Our accommodation of thenewest immigrants started
about 25-30 years ago with
the Vietnamese and Laotianpeoples. It has continuedthroughout the decades and
has been of great benet to this
community. Our communitywould have demographicallydrifted off the charts . . . becauseof “out migration” and an agingpopulation.Many of my Lao and Vietnamesefriends are here . . . because theystood up for “American Ideals” and risked both their lives andthe lives of their families, muchto their credit. In quiet moments,I have heard their stories . . . ithas brought tears to my eyes . . . I have a profound respect forthem. American Idealism? . . . I
have not sacriced, . . . like theyhave sacriced. My life has been
relatively easy. If they would tellyou their stories . . . you wouldhave a new found respect for theimmigrant experience. Immigrationdoesn’t happen because ”thingsare dandy!” Immigration happensbecause people are at the limits of their own tolerance.
Today, I can take my 2-block walk
to work and say “hello” in numerouslanguages. Sai Bai Dee (Lao),Buenos Dias (Mexico, Guatamala,El Salvador ), De Tu Jot (Sudanese)Djow Go (Vietnamese), Ka May Laha (Ethiopian), its is perhaps alocalizada justo al sur de la mítica
“Laguna Wobegone” y tipicamosesas características demográcas.
Nuestro alojamiento de losemigrantes mas nuevos comenzómas o menos de 25 q 30 anos atráscon los Vietnamitas y Laosianos.Ha continuado a través de las
décadas y a sido de gran benecio
a esta comunidad. Nuestracomunidad hubiese sido derivada
demográcamente fuera de serie .
. . por lo de “fuera emigración” y elenvejecimiento de la población.Muchos de mis amigos Laosy Vietnamitas están aquí….porque defendieron los “IdealesAmericanos” y arriesgaron los dos,sus vidas y las vidas de sus familias,mucho a su favor. En momentosde silencio, he escuchado sushistorias…..me han traído lagrimasa mis ojos….tengo un profundorespeto por ellos. Idealismo
Americano?….Yo no he sacricado….como ellos se han sacricado. Mi
vida a sido relativamente fácil. Siellos te contaran sus historias….encontrarías un nuevo respetopor la experiencia inmigrante. Lainmigración no sucede porque“las cosas están genial!” Lainmigración sucede porque laspersonas se encuentran en loslimites de su propia tolerancia. Hoy, puedo tomar my caminatade dos cuadras al trabajo y decir“hola” en numerosos idiomas.crude rendition of their languages. . . but it allows me a comfortzone with my new neighbors. Ihave them sign a world atlas in mystore . . . it allows me the ability tounderstand where they have comefrom and often times it allowsme to understand some of theirtravails.As I walk around the lake I can
condently say “duke bhet ba” (how’s shing? in Lao), to my
Sudanese kids I shout “beh tu nieyet gel” (lets stick together!)They all enjoy and appreciatemy attempt to speak in their nativetongue (they laugh at me), as theycontinue to become assimilatedinto our community. We are a smallcommunity and we strive to makesure that no one is anonymous.
Cross-cultural exchanges happen
far more frequently in a smallcommunity, no one has the abilityto be anonymous. Our communityis far more diverse than mostany large city in the Midwest . . .perhaps the nation.Assimilate . . . they have! Iam convinced that these newfound immigrants have saved mycommunity. They have purchasedhomes, they have purchased cars,they have kept our grocery storesbusy. They have created their owngrocery stores. They are the newgraduates at the local communitycollege. They have become theNew Worthington. There mightbe a few people that consider thisimmigration a threat . . . those folksare prone to fear and loss of theirstanding within their perceivedplace within our community. Thegood news is that the majority of folks around these parts recognizethat this “immigration thing” is of Sai Bai Dee (Laos), Buenos Dias(Español), De Tu Jot (Sudanés),Djow Go (Vietnamita), Ka May Laha (Etiope),Es tal vez una cruda interpretaciónde sus idiomas….pero me permiteuna zona de confort con mis nuevosvecinos. Los tengo señalándomeun atlas mundial en mi tienda….mepermite la habilidad de comprenderde donde han venido y muy seguidome permite comprender algunas desus calamidades.Mientras camino alrededor de la
laguna puedo decir conadamente
“duke bhet ba” (que tal la pesca?En Laos), a mis niños Sudanesesles grito “beh tu nie yet gel” (mantengámonos unidos!).Todos ellos disfrutan y aprecianmi intento de hablar en su lengua
cua de paa 1cued pae 4cua e paa 4cued fm pae 1
hoLA EVEntoS rEADErS
By Jane MooreHAYFIELD, MN – From Arizonato Minnesota, states and townsacross the U.S. are struggling tocome to terms with a rising level of diversityand some are handlingthe challenge more successfullythan others.Worthington, Minnesota, arural community of about 12,000people in Minnesota’s southwesterncorner, has faced many of the sameissues.
As an inux of immigrants of
various nationalities has becomepart of the town’s population since1990, individuals, schools, churches,government and businessesthere have done their best tonot only keep up with the needsof newcomers but to anticipateproblems and foster integration inwhat was formerly a largely white,agriculturally centered county seat.This edition of Eventos illustrateshow Worthington ’s citizens haverisen to the occasion, despiteongoing challenges and hurdles. Articles included cover the localintegration collaborative andsocial service agencies, economicdevelopment efforts by minorities,the evolution of educationalinstitutions, the effect and efforts of the local pork processing plant onthe population change, the changingarts scene and the success story of an immigrant’s child.
This edition of Eventos is a must-
read for those seeking to understandhow immigration and integrationare shaping rural America today. Inshort, a lesson from Worthington:change in a community’s longtimeethnic composition, though
sometimes difcult, can have many
M Puebl es Dfeee a tu Puebl