.


Expert Answers
amy-lepore eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I am not first or second generation, but my grandfather is.  He is my grandmother's third husband, so he is not my biological grandfather, but he is the only grandfather I have ever known.  He was born in Iran, and is SO smart.  He knows seven languages, travled as a buyer for the jewelry company he worked and designed for all over the world, and reads all the time.  Being so worldly, I thought he would welcome my idea of bringing International students from my university home for Thanksgiving several years ago.  However, when I told them the students were from Saudi Arabia and other such Middle Eastern countries, he had an absolute fit.  He was adamant about them not coming to his home, since they would probably sneak back and kill him in his bed.  Of course they wouldn't have, but this fear was deeply embedded in my grandfather from his youth, as he and his family fled their home since they were Christians in a dominantly non-Christian world.  It showed me another side of my beloved grandfather, and a fear that fortunately, I have never had to experience.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I can't speak directly to this, but I can say you are at least somewhat lucky because your family *can* get to where you are.  My dad is an immigrant from the Philippines (he had a chance to go to Louisiana State U for graduate school in 1960 but was told that a person of his color would probably have a better experience in the North and so I'm not from the South...)

Anyway, he did not have the dilemma that you have because his family could not really get over here (partly for economic reasons and partly because the Philippines was very strict about letting anyone leave in the late '60s and early '70s).

His major problem was with the fact that he married an American.  That made him have some amount of trouble with other Filipinos who suspected him of trying to become white, basically.

So I guess I can't really give you advice on your specific dilemma except to say that you are at least somewhat lucky to have it...

accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Well, we are currently living in Bolivia though this will not be a long-term move for us. It has been a big effort to adjust to a radically different life and speaking Spanish all the time. I guess, however, one difference is that you expect somewhere like Bolivia to be different, whereas in the English speaking world you maybe don't think the differences are going to be as great. To be honest, I (as a Brit) have had more struggles adjusting to getting on with the Americans than I have had with Bolivians. I think we have higher expectations that make the different cultural elements harder to swallow.

kiwi eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I am originally from the UK and have been in New Zealand for six years. I concur with the idea that we see countries where our native language is used as more culturally accepting (or acceptable). I love being here as the pace of life is slower, the quality of life is infinitely better, the people are genuine and positive and the landscape is breathtaking. In some aspects of technology and education I have points were I feel like I'm from the future, but this isn't such a bad thing.

I think everyone should travel and find their 'home' - it may not always be the place you were born.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I am not, but I have many students who were.  One that made a real impression on me was an 11 year old from the Phillipines.  She came to my class speaking basically no English, but she was smart and dedicated.  It was so interesting to see my culture through her eyes!