Post by Dorothy J Heydt Post by Kevrob
Children of immigrants often adopt the culture of the wider
community, but reject that of their parents' home countries,
in whole or in part. Often they live in a hybrid culture,
and reflect both to some degree.
I read a number of agony aunts, who frequently receive letters
from the offspring of immigrants who are at odds with their
parents over some issue; frequently it's wanting to marry someone
of a different culture, religion, etc.; or something else that
would *never* have been done in the old country.
In which case, the agony aunt has been known to retort, "If the
old country was so great, why aren't you still there?" And the
answer is sometimes that life in the old country had become
unbearable, and those who left it were hoping to re-create the
*real* culture of the old country in the new land. And their
children, born in the new country, sometimes try to maintain
aspects of the old culture: the cookery, the language, the folk
songs... and sometimes they don't.
...and the next generation sometimes "reclaims" what
was set aside in order to Americanize. Irving Wallace's
son, David, the second generation born in the US, decided
to change the family surname back to "Wallechinsky."
see any cover of "The Book of Lists."
I'm "second generation," son of a man who was only technically a
"narrowback." My mother's family has been in the country longer.
One of my grandmother's collateral ancestors was killed fighting
in the USA's Civil War "Irish Brigade." We listened to Irish music.
My mother had taken Irish dance as a child, and made grand soda bread.
Among the 9 of us, we have everyone from sisters trying to learn Irish
and doing the family genealogy to a brother who goes by his middle name,
because his extremely Irish forename (he's named after a martyr of the
1798 rebellion) was a little too heavy for him, growing up. Several
of the sibs have visited Ireland, though I've yet to do so.
I really should have made the trip to the Dublin 2019 Worldcon,
and then toured the country a bit. Turns out I need the funds
I might have spent for other purposes this year, so my not going
mitigates some of life's exigencies.