Becoming American?

Here’s the latest post from our book blog for “This Much I can Tell You”!

“Josiah says he is not worried about his children losing touch with the Karen language or culture. ‘Many of the older generation are concerned, but myself I don’t keep serious for this point. Like American history, when you go back, people came from the Europe maybe two, three, four, five generations ago, they lost their native language, you know. Maybe you are from Norwegian, German, or French origin. So I know that this is going to be happening definitely. In three or four generations, maybe no more Karen; they are going to become American.’” (This Much I Can Tell You, pg. 67).

1. How would you feel if your family was transplanted into a completely new culture? Would you try to keep your children loyal to your home culture?

2. What are some of your family traditions? What are some of your family’s values? How would you react if the traditions and values that have always been important to your family slowly became less important to your children?

3. How do you think the relationships between parents and children are affected when a child grows up in a culture vastly different from his/her parent’s upbringing?

4.  What are some traditions or values that were important to your grandparents that are no longer practiced or observed in your immediate family?

Feel free to leave your response as a comment on this post, or discuss with others as you read “This Much I Can Tell You.”

*Note: This is the beginning of a series of discussion questions to be used during or after reading “This Much I Can Tell You.” A complete study guide is currently being written and will be available to your discussion group in a few weeks.

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